Impact of Rising Gas Prices

April 24, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Just putting food on the table is hard enough these days. As prices for staples such as rice and wheat soar and supplies dwindle. And even getting to the store is a lot more expensive.Some Democrats want to stop filling the U.S. petroleum reserve. Rep. Edward Markey, (D) Massachusetts, says "Ending the fill of the reserve could reduce prices by about two dollars per barrel of oil and five cents per gallon of gas."

Others say it's time to take big oil to task. Sen. Dick Durbin, (D) Illinois, says "We have no choice. We need to ask these hard questions and put these oil companies on the spot."

Republicans are also weighing on gas prices. Sen. John McCain, (R) Arizona, says "I propose that the federal government suspend all taxes on gasoline now paid by the American people, from Memorial Day to Labor Day of this year."

But when it comes to high food prices, most of the talk turns to the Farm Bill now stalled in Congress, a bill President Bush vows to veto even if it passes. Meaning American families may have to make some major lifestyle changes just to make ends meet.

Elizabeth Gorman, shopper, says "Just try to buy things that are more economical, but still get the protein and the food that you need."

Here's the good news: The latest reports show crude oil prices fell by more than $2 a barrel, thanks to the dollar gaining strength against the euro. And the government announced it will start sending payments a week earlier than planned for those receiving the economic stimulus checks.


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