Obama Struggles to Minimize Fallout Over High Gas Prices

Obama Struggles to Minimize Fallout Over High Gas Prices

(AP) Obama strikes back at GOP critics on gas prices
By ANNE GEARAN
Associated Press
WASHINGTON
President Barack Obama is hitting back at Republican criticism of his energy policies and his role in controlling gasoline prices.

Obama used his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday to underscore his administration’s work to develop alternative energy sources and increase fuel efficiency.

He accused Republicans of a “bumper sticker” approach to solving the nation’s energy problems.

It’s a familiar theme _Obama stuck many of the same chords during two out-of-town trips this week and during a White House news conference on Wednesday.

In the Republican weekly address, North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple accused the Obama administration of blocking projects and technology that would allow greater energy production. He singled out the Keystone XL pipeline project, which Obama deferred.

Obama said there wasn’t enough time to properly study the project ahead of the deadline forced upon him by Republican congressional lawmakers. On Thursday, the Democratic-controlled Senate blocked another Republican bid to speed approval of the pipeline, which would stretch from Canada to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Also Thursday, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Obama is partly to blame for higher prices at the pump.

Gasoline prices paused this week in their march toward $4 per gallon.

After 39 straight days of increases, prices fell nearly a penny from Tuesday to Thursday and held steady on Friday at $3.758 per gallon for the national average. The lull won’t last long, and gas is still nearly 50 cents higher than it was at the beginning of the year.

Despite Romney’s assertions, economists say there’s not much a president of either party could do about gasoline prices. The current increases at the pump have been driven by fears of a war with oil-rich Iran and by higher demand in the U.S. as well as in China, India and other growing nations.

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Online:

Obama address: www.whitehouse.gov

GOP address: www.youtube.com/gopweeklyaddress

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