There will be no relief from high gasoline prices in the U.S. this summer-not if Americans recently polled by the Opinion Research Corp. are right. Seventy-two percent expect gasoline to reach $3.50 a gallon by summer, while 28 percent believe it will break the $4 barrier in the new few months. But that doesn't mean they think the trend is fair. Eighty-three percent think there is already price-gouging occurring today, and 67 percent want the federal government to increase fuel-efficiency standards, the pollsters report. Higher prices could finally have an impact on Americans' driving habits. Fifty-one percent of those surveyed said they would "definitely" or "probably" cut back on personal spending, and 46 percent would likely curb summer or end-of-holiday travel, if gasoline reaches $3.50 a gallon. Twenty-nine percent said they would be more likely to purchase a hybrid or other type of fuel-efficient car, with gas prices at that level. The survey was conducted for the nonprofit Civil Society Institute, whose 40MPG project seeks to increase vehicle fuel efficiency. It involved interviews with 1,013 adults, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
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