Energy chairman warns US headed toward 1970s-style crisis

The U.S. could be heading toward an energy crisis of a type unseen since the 1970s, the chairman of the House's Energy panel said.

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, warned of elevated prices for gas and other energy sources along the lines of what the U.S. experienced under President Carter.

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Asked by the conservative website Newsmax if energy prices were heading toward a '70s-style crisis, Upton said: "Well, we are.

"Who knows where this is going to stop? How long is this turmoil going to last?"

Video of the interview was posted over the weekend. 

Upton echoed GOP criticism of President Obama, whom the Michigan Republican blamed for not allowing permits for additional energy exploration, which Upton said would help bring down prices.

The GOP chairman's words are part of a new barrage by Republicans against Obama over the increased price of energy, especially gasoline, in recent weeks. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) led House Republicans in a push against the White House's energy policies last week, and GOP presidential candidates have also joined in the fun; Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) has been a frequent critic of Obama's energy policies, and will level more criticism in a speech Monday in the president's hometown of Chicago.

The president addressed the increasing energy prices in a Friday news conference, in which he renewed calls for lawmakers to work on energy reforms, including encouraging more efficient technology and some increased energy production. Obama also suggested he would be willing to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserves to provide relief from prices if they get too high.

He also shot back at Republican critics, who have suggested Obama is purposefully keeping prices high.

"[A]ny notion that my administration has shut down oil production might make for a good political sound bite, but it doesn’t match up with reality," Obama said.