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Record Gasoline Grips Europe While California Faces $4 a Gallon

Gasoline prices are setting records across Europe and exceeding $4 a gallon in California as the rise in crude oil caused by the conflict in Libya punishes companies and consumers.

Households are cutting back on travel, cinema visits and groceries in the U.K., where prices jumped to 130.68 pence a liter ($8.06 a gallon) yesterday, according to research from the Automobile Association, Britain’s largest motoring organization. Prices set records in the Netherlands and Italy today. The current average U.S. gasoline price is near a two-year high at $3.81 a gallon, according to the AAA website.