Prayer, Refunds And Theft

Truckers in Mississippi are stealing diesel by the hundreds of gallons, lawmakers in Florida are floating plans to offer commuters a gas-money refund and religious folks in California are resorting to prayer at the pump.

Motorists nationwide are resorting to everything and anything to fight gas prices that continue to set record highs, with the most recent per-gallon price for regular unleaded reaching $3.60.

In Florida, Republican lawmakers are trying to create a gas-money refund program to allow commuters a write-off for a fill-up on gas after their daily ride to work, the Miami Herald reported.

South Florida’s three Republican Congress members – Mario Diaz-Balart, Lincoln Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen – said it’s a common-sense plan that can offer immediate relief to people who commute to work.

Dubbed the CARS Act (an acronym for Commuter Aid and Relief for Suburbs), the proposal would give commuters at least a 10% break in the cost of fuel. The money would be refunded to commuters in their annual income tax, and would vary depending on the distance they travel. A commuter making a 10-mile round trip, for instance, would get a 30% tax break, a 15-mile round trip would get a 50% tax break, and a 25-plus-mile round trip would get a 75% tax break.

Anyone carpooling or using public transportation would get a 100% return on their transportation spending, the Florida Republicans said. Motorists, carpoolers or commuters would have to provide receipts and proof of residence and employment.

Truckers in Mississippi, meanwhile, aren’t waiting for lawmakers to ease fuel prices. Two tractor-trailers pulled up to a closed Wade Quick Stop and BP gas station last week and stole $1,600 worth of diesel, which amounted to about 400 gallons, the South Mississippi Sun Herald reported.

Police said the gas station was closed when the theft occurred, but the truckers managed to alter the pumps to turn them on.

Motorists in San Francisco are foregoing the sin and simply resorting to prayer in hopes of easing the hellishly high gas prices. San Francisco-area community organizer and church choir director Rocky Twyman staged a “pray-in” last week at a San Francisco Chevron station, where attendees asked God for cheaper gas, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

"God is the only one we can turn to at this point," Twyman, 59, told the newspaper. "Our leaders don’t seem to be able to do anything about it. The prices keep soaring and soaring."

Twyman said he isn’t asking God to make OPEC pump more oil, and he isn’t praying for speculative investors to be purged from the New York Mercantile Exchange. Rather, he and other faithful followers are asking God to deliver them from high gas prices, The Chronicle reported.

"God, deliver us from these high gas prices," Twyman said. "That’s all they have to say."

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