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Who's to Blame for high gas prices?

In a recent AAA Mid-Atlantic Web Poll that posed the question "Who's to Blame for High Gas Prices?," commodity speculators were ranked the No. 1 evil behind driving up gas prices.

Poll respondents also blamed Congress, Big Oil and unrest in the Middle East.

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"It's a question with no clear, concrete answer," AAA Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman Ragina C. Averella said. "What is clear is that motorists are frustrated with increased costs and the lack of a near-term solution; thus creating plenty of blame to go around."

Respondents were given seven choices and asked to pick only three. The list of choices followed by the percentage of people who selected each are:

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er... How about blaming ourselves and our unchecked appetite for oil, too? Just a thought.

Anyhow, AAA says that the price for a barrel of oil makes up 75 percent of each gallon of gasoline, meaning that the first $2.95 of the current state average of $3.93 is directly attributable to the cost of oil sold on the commodities market.

"Even before state and federal taxes are added, a gallon of self-serve regular gas in Maryland costs $2.95," Averella said. "When refining and after-market costs, as well as transportation costs are added, the price climbs quickly when oil is this expensive."

So who do you blame for this mess?


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