Clevelanders Concerned Over Rising Gas Prices

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CLEVELAND, Ohio --

Clevelanders are feeling the pain at the pump, and so is the rest of the country.

AAA says the nationwide average for gas has risen 29 cents a gallon in the past month, and has gone up for 18 straight days.

"I'm ready to walk to wherever I've got to go," said Jim Escalante. “I could lose a few pounds anyway, but it's kind of crazy."

Susan Buckley, of Cleveland, added, “I think it's ridiculous, but we still have to pay it, don't we? God will always make a way. Still, I think it's awful."

Sharon Fantelli's company provides transportation for medical patients, and the cost of fuel has a major impact on their bottom line.

"It's going to affect the little people bad. I mean, it's going to put a lot of people out of business," said Fantelli.

Among the factors being cited for the rising prices are rising tensions with Iran, that country's threat to cut oil production, and the possibility of war.

Ramona Bennett, of Cleveland, said she's not sure why the price is going up, but she's worried because she now has less money to spend on other necessities

"Wow, I know it's terrible, that's hard on the consumer, but we just have to do the best that we can to survive," said Bennett. “Now who to place the blame on, I don't know. I just know that somebody somewhere is making some big bucks."

Wayne Galloway is on a road trip from his home in New Hampshire and said the jump at the pump will be a major issue in the presidential election.

"People are going to be spending more money on gas, and the economy is barely starting to make a recovery," said Galloway. “Yes, it hurts, and it definitely will have some effect on the election, depending on which spin people get."

On Saturday, President Obama said the latest spike in prices shows the need for America to become less dependent on foreign oil.

"We need a sustained, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy, oil, gas, wind, solar, nuclear, bio-fuels and more," the President said. “We need to keep developing the technology that allows us to use less oil in our cars and trucks."

In response, Republicans said the administration needs to loosen restrictions on domestic drilling.

"President Obama's policy has resulted in an unprecedented slowdown in new exploration and production of oil and gas," said Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, of Texas. “Offshore drilling permits are being issued at half the rate of the previous administration."

But Clevelanders like Jim Escalante are sick of the finger pointing and want real solutions from Washington.

"I think it's more or less us controlling the oil than they are," said Escalante. “I think we're beating up our own people with the prices."

*Visit the FOX8.com Gas Tracker for the latest fuel prices in your neighborhood.

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