President Obama Addresses High Gas Prices
Obama addressed the increasing costs of gas prices--which now averages nearly $4 a gallon in the U.S., but is well above $4 in many parts of the country--during his weekly address on Saturday.
The Associated Press reported: "Obama insisted in his radio and Internet address that the best answer is a long-term drive to develop alternatives to fossil fuel. He also renewed calls to end $4 billion in subsidies for oil and gas companies. 'Instead of subsidizing yesterday's energy sources,' he said, 'we need to invest in tomorrow's.'"
CNN reported: "Obama offered solutions including the 'safe and responsible production of oil at home, and discussed a task force launched Thursday by Attorney General Eric Holder that has the mission of 'rooting out cases of fraud or manipulation in the oil markets that might affect gas prices, including any illegal activity by traders and speculators.'"
According to auto club Triple A, the national average of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.85--a full dollar higher than this time a year ago. Hawaii has the highest average gas price at an average of $4.53 a gallon, while Wyoming, which averages $3.55 a gallon, has the lowest.
ABC News reported:
The price of crude oil has gone up 38 percent in the past three months, not because of shortages, but because commodity traders have been bidding up the price in fear of what may happen in the Middle East.
Energy analyst, Samantha Gross says that the big oil companies do not have any ability to change the price of oil. Gross suggests that the only way to really bring the price of gas down is to drive less.
Gas prices have weighed heavily on the president's mind as of late, particularly as he kicks off his 2012 presidential reelection campaign. "My poll numbers go up and down depending on the latest crisis, and right now gas prices are weighing heavily on people," he told Democratic donors during his visit to Los Angeles on Thursday.
According to James Thurber, who directs the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University, "Obama is vulnerable on gas prices and the Republicans have and will exploit this as a wedge issue."
Several polls this spring have shown Obama's poll numbers slipping. The latest poll, released by CNN on Friday, had Obama's approval rating at 45 percent, his lowest approval rating this year.
"Gas prices are a major factor in his slide ... along with unemployment and his talk about cuts and tax increases to deal with deficits and debt," Thurber said.