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Entries in Gas Prices (22)

Sunday
Sep092012

Obama’s ‘Gone to Great Lengths’ to Keep Gas Prices High, Ryan Says

Scott Olson/Getty Images(SAN RAMON, Calif.) — Paul Ryan said Saturday the president has gone to “great lengths” to make gas more expensive in this country.

The vice presidential candidate visited Google headquarters in Montainview  to hold a Google+ Hangout where he took questions from supporters at campaign offices all over the country, including a question from a senior citizen in Florida named Ruth. She asked him how he was going to “improve the situation” of sky high gas prices.

“This is not just something that squeezes family budgets, it squeezes businesses,” Ryan answered. “It also gives us a bad foreign policy in that we are so dependent on other countries for our oil imports, it’s the biggest part of our trade deficit and so what’s frustrating about the Obama administration’s policies [is that] they’ve gone to great lengths to make oil and gas more expensive.”

The average national gas price is $3.82 up from $3.66 just a month ago, according to statistics from the American Automobile Association.

Gas prices have risen despite the fact that, according to the U.S. Energy Information Association, domestic crude oil production increased from 5.0 million barrels per day in 2008 to 5.5 million barrels per day in 2010. That same year marked the first time in 13 years the country imported less than 50 percent of the oil the United States consumed, a trend continued in 2011.

According to the United States Energy Information Association, the country consumed 18.8 million barrels a day of petroleum products in 2011.

The House Budget Chairman told the questioner not to “forget” that President Obama “tried to grant, jam through congress, a national energy tax designed to make energy more expensive.”

“Don’t forget the fact that he has tried lots of things to try and prevent drilling for natural gas and oil on public lands,” Ryan said. “Let’s not forget the fact that the regulations coming out of the EPA are making it harder for us to harness home grown American energy.”

A national energy tax is another term for cap-and-trade legislation that is usually used by opponents of the measure. Supporters say the legislation forces companies that pollute to pay, but opponents like Ryan say it is simply another tax on businesses and makes energy pricier for the average American.

Ryan then moved on to how he would lower gas prices in a Romney/Ryan administration, but stayed away from specifics, instead saying domestic production of energy should be increased, something he mentions on the stump daily.

“We have stores of natural gas, oil and the technology to get them in an environmentally safe way right here in the United States. Let’s use it,” Ryan said. “We have an all of the above strategy. More oil, more coal, more gas that’s clean and more renewable energies, nuclear, all of the above. And if we do this we create more jobs in America, we have more produced in America, it lowers our trade deficit, it makes us less dependent on other countries and it lowers the cost of gas, it lowers the cost of home heating, it lowers the cost of doing business in America so that manufacturers have lower input costs so they’re more competitive.”

He then accused the Obama administration of “standing in the way” of bringing down energy costs and again said they were “calling for higher prices” because the president supports cap and trade legislation.

“Having a North American energy independent strategy, which is what Mitt Romney and I are proposing, help all these sectors of our economy, but the Obama administration has been standing in the way of it and look no further than the fact that they are explicitly calling for higher prices because they want this national energy tax that they’ve tried to get through Congress,” Ryan said. “Thankfully it didn’t pass the Senate. It did pass the house, and the president worked hard on it, but if he gets another four more years, I shudder to think what kind of horrible energy policy that he’ll continue with.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr092012

Pump Prices and Politics: Rising Gas Prices Take Less of a Toll, Poll Says

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- With gasoline nudging $4.00 a gallon, a new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds that the price at the pump is taking a toll on Americans’ pocketbooks -- but so far with less pain and fewer political recriminations than in past episodes of gas-price run-ups.

The question: Whether the $4 mark changes all that.

Sixty-two percent in this national survey report financial hardship as a result of higher gas prices; about half that number, 33 percent, say it’s serious hardship. Both are well below their levels -- 77 percent hardship, 51 percent serious -- at their peak in ABC/Post polls, in June 2008.

Unknown is whether the public is doing more to adjust now, or whether $4 represents a psychological barrier beyond which all bets are off. Regular unleaded averages $3.94 a gallon nationwide in U.S. Department of Energy data released Monday; it didn’t rise for the first time since mid-January. That compares with $4.08 -- or $4.31 in today’s dollars -- when self-reported financial hardship peaked in mid-2008.

The political blame also is lower than in some past experiences. Given a list of possible culprits, 21 percent of Americans blame the Obama administration for rising gas prices, vs. a peak, in available data, of 34 percent who blamed the Bush White House for gas prices in March 2005.

More than half in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, instead blame either the U.S. oil companies or foreign oil-producing countries (28 and 25 percent, respectively).

Not blaming Obama directly, of course, isn’t the same as liking how he’s handling the situation. A broad 62 percent of Americans disapprove of the president’s performance on gasoline prices, useful fodder for his GOP adversaries in the election contest ahead. Fifty percent disapprove “strongly,” an unusual level of strong disapproval on any issue.

A near-unanimous 90 percent of Republicans disapprove of the president’s work on the gas-price situation, as do nearly two-thirds of independents -- 64 percent. Democrats cut him much more slack: Thirty-seven percent disapprove, while 54 percent approve.

Hardship induced by gas prices, naturally, is highly income-dependent. From 40 percent among people with household incomes more than $100,000 a year, it jumps to 67 percent among all those who are less well-off. “Serious hardship,” compared to 14 percent among $100,000-plus earners, reaches 43 percent among those with incomes of $50,000 or less.

In another economic comparison, financial hardship is reported by roughly equal numbers -- more than three-quarters -- of people who describe themselves either as working class, or as middle class but struggling. That dives to 46 percent of those who say they’re comfortably middle class or moving up, and 37 percent of those who are better off than that.

But political sentiment also influences assessments of gas-price pain, with people who are more critical of the Obama administration also more apt to report hardship, presumably as a way of expressing their broader discontent with the status quo. Regardless of income, reports of financial hardship because of gas prices are 14 points higher among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents vs. their Democratic counterparts and 19 points higher among very conservative Americans than among liberals.

Blame, of course, is more overtly political: Forty-nine percent of very conservatives, and 41 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, chiefly blame the Obama administration for the recent rise in gas prices. Among leaned Democrats and liberals alike, just seven percent agree.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr032012

Obama Ad Attacks Romney as Pawn of Big Oil

Kevin Lamarque-Pool/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama’s re-election campaign is joining an escalating air war over gas prices and oil subsidies with a new TV ad in several states attacking Mitt Romney as a defender of “Big Oil.”

The 30-second spot, airing in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia, portrays Obama as under attack by wealthy oil companies and their allies who feel threatened by his calls to eliminate taxpayer subsidies and invest in new energy sources.

“In all these fights, Mitt Romney’s stood with Big Oil -- for their tax breaks, attacking higher mileage standards and renewables,” the narrator says.

The ad also reacts to a $3.6 million ad campaign launched last week by the American Energy Alliance -- a nonprofit group with Republican ties -- that is sharply critical of the president for gas prices and his handling of the Keystone XL pipeline and the failed solar start-up Solyndra.

“When you see this ad,” the Obama ad says in response, “remember who paid for it.  And what they want.”

The American Energy Alliance is reportedly funded in part by billionaire oil magnates Charles and David Koch, though the group does not have to disclose its donors or say what they contributed.

“It’s no surprise President Obama is spending his soon-to-be $1 billion war chest to attack Mitt Romney and deflect blame for his failure to control gas prices,” said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul.

Republican National Committee spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said the ad suggests Obama is “panicked” about the impact high gas prices may have on his re-election.

“Instead of implementing solutions, the president is once again trying to mislead voters with a negative attack ad in an attempt to get re-elected,” Kukowski said.  “So much for the hope and change the president promised.”

Obama’s new ad -- called “Remember” -- is his third of the 2012 election campaign and second on the topic of energy, responding directly to attacks by outside political groups.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar232012

Obama Centers Campaign on Gas Prices

Official White House photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama kicked his PR campaign on gas prices into a higher gear Wednesday, giving what is believed to be the first ever presidential interview to AAA.

“I understand what folks are going through because it wasn’t that long ago that I was having to fill up my gas tank and drive to work, shuttle the kids back and forth to school or events, and it takes a big bite out of folks paychecks,” Obama told the motorist group, which has 53 million members.

The interview, which appears online and in AAA publications on Friday, is the latest indication that Obama is worried about rising gas prices and their political impact headed into the summer and fall.

Sixty-five percent of Americans say they disapprove of Obama’s handling of gas prices in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll; 26 percent approve.

Obama told AAA, as he has repeatedly in the past few days, that his “all-of-the-above” approach to energy production will eventually help the country avoid gas price spikes in the long term.  He has said there are no “silver bullets” in the short term.

The president also recalls his former membership in AAA and driving his first car, his grandfather’s 1970s Ford Granada.

“The Ford Granada was not the peak of Detroit engineering,” he said.   “It rattled and it shook, and I don’t think the girls were particularly impressed when I came to pick them up in a Ford Granada.  But you know what?  It moved and so I have fond memories of the fact that it got me to where I needed to go.  That’s about all I can say about the Ford Granada.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar132012

Obama: "As Gas Prices Go Up, People Feel I’m Not Doing Enough"

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- With the price of gas becoming an increasingly critical issue on the campaign trail, President Obama admitted on Monday that “as long as gas prices are going up, people are going to feel like I’m not doing enough.”

“I understand that, because people get hurt when they’re going to the gas station and seeing those prices rise every day,” Obama told ABC’s Orlando, Fla., affiliate WFTV.

The president’s comments came in response to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll that found 65 percent of Americans disapprove of how the president is handling the rising price of gas, while just 26 percent approve.

Obama has defended his “all-of-the-above” energy strategy against Republican attacks in recent weeks, touting the “historic achievements” of his efforts to reduce the nation’s reliance on foreign oil.

Calling for an end to $4 billion in oil and gas subsidies, the president has argued that the nation should invest in alternative energies to ease the pain at the pump.

“Obviously, what we want to do is to get gas prices as low as we can, as quickly as we can, but the most important thing in order to do that is to reduce our demand on oil,” Obama told WFTV.

The president also blasted his Republican opponents who claim they can bring gas down to $2 a gallon.

“Nobody believes that,” Obama said.  “They know that’s just politics.”

As for Republicans calling for increased drilling, the president said they are not telling the truth.

“The issue here is not that we’re not drilling enough.  The problem is we only have 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves and we use 20 percent of the world’s oil,” he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Mar122012

Poll: Rising Gas Prices Have Dented Obama's Rating

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- More than half of Americans for the first time expect President Obama to be re-elected, according to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, but that won’t make it easy.

Even as expectations have moved his way, rising gas prices have dented the president’s rating on handling the economy, his overall job approval has slipped back under 50 percent and he’s reverted to a dead heat in public preferences against Mitt Romney.

Americans by a broad 65-26 percent disapprove of how the president is handling the price of gas, which has gained 49 cents a gallon this year to a national average of $3.79.  Strong critics outnumber strong approvers by nearly four to one.  And it’s important: A vast 89 percent are concerned about the recent run-up in gas prices; 66 percent are “very” concerned about it.

The survey, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, shows a broader impact, underscoring the risk to Obama.  His approval rating on handling the economy overall has lost 6 points in a month, to 38 percent -- a mere 3 points from his career low in October. 

Intensity again is highly negative: 50 percent strongly disapprove of the president’s work on the economy -- up 9 points to a new high in his presidency.

Challenging as that is for Obama, perceived weakness in his Republican opposition counteracts some of these views.  Fifty-four percent of Americans now expect the president to win a second term, up by 8 points from January and by a sharp 17 points from October.

Yet the hurdles for Obama remain serious.  His support against Romney has pulled back: After a 51-45 percent reading last month, Obama and Romney now stand at 47-49 percent among registered voters.  And it’s 49-46 percent matching Obama against Rick Santorum.  Those mark a scant four point gain in support for Romney vs. Obama, and a five point gain for Santorum.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Mar052012

Romney Swipes at Gingrich’s Gas Price Promise

Richard Ellis/Getty Images(SNELLVILLE, Ga.) -- Mitt Romney took an indirect swipe at GOP rival Newt Gingrich on Sunday during an appearance in the former speaker’s home state of Georgia, telling a crowd of hundreds that he won’t “pander” to voters and promise them a certain gas price if he’s elected.

“I’d like to get gas prices down, all right?  That’s number one.  And I don’t think we want to see them go up.  We have a president and his secretary of energy who like the idea of higher and higher gas prices.  Americans are really suffering because of the direction of gas prices and I’m afraid that what you’re going to see over the coming months and perhaps even years will reflect the fact that this president has cut back on licensing in federal lands, cut back on drilling,” Romney said, answering a question at a pancake brunch at Brookwood High School.

Gingrich, who is leading in the polls heading into Georgia’s primary on Tuesday, recently began promising that if he is elected, Americans will not have to pay more than $2.50 for a gallon of gas under his energy plan.

“I want to take advantage of our energy resources by opening up drilling, offshore, [the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge], create more licenses in federal lands, get people drilling for more energy in this country,” said Romney.  “It’s going to take a while for that to come into the system.  I want to get that pipeline coming in from Canada."

“I’m not going to come here and pander to you and say here’s what your gasoline price will be if I do all those things,” Romney continued.  “But I can tell you this: If we develop that energy here in the United States, we’ll help hold prices down, we’ll also keep the money here in the United States, creating jobs here instead of outside the United States.”

Romney seemed to be referring to Gingrich’s energy plan and his subsequent new campaign slogan and logos unveiled in February that tout his promise of a $2.50 per gallon gas price.

The new logo shows a gas pump with the price set at $2.50 with the “Newt 2012″ logo on the pump.  He also promised a new hash tag on Twitter: #250gas.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Mar042012

Newt Gingrich: Obama’s Goal Is ‘$8 or $9 a Gallon’ Gas

Richard Ellis/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich chided the Obama administration on Sunday morning, saying the president has “a goal getting us to pay European-level prices” for gas.

“This president and his secretary of anti-energy, Dr. Chu, have as a goal getting us to pay European-level prices of $8 or $9.  Dr. Chu was clear about that before he became secretary. He wants us to get to be a European-level price structure of $8 or $9 a gallon,” Gingrich said. “He said this week, in testifying in the House, he has ‘no intention of trying to lower the price of oil or the price of gasoline.’ The American people on the other hand would much rather pay $2.50 and be independent of Saudi Arabia than be where we are today. ”

Obama’s campaign senior adviser, David Axelrod, said later in the program that the Obama administration wants lower gas prices even though Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, said recently that lower gas prices are not the president’s main goal.

“We always want lower gas prices, because that’s good for our economy. The question is whether it’s realistic to say, as the speaker did, that there’s some magic fairy dust that you can sprinkle and get $2.50 gas? The American people know that’s not the case,” Axelrod said. “We have been dealing with this for some time. Six months before the president took office, gas was at $4.10. The reason that it was lower when he took office was because we had a worldwide recession. That’s not a strategy for lower gas prices that we want to follow.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Feb272012

Santorum Blames Recession on High Gas Prices

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images(LANSING, Mich.) -- Rick Santorum told an audience Monday that the 2008 recession was caused not by unsustainable housing prices or reckless lending practices, but by high gas prices and Americans who could not pay their mortgages.

"We need to look at the situation of gas prices today. We went into a recession in 2008 because of gasoline prices," Santorum said to an enthusiastic crowd at a hotel. "The bubble burst in housing because people couldn't pay their mortgages because we're looking at four-dollar-a-gallon gasoline. And look at what happened, economic decline."

After his rally, which was packed with families with their children, Santorum said he did not misspeak when he was asked to explain his comments. He said it was a "factor" in the recession and housing bubble.

"Energy prices were spiking in the summer of 2008 and that was a factor," Santorum told reporters.

Santorum was giving one of his last pitches to Michiganders who vote Tuesday, telling them to "stand up." He's head-to-head in polls in Michigan, despite Romney being born and raised in the state and Santorum having none of the organization the former Massachusetts governor has.

The former Pennsylvania senator said he is going to "keep working hard" here and "do the best we can," but he's clearly buoyed by giving his rival such chase in his home state.

"I think the fact that we are doing as well as we are is pretty big deal in this state," Santorum said.

He went after Romney, saying it was a "joke" that the former Massachusetts governor and his super PAC are running ads against him in Michigan. He told Michigan voters they have the opportunity to "stop the joke."

Romney's super PAC, "Restore our Future," has spent $2,517,307 opposing both Newt Gingrich and Santorum. Santorum's super PAC, "The Red, White, and Blue Fund," is spending $1,281,500 on ads.

Santorum got a huge applause line and calls of "Replace him!" when he told the crowd that if President Obama was "at the (nation's) founding he would have written a Declaration of Dependence, not Independence."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Feb262012

Gingrich Makes $2.50 Gas His New Campaign Brand

Richard Ellis/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- In Iowa, Gingrich branded himself as the positive campaigner. In Florida, he became the Mitt Romney bulldozer. For Super Tuesday, Gingrich is trying a new route: a $2.50 gasoline promise.

The Gingrich campaign rolled out a new logo and signs on Saturday: a gas pump with the price set at $2.50, with the Newt 2012 logo on the pump. He also promoted a new hash tag on Twitter: #250gas.

Gingrich has been pushing the $2.50 a gallon gas since President Obama’s speech on energy, saying he chose $2.50 “as a stabilizing price for capital investment reasons.”

“It could easily go down to $2 and here’s a fact, it was $1.13 when I was speaker, it was $1.89 when Obama was sworn in,” Gingrich said Monday in Tulsa. On Friday, Gingrich asked for attendees at his Washington D.C. rally to “give a gallon of gas” to his campaign by donating $2.50 online.

While Rick Santorum’s Daytona 500-sponsored car will likely be burning gasoline appealing to voters on Sunday, and Mitt Romney is scheduled to make an appearance, Gingrich skipped the fanfare in Michigan this weekend and stuck to an almost 40-minute speech on energy, taking apart Obama’s energy speech.

“After I came out with a program to get to $2.50 a gallon gasoline, Obama decided he had to make a speech on energy,” Gingrich said. “I really hope every American will read his speech in Miami. It is a very revealing speech. It is factually false, intellectually incoherent, deeply conflicted on policy and in some places just strange.

Gingrich said Obama believes in small cars and an anti-American energy policy and Americans will have a choice between Gingrich gas prices and Obama’s “fantasies.”

Gingrich went into a narrative about Obama getting letters from citizens about gas prices every day. Two of the letters Obama read said to the president, “I’m not sure I’m going to be able to keep my job if gas prices keep going up so high.”

“But as I read that, it suddenly occurred to me, he didn’t have to be quoting someone else,” Gingrich said. “Let me read this sentence as though Obama had said this about himself, quote, ‘I’m not sure I’m going to be able to keep my job if gas prices keep going up.’”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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