Pain at the Pump

The price of gasoline is creeping higher almost by the day. With prices hitting record levels, filling up the tank is burning a hole in drivers' wallets and fueling debate in congress.

House and Senate Republicans are talking about what can be done about the escalating gasoline prices. While Democrats are calling for an emergency energy summit, both parties appear ready to back a law that toughens enforcement for price gouging.

Americans find themselves digging deeper into their pockets to pay more for gas. Energy analysts expect the prices to keep going up.

President Bush wants American to become less dependent on oil. His advance energy initiative calls for the use of hybrid vehicles that run partly on electricity and helps drives save gas.

During the Democrats' weekly radio address, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) asked lawmakers to take more steps towards energy conservation, confront the oil industry, and develop alternative energy sources before a major event like Hurricane Katrina or a terror attack disrupts the world’s oil market.

Sen. Nelson says the Bush administration should add a tough policy to the president's tough talk of breaking America's addiction to oil. But while Democrats step up criticism, it appears that both parties are having a hard time on doing something concrete about rising prices. Read more.

What do YOU think should be done about the escalating price of gasoline?

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Here's what people in the news are saying:

"If we do the right things by lowering international tensions, oil prices will definitely stabilize." — OPEC President Edmund Maduabebe Daukoru

"We get a lot of our oil from places that are unstable and we get our oil sometimes from people who don't particularly care for us...That is what I mean out our national security problems.” — President George W. Bush

"Whatever the cause, the crisis is coming. And so America must act now, before soaring prices and a dependence on foreign oil puts a chokehold on our economy and on our military." — Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL)

Check out what FOX Fans are saying:

"The oil companies do NOT create the demand for crude or refined product, consumers do." — Dick

"The only piratical thing to do is find ways to conserve fuel in the short term, while developing alternative fuels such as nitrogen and hydrogen. Ethanol is not really an option since it takes more energy to produce it than is produced." — John (Austin, TX)

"Pressure should be placed on the holders of certain patents that could greatly reduce our need for petroleum products. It is amazing what's been invented." — Sheri (California)

"The price of gas at the pump is determined by free enterprise. The pain is caused by the interference from the government. No new oil fields or no new refineries opened are the roadblocks thrown up by the liberal environmentalists in Congress. Remove the roadblocks and the prices will adjust to what they really should be. Either that or get used to whining about high prices at the pump." — William (San Antonio, TX)

"Instead of oil companies pocketing the escalating profits, they should be required to use a percentage of the profits to build refineries to process the crude oil." — Starkey

"If the government wants to help, why don't they eliminate all taxes on gasoline? They can tax automobiles/trucks/etc. that have more than x-number of horsepower, y-number of weight, and z-number of average mpg (not the EPA rating, but an actual one). They can do it progressively like the income tax. That way those who waste fuel pay the taxes and not those who buy high mpg or hybrid vehicles." — Tom (Houston, TX)

"Since corn is one of this nation's most renewable resources and a means to help support farm pricing for corn production, why isn't there more concerted pressure placed on all of automakers and truck manufacturers by Congress to build their entire vehicle line to be E85 fuel compatible, instead of just select models for each. Too much lobbyist influence from the oil companies and automakers?" — C. (Newman, IL)

"America is not addicted to oil. Americans are addicted to their cars. We need to get people out of their cars and onto mass transit. We need to redesign our infrastructures so we are not dependent on automobiles. Walk to work. Take public transportation. Live in communities not exurbs. I don't see this happening unless there is a total collapse of the oil market. Americans will continue to pay the high price for oil for their cars. Perhaps, if things get expensive enough, we will be forced to redesign how we live." — Jack (New York, NY)

"Congress should have the courage to begin new exploration by drilling here in the U.S. Let’s get some new refineries built. We must develop alternate sources and methods that will compete with the performance offered by gasoline-powered engines. Pandering to special interests will never solve the problem. Leadership will." — David (Idaho)

"With all the pressure being put on the oil companies to lower prices and avoid gouging. Very little is pressure is put on the governments (federal and state) to assist the citizens as well. Both can easily reduce or even eliminate their respected gas taxes. I have been told that the EPA requires the oil companies to make some 40 different blends of fuel. When I visit the pumps, there are at most five different blends of unleaded gasoline and one blend of diesel. The EPA can reduce the number of required blends to eight blends and allow the oil companies to produce five times more fuel in the fewer blends." — Brian

"The state and federal taxes on gasoline should he reduced by at least 3/4%." — Ida (Pompano, FL)

"The less you buy, the demand goes down and then the price goes down. Spend more time at home on the weekends." — William

"The Bush administration should hire Bill O'Reilly as a consultant on the matter of oil dependency." — Carl (Rome, GA)

"Once again, the oil companies have conditioned the American people to believe that a certain price per gallon (PPG) is reasonable. Were the fuel market a truly free market, this argument might have some merit. However, the oil market is an oligopoly as is the fuel market. Consequently, any effort to reduce prices at the pump must be driven by attacking the demand. We can do this in two ways: The first way is to conserve energy and intensify the search for alternative fuel sources. The second way would be to boycott the largest companies and patronize the independent vendors. The oil conglomerates have been sticking it to us for over a hundred years. It is time for America to stick them back." — Craig

"Ration the gasoline and make commuters car pool." — Richard

"Legislation is not needed. Let market pressure work its magic. When gas becomes too expensive changes will be made. Consumers will begin looking for alternatives and businesses will respond." — Robert

"Take a quick look at Brazil and how they have solved the problem of suffering from the whims of a blustering zealot. They are an oil independent state because of their proliferation of E85 ethanol. We could run most of our big SUVs off this fuel for about $1.85 per gallon and have much cleaner air to boot. If a vehicle is not currently rated to run on E85 a $200.00 conversion could solve that. We could comfortably live off our current domestic oil supplies with out being blackmailed by South American Communist dictators or Middle East crazies. Not to mention we would be supporting DOMESTIC produce markets. Maybe we could export E85 to the Chinese, they are eventually going to put a major strain on the worlds Oil supply and will have to start to convert to e85 or some sort of renewable fuel. That might balance the trade deficit." — Kolby (Houston, TX)

"For all the help that the U.S. gives in the Middle East, the American public is suffering over here with high taxes and high-energy costs. Pull our troops out, tell them all (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq) we'll use our own oil. I don't think the public would mind the price if it was staying here. Tell them to eat and drink their oil." — Randy (Frewsburg, NY)