White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Tuesday that the administration is employing an all-of-the-above strategy to fight skyrocketing prices at the pump.
The average price of regular gas hit $3.57 on Tuesday, and some analysts believe it will reach $4 per gallon by the summer.
The White House says that it has taken a multitude of steps to mitigate high gas prices, such as tapping into the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve, pushing higher fuel efficiency standards and exploring alternative energy sources. Carney added that President Obama is “very aware” of the rising prices.
Republicans in Congress say Obama could help the situation by approving the Keystone XL pipeline, which they argue would create thousands of jobs. They have accused the president of playing politics with the pipeline, which would transport tar sands from Western Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
Carney shot back against such criticism.
“They decided to play politics with this decision and attach it to the payroll tax cut extension,” he said, referring to last year’s failed GOP effort.
Carney noted that the U.S. Department of the Interior signed an agreement with Mexico over the weekend to gain access to roughly 1.5 million acres of the Outer Continental Shelf. According to DOI’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), “this area contains as much as 172 million barrels of oil and 304 billion cubic feet of natural gas.”
Meanwhile, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich charged this morning that Obama would like gas to become more expensive. Carney dismissed that notion, accusing Gingrich and others in the GOP of over-simplifying the issue.
“This kind of situation that comes periodically…often results in magic solutions being put forward by politicians who may or may not know what they’re talking about.”