Gas Prices a Top Concern According to Survey

Gas Prices a Top Concern According to Survey

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John Daley ReportingPain at the pump, that's what Americans are feeling tonight as long lines and high gas prices hit home. It's a topic many Utahns are worrying about too.

With gas here in Utah pushing three-dollars a gallon, many Utahns say they're concerned. The President is urging people to cut consumption, but an industry expert here says while prices here may be going up, supplies should remain steady.

Tony drives a wholesale delivery truck.

Tony: "I'm at three quarters of tank right now. 65 dollars."

Long lines echoing the 70s are re-appearing, especially in the South. A new Survey USA poll of 500 Utahns shows most, 78%, believe gas companies are protecting their profits by artificially inflating the price after Katrina.

Matt Heath, Salt Lake City Resident: "Always, especially in the south I heard it's at five dollars a gallon in places."

Janice Lee, San Francisco Resident: "I don't think so. I think it's just market forces, maybe in New Orleans or Atlanta or whatever."

A Utah oil industry representative says he believes higher prices simply reflect higher industry costs.

Lee Peacock, Utah Petroleum Assn.: "As it relates to the price of the product, it's affecting everybody. There's no question, Utah is not immune. As far the supply, I'm not anticipating any shortages here in Utah."

The President predicts a temporary disruption in some regions.

President George W. Bush: "Don't buy gas if you don't need it."

This motorist says conservation is a good idea.

Mark Viehweg, Cottonwood Heights Resident: "We could probably knock our energy usage down by 25% in a couple of months. And it's just a matter of people doing that, being smarter about it."

But Tony thinks most motorists will be hard-pressed to cut back, even with high prices.

Tony Orton: "They suck, they suck bad. About to take out the mountain bike."

A new national poll shows Americans want the President and Congress to make gas prices their top domestic priority. 24% say gas prices is the most troubling issue, only Iraq, at 29% is of greater concern.

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