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Apr 22, 2011 1:40 AM by Ariel Wesler

Feds launch investigation into soaring gas prices

The federal government is launching an investigation into the recent surge in gas prices.

President Obama says the Justice Department is currently assembling a team. It will investigate fraud or manipulation in the oil markets. Obama says Attorney General Eric Holder will lead the effort.

As the numbers increase, so does the pain at the pump.

"It hurts. I mean, paying 60 bucks to fill up my car. It's ridiculous!" said Bradlee Kirkman of San Luis Obispo.

Now, the federal government is stepping in with its latest effort to help stop soaring gas prices and give consumers a little hope.

"The attorney general's putting together a team whose job it is to rout out any cases of fraud or manipulation in the oil markets that might affect gas prices and that includes the role of traders and speculators," Obama said.

"Anything to see the prices go down," Kirkman said.

These days, some people can only afford to fill their tanks halfway. For others, gassing up is downright depressing.

"I used to get almost half a tank for 20 bucks. Now, I barely get a quarter of a tank," said Amber Pinon of Arroyo Grande.

Locals say the federal task force is a step in the right direction, but until they see a real difference to their bottom line, they're not getting too excited.>

"It kind of seems like a lot of talk a lot of times. It kinda seems like it goes up quite a bit and then it goes down a little bit and then it goes right back up, so it's kinda frustrating," Pinon said.

"Even the appearance of doing something to take care of situation helps," said Gary Lindquist of Pismo Beach.

A situation many say is out of control, leaving drivers watching and waiting for some relief.

The average price of a gallon of regular gas nationwide is up 30 cents from just a month ago and almost a dollar from just a year ago.

To find the lowest gas prices in your area, click here.


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