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In recent weeks, as the price of crude oil and refined gasoline have continued to decline from their summertime highs, an increasing number of people have been jumping on the gas tax bandwagon. Many analysts and pundits have come out in favor of a tax to keep fuel prices high and encourage the use of more efficient vehicles. Two segments however, have been notable by their silence: politicians and the oil industry. I wouldn't expect any spineless politician to actually come out in favor of taxin

According to Helen Clark, Chevron Corp.'s manager of corporate brand and reputation, roughly 10 percent of Americans "hate us and our industry and there's nothing we can do to change their minds." The reason, according to Peter Beutel, president of oil commodities consultant Cameron Hanover, is because most consumers don't understand the industry because they only know about volatile gasoline prices and news reports about big oil's record profits.