Europe has had high gas prices for a long time. The response has been more fuel efficient cars. I understand the protesters frustration. If you can't afford a small diesel and you can't afford to maintain your current vehicle, you're screwed.
As for what we do in this country, I think a nice calm approach would be good. The current administration will, of course, trade off anything for pumping oil. They don't care if it's wilderness, just offshore our beaches, or in Central Park for that matter. They just want to pump oil and do some 'bidness'. I don't think there is enough oil involved available in the time frame where it would matter for this to make much of a difference. There is enough oil available from current sources to get us to the next energy source. We just need to make developing that source a priority and get there rather than milking the current crisis for all it's worth.
Sorry for the non car discussion..