The birds are singing, school is winding down for the year, and summer is within sight. Tis the season for summer road trips. And this year, as with most recent summers, gasoline prices are on the rise -- even eclipsing two dollars per gallon at some California gas stations. The several sites assembled here look into the issue of summer's pending gas price hike and examine some of the reasons for fluctuating gas prices. Also of note are some ideas on how to thwart dependence on oil and work towards better energy efficiency.The first site, from this week's _Saint Petersburg Times_ gives an overview of the rising cost of gas. In addition to this is a good summary story from NPR featuring an interview with an Energy Information Administration analyst. On that note, the third link leads to the EIA site itself which, while a bit technical at times, offers an interesting weekly update on gasoline issues, titled This Week in Petroleum. Next, the acronym is tossed around all of the time, but it almost seems like an intangible entity. This fourth link gives OPEC a face and provides quite a bit of information about how gasoline is priced, who to blame during price hikes, and also an interesting statement by OPEC regarding global warming. In tune with fluctuating prices, the fifth link leads to Gaspricewatch.com, a site which seeks to "monitor gas prices across the country so you can get the best deal in your area." While you may not take advantage of the cheapest gas station in your neighborhood, the searchable database reveals the disparity in gas prices across the country. The last two sites seek to offer a more holistic look at the issue of gasoline use. The second to last site, from the National Resources Defense Fund, offers a look at how improved technology can lead to improved efficiency. This brief site provides information on hybrid cars and has testimonials from hybrid drivers. Similarly, the last site, from the Union of Concerned Scientists, also examines the potential for clean cars. Along with the introductory article, the site offers additional information on how fuel cell and hybrid cars work, as well as a guide to buy one.


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