US drivers spending $1000 a year more on gas

Mar 22, 2008 at 9:03 p.m. ET

American drivers are spending an average of $1000 a year more on gas today than they were five years ago, according to testimony by Consumer Federation of America and Consumers Union to a House Judiciary Committee task force.

The 65 percent increase hits rural drivers the hardest, because they spend approximately 20 percent more on gas than their urban counterparts based on fuel usage alone. "It is time for Congress and the administration to do their part to help alleviate the pain consumers are feeling at the pump," said Mark Cooper, director of research.

Many drivers can do little to alter their fuel usage, as the number of workers with commutes of 60 minutes or more grows each year.

While some try to cut back in other areas, such as shopping, so far rising gas costs haven't had that much of an affect on driving habits. "People complain about higher oil prices -- but they still drive their cars, they still buy their SUVs, they don't want to carpool," said energy analyst Fadel Gheit.

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