Pumped-up prices: $4 per gallon gasoline may be coming in 2010

Has this been a trying decade for the average American, or what? It's bad enough that we've have had to cope with stagnant wages and tax increases at just about every level. But in the months ahead, we may have to deal with yet another nightmare: surging gasoline prices.

Factors are lining up that could end up pushing gas prices back over $4 per gallon sometime next year. If you're already exasperated about prices at the pump, you're not the only one. Gasoline demand in 2009 has been comparatively low -- take 7.6 million Americans out of the workforce through layoffs -- yet gasoline's price has gone up, not down.