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Your e-mails: Diesel, scooters, lifestyle changes among the ideas readers on rising pump prices
Gas prices in New York on Thursday.




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(CNN) -- Gas prices are soaring. The average price of a gallon of regular gas, $2.83, is 27 percent higher than last year, according to the motorists' organization AAA, and the peak vacation driving season is still ahead. asked for readers' opinions on how rising gas prices affect their daily routines, how much gas costs in their area and how concerned they are about overall trends in energy pricing. Here is a sampling of responses, some of which have been edited:

I drive about 175 miles a week and I have spent $0 on GAS! I drive a '03 Jetta TDI that gets about 700 miles to 3/4 tank (about 13 gals), why should I change my driving habits? The price of diesel (~$2.50 gal) here in St. Louis is again cheaper than gas (~$2.75 gal).I have driven diesels for the past 10 years and will do so for the rest of my life.
Pugman, St. Louis, Missouri

Last summer I bought a vintage scooter, and I try to use it for all of my errands. Its max speed is 45 mph, but it gets around 90 mpg! It also takes a little longer to get around, and you smell like fumes by the time you get there, but at least it's fun and that helps to make up for it.
Julie, Cleveland, Ohio

Personally, I would like to see a gas tax added that was dedicated to research in alternate energy, improved gas mileage of cars, and solving the commute problem. The problem is, of course, ensuring that the money obtained this way is actually used for these purposes, rather than simply offsetting money moved to other uses. A side benefit of the higher prices would be encouraging consumers to reduce their consumption, further increasing incentives for manufacturers to offer more efficient vehicles. I think eventually the higher fuel costs will find their way into everyday living costs, but we need to reduce our reliance on foreign oil and that research isn't going to come for free.
John A. Tamplin, Smyrna, Georgia

I deliver the Arizona Republic newspaper. Rural route, I do 80 miles a day, 7 days a week. We never get raises, the paper does not offer a gas allowance to help out. Everything goes up but my wages. I am very concerned about energy prices and if they don't come to a head soon, I will have to give up my only job, which helps support my disabled husband.
Susan Popard, Glendale, Arizona, $2.95/gallon

I plan to sell one of my vehicles. The money from that, plus the amount saved on insurance for it, will buy gas for the other one for a couple of years.
Toby, Northfield, Minnesota, $2.79/gallon

I actually enjoy driving more. I just love driving past gas stations and looking at the huge SUV. Of course I drive a diesel car that uses biodiesel. Biodiesel was 40 cents cheaper than dino diesel and I still get 40-45 miles per gallon!
Claude Akley, Calhoun, Georgia

I am a small business owner. I do a lot of landscaping and lawn maintenance. Some of our accounts are large corporations, and they don't want to hear anything about our pricing increasing due to the fuel prices. Worst of all, it's not just transportation for me, it is all the mowers, machines and so on that run all day.
Matthew, Hamlin, Pennsylvania

I say GOOD!! LET THE COST GO EVEN HIGHER AND MAYBE NOW WE CAN GET NEW DIESELS THAT GET 50 MPG! ... We Americans do have a choice, buy a high mpg vehicle like the 50 mpg VW TDI diesel and reduce the amount of oil we use, or go broke continuing to waste oil in our current fleet of low mpg vehicles. I also use biodiesel and do my part to help conserve and use clean made here in the U.S.A. Biodiesel means no war required!
Emmanuel Stone, Cary, North Carolina

With gas at $2.85 now, I've tried saving gas by going without my air conditioner--a difficult thing to do in central Texas where we've already had 100 degree temperatures!
Scott L. Sanders, Austin, Texas

When we retired I tried to get my husband to live in a metro area, so we could walk to places and not have two cars. I know now he wishes he had listened to me. We, as a family, will now stay at home this summer, no vacation. We'll fill the "blue" plastic pool up with water and stay closer to home this year. We don't go out to eat anymore. Winter energy bills took a toll on our social life.
Marie, Athens, Georgia

When will our government realize that we desperately need to investigate alternative sources of energy? Oil is not the answer, and why should we be held hostage by these unstable countries, simply because they have a non-renewable natural resource? The Bush administration and future administrations, need to put our money where their mouth is, and spend it on research and technology to get us out of this deepening and darkening hole. Take the money away from the defense budget - which is an incredible waste of money, and use it to provide our independence from oil! Do it now!
Joe, Reston, Virginia

I do volunteer work that involves using my vehicle. I have to cut back on my activities for these organizations because over the last weekend alone I went through over $80 in gas to do so. It is time we as a nation spend every penny available to get alternative fuels to the market, so we can tell the oil companies and the countries who supply it where they can put their oil.
Mike, Bellevue, Nebraska

I read an e-mail about how gas is much more costly in Europe, but at least the Europeans have the option of using an affordable and well-developed mass transit system. We in the U.S. do not have the option of hopping a train to go to work! We here have really dropped the ball. Big oil has done no investing in its refining capacity in decades, all the while reaping huge profits, nor has the government done anything to support efficient mass transit!
Richard Berrettini, Eldred, Pennsylvania

How can it be that gas prices at gas stations can rise 10 or 20 cents in one day when they have not even gotten a fuel delivery that day? This seems like a huge gouge to me! Contrary to all the excuses of big oil, why is it that each time there is a congressional inquiry in to the price of gas, the prices drop? ... How can the prices of fuel be so manipulated if there isn't gouging going on by big oil?
Wes, Ladysmith, Virginia

I hear a lot of people whining about gas prices. It typically goes something like "How can they DO this to us?" or "Why doesn't the GOVERNMENT DO SOMETHING?" ... And I don't see a single one of them doing ANYTHING (other than whining) to reduce their dependence on energy. They still drive their gas hog cars. They still hop in their cars to run errands separately even though they could be combined with a little advance planning. They obviously don't want to change and feel that if they cry loud enough the "gubmint" will fix it for them. I got news for them. The reality is $5, $6, and even $7 gas is on its way. It's a bitter pill, but it's reality. Supply and demand. Or even worse, we won't be able to get it any more? Then what? This country will have to find alternative energy sources but it's up to each and every one of us as individuals to support these efforts in any way we can.
Ron, Houston, Texas

The price of gas can do whatever it wants. Three years ago I bought a GEM electric car - and was ridiculed for it. As they say, he who laughs last...
Richard Stadtherr, Porterville, California

Last year, when the prices of oil and gas were rising rapidly I grew tired of listening to my friends and co-workers complain about the costs at the pumps. I decided that rather than become angry over soaring costs, I would buy stock in the oil companies myself and cash in on the record profits. The big oil companies are not all rich men smoking cigars and playing golf all day. The owners are everyday citizens who take the initiative to seize on opportunities in front of them rather than complain about costs none of us can control.
Adam Davino, Joliet, Illinois

Like most people, I'm learning to drive less, and looking for additional ways to cut my fossil fuel consumption. I'm adjusting to the facts that we've been living in a fool's paradise, paying less than half what almost everybody else in the world pays for oil, that we're going to have to begin using much less (at 5% of the world's population, we consume over 25% of the world's annual production of oil!!!) and that we're going to have to stop wasting petroleum on overweight, over-powered, totally inefficient vehicles.
David Hastings, Loveland, Colorado

I used to laugh at the ones on the mopeds, now when I see them I just think how nice it would be to have one and start scheming a way to pay for one. My region is a tourist-based economy and it's killing that sector of business. Restaurants that normally have a two-hour wait are now left with many empty seats during peak hours. Overall, I think it's going to be a tough road ahead for many that can't afford even a slight increase in their weekly budget.
Brandon Paris, Asheville, North Carolina

My VW is fitted with a kit from that allows me to burn recycled restaurant fryer oil. I startup and shutdown on diesel, but 90% of my driving is on nearly free fuel.
Trip Hornsmith, White Stone, Virginia

My fellow Americans on the mainland don't know what pain really is until you live in Hawaii. Hawaii is not paradise, and my career limits me to staying here. Try paying the most expensive gas (92 octane at roughly $3.40) in the nation.
Al Casari, Ewa Beach, Hawaii

I paid $2.79 yesterday, so it's probably close to $2.90 by now. I've been riding a motorcycle as my primary vehicle for the past couple of years and have enjoyed it thoroughly. I'm happier than ever heading into summer, and its promise of $3+/gal gasoline. 60 mpg is a very good thing.
Mike, Sacramento, California

I personally hope the price of fuel falls soon because most of you do not realize the impact it has on the trucking industry and how that affects the price of EVERYTHING else in the world. If you can buy it then a truck brought it to where you purchased it from. Toilet paper, food, cars, toys, building materials and everything else will rise in cost well before your wages are adjusted to compensate.
Gary Lynch, Kemp, Texas

Compared to the rest of the world, our average income to average cost of gasoline makes it look extremely affordable. That's why we're in the mess that we're in right now is because for years it's been cheaper to commute to work than pay to live in high density real estate areas.
Taylor, Midland, Texas

I now drive with a serious concern for gas mileage. I drive between 60 and 65 and carefully keep the RPMs at 2200 (or is it 22,000?). This allows me to get more than 30 mpg. Gas is now up to $2.69 per gallon. I have never driven with this care for miles per gallon.
Norman Teigen, Hopkins, Minnesota

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