Courage is the dearest commodity - when no one has any. So, let's ask the question: Who gets the money when government fails to step up and do what's needed.
We saw the demand for gasoline shrink substantially when prices went toward $5.00 / gal - but not before that. So, we learned that there is a point at which US consumer behavior would change - contrary to the baloney we were being served up by the pundits that said Americans would drive their gas guzzlers no matter what the price - so there was no sense in trying to do anything to forc conservation. But, low and behold when prices finally were forced to the extreme the demand did go down and conservation went into effect - reducing our dependence on foreign oil suppliers.
The answer (well my answer really) to the question "where does the money go?" is that with low gasoline taxes in the US then our money ends up going to the oil suppliers. But, if taxes on gasoline were double (or triple) then the higher prices would reduce consumption ( a good thing), we learned that already, and more of the money would then stay in the US and benefit consumers in the form of financing government - instead of financing the oil producers.
Now don't sneer at "financing government" - down deep, like it or not, you really know that our schools, our roads, our businesses, our health care, our social security & medicare are all "financed by the government"
Since the price of gasoline and other fuels is now as dependent on international tensions and speculators as anything else I say we might as well be keeping as much of it at home as we can!
Time for voters to show (by voting) their elected representatives that they will no longer be any excuses if they don't do what so obviously needed.