US President Barack Obama has admitted his government’s inability to control the skyrocketing energy prices, as the Republicans continue blaming the White House for the inconvenience.
“We know there’s no silver bullet that will bring down gas prices or reduce our dependence on foreign oil overnight,” Obama said in his weekly radio and internet address on Saturday.
“But what we can do is get our priorities straight and make a sustained, serious effort to tackle this problem,” he added.
The American president also dismissed the Republicans’ solutions of drilling, saying, “You know that’s not a plan, especially since we’re already drilling.”
Concerns grow as global oil prices are approaching highs. The rise pushed gasoline prices Friday to a national average of $3.65 a gallon, the highest ever for this time of year in the US.
Analysts say every 1-cent increase in the price of gasoline costs the economy $1.4 billon.
The price surge has triggered anger among consumers in the US and raised concerns over the country’s fragile economic recovery.
The latest price surge came after Iran responded to the EU’s announcement of an oil embargo by cutting crude exports to some European states.
Republicans have made the rising gas prices one of their main attack lines against Obama as there is less than nine months before the new presidential election in the US.
“We can’t slow down global demand for oil and gas, but we can do a lot more here at home to assure that we have the energy we need and to halt skyrocketing costs,” Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison said. “President Obama’s policy has resulted in an unprecedented slowdown in new exploration and production of oil and gas,” he added.