Lisa Margonelli on High Gas Prices05/25/07 Mitch E. Perry
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Accoring to an AP-Ipsos poll just released, nearly y half of those surveyed said near-record gasoline prices are causing ``serious hardship,'' prompting a surging number of people to say they're considering buying a more fuel-efficient car.
Yet there are signs that more people also are clinging to their driving and vacation habits while grudgingly accepting the higher price tag. The government said this week that prices for a gallon of regular gasoline had hit a nationwide average of $3.22, nearly 50 percent higher than in January and pennies shy of the all-time mark. The new poll shows 46% of those surveyed said spiking gas prices are causing them severe financial problems, That measure of public pocketbook pain is up slightly from last year and appreciably above the 30 percent figure of June 2004, when AP-Ipsos first asked the question.
The Democratic-led House approved a bill this week outlawing price gouging. The White House threatened a veto, saying it amounted to price controls and would lead to long lines at gas pumps.