The Good Old Days
The recent price increase is due to the instability in Libya. Libya is a major oil producer, so the possibility of losing this source is causing the price to rise.
Crude oil is exported from the Middle East to Europe, then exported from Europe to the United States. In the U.S. it is refined and some of the resulting oil products are exported to Europe and Asia. Sort of blows a hole in the buying local philosophy of shopping.
Plan on prices rising even more dramatically. Unfortunately, gas prices don't just affect the cost of driving. Farmers pay more to produce food. It costs more to transport food. And it will cost more to buy electricity to store the food. So, food prices rise even more. The same is true of other consumer goods.
How do we handle this problem now? Drive less. Drive vehicles that get good gas mileage. Stock up your pantry. Buy used goods. Repair rather than replace. Basically, live frugally.
I remember buying gas for 25 cents per gallon when I was a teenager. Boy, am I getting old!