Energy Dept: High Gas Prices Here to Stay

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Today the U.S. government confirmed what analysts have been saying for months: gas prices will hover around $4.00 a gallon through next year.

This comes as oil continues to climb on the global market.

The Energy Department projects gasoline prices are likely to peak at $4.15 a gallon in August this year, and won't go much lower after that.

And as you can imagine, that's not welcome news for angry drivers across the country.

Drivers are fed up.

"I thought it would continue to increase, but I didn't think it would come this fast," one driver said. "It's really gotten household budgets just really out of whack."

And not just household budgets.

Cities also have to make drastic changes.

In Nashville, Tenn, more than 10 percent of patrol cars, fire engines and public works trucks are being put in park... permanently.

"Anytime you have these kinds of rising fuel costs, you have to look at measures on how you can stay within your budget," Nancy Whittemore, director of General Service in Nashville, Tenn. explained.

In Tulsa, Okla., there are new rules at the public school bus barn.

To cut fuel costs, drivers can no longer leave the buses running when they're just sitting there. They also cannot take off too fast.

Disobey, and you face serious disciplinary action.

"Gas prices are going up and we don't know where they are going to end, and it's taking a lot of money out of the educational process out of the district," Ttway Burkhalter of Tulsa Public Schools said. "We have to do what we can to save fuel."

There are some bright spots.

In one Detroit suburb, there was a 3-hour 99 cent gas giveaway, thanks to a local radio station.

No surprise-- it led to massive lines. But for some, the wait was worth it.

"I don't care if I had to wait an hour and a half in line... a dollar a gallon, you can not beat it," a supporter said.

The Energy Department predicts gasoline will average $3.92 a gallon through 2009.

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