Video: Global view of gas prices

By Correspondent
NBC News
updated 5/2/2006 7:45:27 PM ET 2006-05-02T23:45:27

Record gas prices in America? Don't expect much support from the rest of the world. In Britain, drivers pay more than twice as much to fill up. Tuesday, a gallon of gas cost $6.56.

"We don't have much sympathy for the Americans griping about their gas prices, I'm afraid," says Ruth Bridger with the British Automobile Association.

The prices here are so high, farmer Todd Cameron-Clarke is worried. He logs 600 miles a week, taking his organic meat to market.

"It's horrific," he says. "You're finding now we're having to increase our prices to try and maintain the same margins we had last week."

Gas prices are so high because two-thirds of the cost at the pump is tax. In Britain, it pays to conserve. Downsize from an SUV to a subcompact like a SmartCar, and not only will you get 60 miles per gallon, you'll save 80 percent on your annual road tax.

In Hong Kong, gas was at $6.95 a gallon Tuesday. No wonder, then, that driving is for the wealthy, and most take public transport.   

In Kuwait, gas was just 82 cents a gallon Tuesday, but a billion barrels of oil pumped from the desert every year means gas is cheaper than water and that Kuwait will run dry in another century.

In Brazil, with gas at $4.60 a gallon, the goal is to be self-sufficient in energy. They're making their own fuel from vast fields of sugar cane. More than 70 percent of new cars in Brazil are designed to run on ethanol. 

"I think it's fantastic," says ethanol user Jeffrey Dean. "Like I say, to me it's identical to the gasoline. The performance is identical. I can save a lot of money at the pumps."

And the lesson learned from the pain at the pump overseas?

There's an awareness that conserving and using alternative energy now will soften the blow when the oil wells run dry.

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