Projections of $5-a-gallon gasoline this summer distress the American people. Rising gas prices further crimp family budgets and reduce economic activities. Every 10-cent increase costs American consumers $11 billion.
A CBS News poll in February found that 67 percent of Americans say high gas prices have caused a financial hardship in their households, with 38 percent saying the hardship is serious.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the price of crude oil accounts for about two-thirds of the cost of a gallon of gas. Most of the rest goes to taxes, refining, distribution and marketing.
Another major factor affecting crude oil prices in recent months has been uncertainties around supply stemming from tensions with Iran as new sanctions by the United States and the European Union take hold. Unrest in several small oil producers also has caused supply disruptions.