Mississippians Spend More Of Income On Fuel Than Any Other State

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Drivers in the South have been hit hardest by soaring U.S. gasoline costs and state governments there should take more steps to help cut fuel consumption, said a report released on Tuesday.

Average motorists in Mississippi spent nearly 8 percent of their incomes on gasoline in 2007 and drivers in South Carolina and Georgia spent more than 7 percent, according to the report released on Tuesday by environmental group the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Meanwhile, drivers in the Northeast spent the least amount of their incomes on fuel with Connecticut motorists paying just over 3 percent. Drivers in New York spent about 3.3 percent and motorists in Massachusetts spent about 3.5 percent.

The report comes as the federal government has been hard-pressed to protect consumers, already hit by the housing and credit crunches, from average retail gasoline prices that are bubbling near record levels of above $4.11 per gallon hit earlier in the month.

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