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Your e-mails: Anguish at the pumps

CNN.com readers on rising pump prices

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(CNN) -- Where will it end? Gas prices shot up an average of three cents a gallon Friday, to $2.855 for regular, according to AAA.

The motorists' organization says the average is above $3 a gallon in California, Washington D.C., Hawaii and New York.

CNN.com 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:

The gas price has affected my routine tremendously. We don't have a shortage in our area, but people seem not to be traveling much. I'm really concerned about the prices. When we moved here few years ago, the gas prices were low, like $1.62, but as the year passed, the gas prices have gone up ... and it is still going up. I heard from others that the price would go as high as $4.00. I paid $3.05 in Sarasota, Florida. It's ridiculous.
Nil, Sarasota, Florida, $3.05/gallon

Since I'm retired, I don't have the daily commute that others have. I really feel for the people who have to use more of their limited means to pay more for gas in this area, where alternatives are not very great. Besides the increase in gas prices, food costs are higher, also. People should demand to know what the government's energy policy is and how much of that policy was driven by secret meetings held with the oil executives.
Gerald, Sumter, South Carolina

As painful as it is to fill up at current prices, I can only look at the bright side: higher prices may help hasten our ultimate conversion to alternative fuels -- and that could mean a little less rapid rise in the rate of global warming, which is the real issue here with gasoline and oil.
Bobby, Missoula, Montana

Gas prices have skyrocketed in my area to $3.00 plus per gallon, and I am choosing to fight back. I only get enough gas to go to the places I must go to that are too far to walk. Other times I walk where I have to go, or don't go at all, and just stay home. I refuse to spend any necessary money on gas, such as going to the mall, or just riding around sightseeing. I remember in the '70s when we fought back high gas prices by walking and carpooling. Such a stand needs to be done in this era.
Reddie Dixon, Jacksonville, North Carolina. +$3.00/gallon

My former SUV was costing me over $10,000 annually -- $3,000 of that came from gasoline costs alone. I sold it, and now use mass transit, a local car-sharing program and my road bike. I'm saving $9,500 annually, and I've lost 20 pounds from all the exercise I'm getting. Americans should look at "quitting oil" the way they look at quitting smoking: It may be a tough habit to break, but it's one that will leave them healthier, happier, and better off in the long run.
Steve, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Regarding the price of gasoline: If everyone would boycott Exxon, then Exxon would have to lower its prices, and others would follow. The old price wars would start. If not, keep boycotting Exxon. Give it a try.
Michael Harrison, Mesquite, Texas

Fortunately there are many things we can do to reduce our fuel consumption. Slow down on the highways, for starters! Leave your house a few minutes earlier for work instead of driving like a maniac to get to work on time. Keep your car tuned up; keep your tires properly inflated. Buy a fuel-efficient car. Just because you have two children doesn't mean you need to drive a gas-guzzling SUV. Your children will fit fine in the back seat of a mid-size sedan. They're cheaper, plus they get much better gas mileage.
Pat, Aurora, Indiana

I am a law student, and I find it highly ridiculous that I now spend the bulk of the money that I have set aside for education expenditures for gas money. I live in a rural area with no public transportation. Gasoline prices here are $2.99 and have risen over 80 cents in the past month. Something must be done about this travesty now! How much longer are Americans going to sit back and take this? Imagine the statement it would make if as many as 1 million angry Americans converged on the Washington Mall or elsewhere, carrying red gas cans? Imagine the statement that would make. The government needs to act now to stabilize the economy or gas prices amid this grievous price gouging. We need price ceilings, tax breaks, or some form of government regulation. The Federal excise taxes should be temporarily suspended, and instances of price gouging investigated from the top down -- start with the CEOs. Enough is enough.
Chris Conklin, Grundy, Virginia

Three dollars-plus per gallon is not only hard on the pocketbook, but it is going to wreck the economy. High gas prices will add more to every product you can think of because it will cost more to get it where it is needed. I am thinking about selling off my full-size pickup. I have a smaller pickup, which I drive all the time, and I leave my other truck sitting in the drive as much as possible. No trips, either, this summer. Cannot afford the gas. Our monthly gasoline bill has gone from $60 to $250. It doesn't take an accounting degree to figure you have to make up that difference somewhere. I know my employer is not going to give me the difference! Latest price here: $2.89/gallon.
Dave, Denton, Texas

I am curious to find out how the United States government expects the middle class of America to continue supporting the whole country when they can't pay for the gas that is needed for them to get to their jobs? If the government is really concerned for its people, someone should do something about this robbery of the United States citizens. We all have to work, we are all raising families, we have to eat and pay our bills. This will certainly be on my mind during the next election.
Sherri, W. Jefferson, North Carolina

We are retired (ages 72). Can't get our drugs. No gas for our car. No money for food. Doctors won't see us. What can we do? Will China help us? Will Mexico let us in? No way! Worked since I was out of high school. Was in the Army, did my part, now we have no way out. Yes, I have cancer. My wife and I don't know how we can go on. Thank you, Bush, and your rich gas friends.
Larry Roppel, Punta Gorda, Florida

On Tuesday, gas at our local station in Sarasota, Florida, was $2.85 a gallon. On Thursday morning, I filled up at $2.92 a gallon. Two hours later, the price at that station had jumped to $2.99! Where is the outrage? Maybe we should boycott the gas stations on Sundays as it had been suggested, or just buy $10.00 at a time and let the gas sit in the holding tanks! I believe we are being gouged at the pump!
S.V., Sarasota, Florida

I'm a traveling salesman in the area and put around $60 per week into my VW Jetta, which is good on gas (23 city/30 highway). That's still around $240 a month, and it's my biggest bill besides rent: more than my car payment and more than my college loans. It's a pretty steep price to pay, when there are other alternative fuels out there. We need to focus on those fuels that lessen our dependence on the Middle East and worry about ourselves.
John Bauda, Buffalo, New York

No effect whatsoever. I drive about 500 miles per year and bicycle the rest. It's fun to see all the agony when I ride past gas stations full of desperate, mortified and angry motorists. Maybe they can go inside and cool down with a nice Slurpee or something. Happy motoring, America!
David Dutra, Tucson, Arizona

I live north of Atlanta, and all of the pumps today were at $2.89. Am I consolidating trips? Yes. Am I telecommuting when possible? Yes. Is this unreasonable? No, it's what we should all be doing, regardless of gas prices. Here in Atlanta we have horrible air quality, yet a sense of entitlement leads us to believe that we can drive all we want (or can afford), often in SUVs, without regard for our environment. Change occurs when it is too painful to remain the same, so let's hope a positive consequence of high gas prices will be greater responsibility on the part of the consumer.
Sandra Burke, Cumming, Georgia

The higher gas prices have not affected me at all. The only thing I hear is people complaining, which is getting annoying. We in America still pay little compared to what other countries pay for fuel. We can't always be spoiled. I don't think prices will come down too much, but like I said, it's not affecting me.
John, Chicago, Illinois

I find it funny that those with hybrids or fuel-efficient cars don't really care about high gas prices. Don't they realize that the ever-increasing gas prices still hit their pocketbook in other ways? How do they think their groceries and other necessities of life get to the stores? Trucks and trains need gas. Farmers' tractors need gas to harvest the crops that end up on your dinner table. When gas prices go up, everything goes up. Further, it seems to be the "in" thing to trash us SUV owners. I drive a Suburban out of necessity, not desire. But, with taking the kids to and from school, and commuting to and from work, I still only drive about 10 miles a day. I am consuming less gas than those that commute 20-30 miles in "fuel efficient" cars.
Dan Campbell, Stockton, California

Is it me or does anyone else seem to believe that oil Execs throw a dart at the wall every day and use whatever made-up excuse it hits? They keep saying oil goes up and up because of this fear and that fear, or this expectation or that expectation. When are our elected officials actually going to do something other than keep offering up legislation that will make us oil-independent in 10 years? I have heard that lame crap since the days of Nixon, and we are still in the same boat. Hey Congress, get over your bloviating and actually do something. I don't want to hear about 10 years from now, I want to hear about 10 minutes from now. We are getting systematically ripped off, and all you people can do is blah-blah-blah. I know for me, if someone is running for re-election this year, they aren't getting my vote. Enough already! Gas here is $3.03.
Terry B., Cape Coral, Florida

I own a business with 45 large sized trucks. The impact is terrible. We are paying 3.09 per gallon!
Kenny Myers, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Despite the rise in gas prices and the purchase of a new 4X4 truck, I'm still filling my tank every week. It's sad, but United States is probably the only society willing to sacrifice other living expenses to fuel their love for gasoline.
T.J. Conlin, Minneapolis, Minnesota

How come the Government is not giving some type of incentives to oil companies for expanding their ability to refine crude or to build more refineries? From reports I have seen the problem is not getting the crude to market, but to refine it into gasoline.
Mike Pitts, Kansas City, Missouri

I see politicians stating things about pushing for gas saving vehicles/and getting consumers to let go of the SUVs etc. But I have to have a large vehicle! I couldn't fit all the kids and groceries in a hybrid or fuel economy vehicle or neither, in this economy, afford one of those new vehicles!!
Jen, Guy, Arkansas

When is someone in this "great" country going to stand up & say ENOUGH!!! it's bad enough middle class families can barely make it & then to gouge the entire country while these companies see record profits? Hello! you dont have to be a genius to see what's going on. Nothing will happen until there is a president (unlike the buffoon we currently have) that doesn't have family & financial ties to the middle east.
Kevin, Canal Winchester, Ohio, $2.89/gallon

My physicians are more than 100 miles from my home. I have many illnesses and am not able to pay for the gas to get the medical treatment I need as often as I need to go. ... I also cannot afford groceries and medication that I need from the impact the high gas prices have had on me. ... I am on a fixed income and am disabled. The cost of gas has affected all aspects of my life, sadly.
M. K. Hall, Tupelo, Mississippi

Honestly, I don't see what the big deal is. My routine does not change because of gas prices. I do not live beyond my means, so why should it? I fill up once a week for about $55, which = about $220/month at the current price. If the price was $2.00/gallon, I would spend $160/month, which isn't even $100 less per month than what I'm paying now! I think we should all stop worrying about what it costs to do things necessary like drive to work, and worry more about why a cable company can charge us $90/mo to deliver a signal through a wire. A barrel of oil (42 gallons) is $70, and a barrel of bottled water is $450. It costs oil companies probably $50 per barrel to find, develop, and process that oil using incredible technology. Please people, wise up and stop crying.
Justin Sandifer, Golden, Colorado

The United States has to decentralize business districts so people are not all rushing in the same direction each day. When DOD decided to move many offices out of Crystal City (near Pentagon) that was a good start. Now we, as a country, need to reduce the transaction costs of buying and selling a home, so that people can afford to move closer to their work easily. It is plain idiotic that real estate agents are making 6 percent commissions on homes that sell in days.
Jen Keller, Silver Spring, Maryland

People where is the *&%*&% outrage! Now I could see if our soldiers were over dying in the Middle East and we were getting gas for a 1.20 a gallon, but our boys are dying and we're still paying 3.00 a gallon. I got a gallon of water (which could sustain life for a week) for .69 and spent almost five times that for a gallon of fuel!!
Michael McDermott, Noblesville, Indiana

I am married with 5 children, 3 of whom drive and rely on daddy to help them out occasionally. It was easier to help them pay for college than it has been to put gas in their vehicles.
William Karns, Wilmington, North Carolina

I find it curious that when oil price futures soar, gas pump prices follow suit immediately. However, when oil futures slump, pump prices barely budge. Oil executives hide behind "supply and demand economics" but it seems they are only interested in their supply of cash and the demands of greed to ensure personal gain at the expense of everyone else. I'll bet you a gallon of Exxon's finest, now $5, that oil executives do not have to pay pump prices for their gasoline.
Michael Robinson, Auburn, Washington

I live down here on the great Mississippi Gulf Coast. We just went through Hurricane Katrina, and we are slowly getting back on track, then we have to face the high oil and gas prices. I think the president should step in and put a cap on the cost of oil. What does he have to lose, he will not be re-elected? Let him do something to help us working people, instead of allowing the oil companies to make millions.
Antha Mitchell, Picayune, Mississippi

The rising cost of gasoline has had absolutely no effect on my daily routine, except for having to put up with others constantly complaining. Personally I'm mostly indifferent to the rising trend in energy prices. Not owning a car, I don't know how much gas costs locally.
Dane, New York

How can I "change my habits" when all I am doing anyway is one trip to the store a week and work? I can't make enough to buy the gas to get to work, but I have to work to buy gas. I don't have an SUV. I teach, and I can't bike or motorcycle to work with all my materials.
Tina Risinger, Round Rock, Texas

Due to gas prices we have decided to move our daughter from the excellent elementary school she has been attending to one in our neighborhood that will not offer her the advantages that her current school does. We just cannot afford the gas it takes to daily go that far back and forth.
Shannon Ratzlaff, Tulsa, Oklahoma

I am a full time working mom with a 3-year-old and a husband. I recently had to quit my job (my last day is Wednesday) so i could find something closer to home. Its unbelievable when my son's day care costs less money than my husband's and my gas for the month!
Tiffany, Marlboro, New York, $3.06/gallon

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