HOUSTON: In two years, the average American is paying one-third more for gasoline, Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) noted today. The cost of gasoline for the average American has risen from $1,986 annually in 2009 to $2,655 – a 34 percent increase. For American families, this means an annual fuel bill of $4,155.

Gasoline Costs Taking Larger Portion of Family Budgets. Rising cost of gasoline combined with shrinking income is forcing families to spend more of their annual take home pay at the pump. Consider the facts: In 2009, gasoline prices average $2.35. The average family consumers around 1,100 gallons of gasoline a year, according to DOT and EIA.

2009:     ($2.35 a gallon x 1,100 gallons = $2,585)

2011:     ($3.52 a gallon x 1,180 gallons = $4,155)

The Associated Press reported that in 2011 the American family’s gasoline spending reached a 30-year high. The average American family spent 8.4 percent of what the median family takes home [$50,054 in 2011], “the highest share since 1981.”

Compare that to 2009 when the average American family spent 5.1 percent of real median household income [$49,777 in 2009 dollars; $52, 190 in current dollars] on fuel expenditures.

“Pocketbook issues matter to voters of all stripes,” said David Holt, President of CEA. “Motorists know they are paying more at the pump, a lot more. What they don’t know is how the next President of the United States will change policies to make energy more abundant and more affordable.

“I wouldn’t let the moderator interrupt, but I urge both President Obama and Governor Romney to be very specific during the debates on what they would do to boost American energy.”