President Obama said Saturday there are no easy answers for lowering gas prices, which are hovering around $4 a gallon, and criticized politicians who push plans to immediately reduce the price of gas.
"You see people trying to grab headlines or score a few points," Obama said in his weekly address. "The truth is, there’s no silver bullet that can bring down gas prices right away."
According to AAA's tracking, the national average price for a gallon of regular gas is $3.86, which is 4 cents per gallon more than a week ago and nearly $1 more than a year ago.
The president laid out his own plan for controlling prices, which focus on ending price gouging but also call for an end to the $4 billion in federal subsidies for oil and gas firms.
He said there are some steps the U.S. can take to improve the situation such as ramping up domestic oil production and ending subsidies for oil and gas firms.
"That’s $4 billion of your money going to these companies when they’re making record profits and you’re paying near-record prices at the pump. It has to stop," Obama said.
"Instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy sources, we need to invest in tomorrow’s," he added, voicing his opposition to a proposal before Congress that would cut the government's clean energy investments by 70 percent.
Obama also pointed to a Justice Department task force launched Thursday with the sole aim of discovering fraud or manipulation in the oil markets, such as illegal trading or speculators, that may impact prices.
"We’re going to make sure that no one is taking advantage of the American people for their own short-term gain," Obama said.
The president acknowledged the added hardship of rising gas prices while the country is still recovering from a prolonged recession but said there are no quick solutions. Obama suggested Thursday that his lagging poll numbers are due to high gas prices nationwide.