Barrasso said President Obama also indicated in his 2008 presidential campaign that he was in favor of a gradual rise of gasoline prices.
“Now the president, when he was a senator and running for president, he didn't seem to think high energy prices were a problem, he just wanted the price to go up gradually,” said Barrasso. “He said he thinks the problem is when things go up too quickly.”
Barrosso called on the administration to allow more domestic oil drilling in places like Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico.
Oil prices rose more last week than they have in two years. The national average price of a gallon of gasoline was $3.517 on Tuesday, according to AAA. Just one year ago, it was only $2.75.
White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley suggested on Sunday that the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) could be tapped to help alleviate gas prices.
Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) also urged the administration to focus on growing domestic supply.
“What about all of other vast energy resources that we are taking off the table and shutting down?” asked Vitter. “What about that supply? That’s the first place we should turn.”
Vitter criticized Daley for his suggestion to open the SPR
“With regard to Mr. Daley’s suggestion of opening up the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, you know the SPR is just that,” said Vitter. “It's supposed to be strategic, for crises, for our national security as a country. It's not the Salazar Petroleum Reserve, to open up, to cover up the complete ineptitude and foot-dragging at the Interior Department in terms of issuing permits for our own drilling.”