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Gas prices are rising faster than members of the media can cover the story. While doing a stand-up about higher gas prices, one California reporter turned around to see the station owner changing the price on the signpost by ten cents a gallon.

Talk about great timing.

The timing for President Obama, though, is not good. The President has virtually nothing to do with current spikes in prices at the gas pump, but his political opponents will not be deterred in an election year trying to put one of the most unpopular trends with voters and drivers on the White House doorstep.

This week, GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum blamed Obama's "radical environmental policies" for the higher prices at the pump, suggesting Obama purposely aims to keep prices high to stave off global warming by discouraging people from driving. Newt Gingrich said the president "has been outrageously anti-American energy," and is trying to mount a Facebook campaign that aims to get people to "like" $2.50 per gallon gasoline. The former speaker doesn't offer a lot of specifics on what he is going to to do to lower gas prices, but facts and reality can be in short supply in an election year.

President Obama will deliver a speech tonight at the University of Miami on the subject of energy policy.

The president is on a roll with rising approval ratings, better job numbers and a rising stock market. But rising gas prices is a potential election-year mess. The national average price for regular gas has risen 29 cents per gallon since December.

Obama is expected to trumpet a comprehensive, "all of the above" energy policy promoting increased domestic production, improved fuel efficiency standards and greater investment in clean energy innovation. He is also expected to talk about a new federal standard for fuel economy: the new-car automotive fleet must achieve 54.5 mpg by 2025.

That standard, say many automotive analysts and executives, will move some 80% of new vehicles by that year to be hybrid, electric, diesel and natural gas powered.

Already, new-vehicle shopping sites, like AOL Autos, are seeing consideration and interest in hybrid vehicles climb off the recent gas price hikes and forecasts of even higher prices. The National Automotive Dealers Association's first-quarter report shows hybrid sales up 42 percent over last year.

The factors driving up prices include the closure of two major refineries in the Eastern U.S., rising demand for gasoline in China and oil in Northern Europe and uncertainty over Iran's threats to disrupt oil flow through the Strait of Hormuz.

Still, the Republican National Committee will release a web video today that features a clip of Obama's singing of "Sweet Home Chicago" during a White House blues concert behind a chart showing gas prices rising from $1.85 per gallon when he took office in 2009 to $3.59 this month. The ad is titled "Obama's Got America Singing the Blues." Gas prices had topped $4 per gallon during 2008, but plummeted in time for Obama's inaugural as demand fell during the economic meltdown that began in the Fall of that year.

Another factor driving gas prices up is an improving U.S. economy, which increases demand for gasoline.

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      • 3 Years Ago
      Oil companies won't build refineries and closed many on the east coast because they know their days are numbered. There are more drilling leases now under the Obama admin than Bush ever had. http://www.google.com/imgres?q=oil+drilling+leases+under+the+obama&um=1&hl=en&sa=N&rlz=1C2GGGE_enUS420&biw=950&bih=644&tbm=isch&tbnid=tXbGdLeKnwlagM:&imgrefurl=http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/obama-unchained-oil-and-gas-exploration-in-the-u-s/&docid=G2C9uNQ2mmHpjM&imgurl=http://www.wtrg.com/rigs_graphs/short/rigus.gif&w=800&h=600&ei=6pJGT_nEBeXk0QGtxOmqDg&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=650&vpy=4&dur=5189&hovh=194&hovw=259&tx=194&ty=117&sig=117626500358504612680&page=15&tbnh=137&tbnw=183&start=224&ndsp=16&ved=1t:429,r:7,s:224
      • 3 Years Ago
      What do you mean that there is nothing Obama can do about oil and gas proces? What a lame statement. But then, it is coming from the libeal press. Obama has done everything he could to keep gas prices high. That is his goal, $10.00 a gallon gas. What can he do to lower the prices? Open the golf to drilling, open Alaska to drilling, let the oil companies dirll in the USA, open the tar sand fields for conversoin to oil. Approve the oil pipe line from Canada. Yas Gracie, there are many things Obama can to to lower prices but that is not in his game plan. He wants high gas prices. That slows growth.I talked to merchants in the last few days that have put off expanding because of rising gas prices. Do not say there is nothing Obama can do to lower the cost of gas. That is a bunch of bull!!!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Strange how the media see the prices rising, sees the President pushing the "Government Motor Company Hybrids" using your tax dollars to subsidize them, has heard the Energy guy Mr Tu (?) say we need to get the price of gas up to sell more green cars! BUT Nobody in the media has connected the dots! He is letting th prices spiral up and out of control so he can sell cars, push the green agenda, and keep the voters in his pocket. Am I the only person on earth that can see that??????????
      • 3 Years Ago
      Again, look at the gas station - CHEVRON. Chevron & Shell always sell their gas 10 cents or more than the other gas stations. Why? Perhaps Chevron & Shell should look into where the other gas stations are buying their less expensive gas. Seems to me that the these two gas companies are being shafted .... NOT! I say let's fill up at the other low-priced gas stations around the country, by doing that they will lower their gas prices due to the volume they will be selling. Stop supporting Chevron & Shell!
      • 3 Years Ago
      AOL, your political bias is pissing me off. Stop it already. Obama is closer to causing complete destruction of our country than ever before in history. We all remember comments to the opposite when a different party president was in office. Get fair, or get lost.
      • 3 Years Ago
      4.99 a gallon??? HOLY F&^*%^&*$!!!! Fk California and their raping economy.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hey Mr. so called reporter. Does your leg tingle when Obama speaks like Chris Mathews?? " The factors driving up prices include the closure of two major refineries in the Eastern U.S., rising demand for gasoline in China and oil in Northern Europe and uncertainty over Iran's threats to disrupt oil flow through the Strait of Hormuz." How is this not a responsibility of the president??? All of these things are interconnected and there is no policy by this president to counter it.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Eileen Murphy - THAT attitude is exactly the problem in this country!! WHEN are people going to STOP CRYING TO THE GOVERNMENT TO FIX EVRYTHING??????? It is NOT THEIR JOB to regulate the price of gas!!!!!! Their ONLY job is to PROTECT OUR LIBERTY. That is IT. ALL the rest of what they intrude upon is as a result of people like you demanding that they stick their giant overgrown nose in where it just plain DOES NOT BELONG. This country is a raging unholy MESS because of it. You cannot blame the government - all 545 of them - for what the people - numbering over 300 million - ALLOW to happen. And you cannot call on the government to fix everything for you unless you want them to also OWN you. ENOUGH GOVERNMENT ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Just how much money does the federal government make from gas prices being as high as they are? If you take their tax on gas, tax on crude oil, tax on importing, distribution, and sale of gas, tax on wages for refinery workers, penalty taxes for excessive windfalls to oil companies, isn't it any wonder why the government does not do anything to reduce gas prices? If they make 10% on every gallon sold, doesn't it make sense for gas to sell at $4.00 verses $2.00? Stop and imagine what would happen when you take all of these taxes away and then expect our government to operate with that type of a loss. They have to make that tax money so if they don't make it there, we will see it in income tax, retail tax, or some other form of tax. Accept the cost of gas and understand it is not only the oil companies who make a profit at only 2% of sales, it is also our governemnt who benefits from the $4.00 a gallon cost to the consumer.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why doesn't anyone running for President mention the gas prices?Oh, Newt did, He's got my vote.... Blanche Breisch, PA.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Here we go again with price gouding, I know the spelling its right, but here we go again. Thank you to the idiot in the white house. Plus I wont get an engery car, not for me, and safety comes first, reasons why I am buying a dodge jouney.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Obama is full of Lies. His agenda is to push green and not use or buy oil but that is where he is absolutely wrong because The United States is not ready for electris vehicles, servicing, charging and replacement parts like batteries. What do the fire/ambulance crews do when people are trapped inside after an accident A whole lot of question and No answers because Obama has no clue.
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