He tells NBC's "Today" show that he understands gas prices are causing difficulties for people, but the alternative of no gas or long lines isn't attractive either.
Tillerson pointed out that the price of oil is set on the open commodities market and the price at the pump eventually reflects that.
Politicians and the public are looking for ways to deal with rising gas prices.
Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas says the government must encourage alternate sources of energy besides oil. New Yorker Dominic Valente, the owner of a food distribution company, says he's passing on the costs to his customers, but adds they seem to understand.
Trucking companies are facing similar problems as they deliver their goods.