I know it was blocked (whew), but the windfall profit tax bill put before Congress today proposed major Federal penalties for oil and gas price gouging. I think I made my views on price gouging clear last year about this time*, but allow me the luxury of repeating [with a few additions]:
Look, in all seriousness. High gas prices are NOT an economic or political problem. They are the result of the natural workings of markets. There is nothing wrong with the market--and no reason, other than self-preservation and the false appearance of being able to do something, for politicians to intervene. Supplies are decreasing--both temporarily through unexpected refinery shut-downs and permanently through stock depletion [and political instability and the falling dollar and...]. Demand is increasing--both in the U.S. and worldwide. Both of these will cause gas prices to rise and that's good. If gas prices don't rise, we will consume gas even faster and run out sooner. Higher gas prices encourage conservation and encourage investment in alternatives. High gas prices might be uncomfortable while we search for viable long-term solutions, but they're more comfortable than the alternative: no gas and no solutions.
*Definitely a top ten Tim Haab Env-Econ post.