It turns out energy is a greater concern to some Americans than the economy, the war in Iraq or even home foreclosures. In a recent Peter D. Hart Research Associates Inc., 57% of 1,200 people polled said that energy a “very serious” concern. Naturally, since this poll was commissioned by the Renewable Fuels Now Coalition, it should come as no surprise that 51% of those polled also support switching to alternative fuels. Still, I find it curious to believe oil prices are the most important thing effecting people's minds. You know how the other day I mentioned how Yahoo! kept making a habit of posting front page stories on oil prices (which today went down to $112 today)? And yet people have been whipped into a frenzy over the stuff from constant doomsayers in the media. Look, I'm not out of touch with the rest of society's concerns. When I fill up my tank and see the read-out on the gas pump reaching well into the $50 range, I cringe. But the fact is, the oil and gasoline markets sometimes differ. In fact, gasoline today at new record $3.62 per gallon. That hardly seems fair since crude oil prices and domestic energy demand have both dropped, but the current gas prices are based on market speculation. The energy traders aren't concerned about oil prices now, they're already worried about June. Hardly comforting for people who need to fill their tanks, but remember, energy the typical American's energy spending today is actually below what it was in the 1980s. Check out a previous post of mine if you don't believe me. The fact is, Americans need to worry about bigger things that the cost of fuel. I know there are always extreme cases of poor people who are hurting, but the majority of Americans can survive just fine at $4 gasoline if they gave up some of their luxuries. I know it's anti-American to say this, but there are some things you don't need. You DO need to get to work. You DO NOT need to buy that new DVD at Best Buy. During times of a shaky economy, you have to sacrifice your wants to focus on your needs. It it selfish to complain about the high cost fuel while going to the movies every weekend. I'm not saying your should stop buying things. I'm merely trying to remind people that with gas prices going up, you'll just have to buy a little less. –Stephen Payne, Editor, Oil and Gas Investor This Week;