Gas prices out of control? Seven ways lawmakers could help – or hurt.

Gas prices are approaching $4 a gallon and oil prices are above $100 a barrel, leading politicians in Washington and statehouses to propose a flurry of legislation. Some proposals strive to quell voter angst while others might balance budgets by raising gas prices.

Opening up the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Under pressure from Republicans to “do something” about high gas prices, President Obama, backed by Senate Democrats, has floated the idea of selling $500 million worth of federal oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. It's a move economists say would do little to bring down the price of gasoline, though it might get the GOP off his back a bit.

"Where is the president’s plan for rising gas prices? “Monitoring the situation” won’t cut it," wrote Sen. John Barasso (R) of Wyoming in a letter today, chiding the president for "a virtual freeze on American offshore oil and natural gas exploration."

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