Drivers Scale Back As Some Lawmakers Propose Increased Gas Tax

WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is dangling the prospect of gas as low as $2 a gallon if he’s elected. His plan comes not only comes at a time when he is trailing Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in the polls, but also while the national average for a gallon of gas is nears the $4 mark.

Santorum recently told an Ohio audience they should brace for $5-a-gallon gas.

Both candidates are citing new sensitivity over rising pump prices to push for relaxed regulations on domestic oil production.

Locally, only Virginia was below the national average of $3.57 for a gallon of gas according to AAA. The Commonwealth had an average price of $3.54.

Maryland finished second in the region for gas prices with a $3.62-a-gallon average. D.C. were paying the most with a $3.76 per gallon average as of Tuesday.

Meanwhile, state lawmakers in both Maryland and Virginia have proposed an increase in gas tax to pay for roads and transportation construction.

“I mind in that nobody wants to pay more money, but the bigger picture is important as well,” one local driver told WNEW’s Karen Adams.

Adams spoke with other drivers who said they were already scaling back on their driving habits because of surging fuel costs.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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