I know a lot of people with think this is really boring, but the stuff of economics and politics (esp when they mix) fascinate me. So if you don't want to read this, no skin of my back, but it's really good info.
There is being a lot said about current gas prices -- it is one of the most complicated industries out there; which is why it drives me nuts when I hear people say, "we just need to stop buying from shell and chevron and their supplies would choke up and they'd have to lower prices." Ahhhggghhh! Yes a worldwide market controlled by a cartel could easily bend to idea such as this. sheesh, first of all check out this link about gasoline rumors on Snopes.com.
Then read a very fascinating article about the OPEC cartel by an economist Robert SamuelsonThe Triumph of OPEC. It is very short and well written about why we are where we are today. Also interesting if you click on his archive link is the other articles he has written lately. I'm actually quite a fan of his.
Lastly, I know my parents and uncle gordon HATE this idea, but I support a gas tax. My major reason for supporting this kind of increased taxes is not to help global warming--no it's to Change Behavior. Even if it hurts the little guy, the gas guzzling behavior of Americans (including me) needs to change. And I think the reason we need to change our behavior is because of our reliance on foreign oil -- it creates a national security nightmare. Our interests wouldn't have to be so invested in terrorist-sponsoring countries if we could manage on our own. Yes that will be helped exponentially when Chevrolet produces its electric car that doesn't need gas for the first 40 miles of driving (most americans don't drive that much in a day, and maybe not even a week) It will also be helped if our politicians decide to drill in Anwar. Or if we start using more nuclear power (which I'm also a fan of). But until then . . .
Anyway, here is the Gas Tax article from my other favorite economist, Greg Mankiw -- and his list of both left-wing liberals and right-wing conservatives who agree with him.