Obama: Fight high gas prices by ending subsidies, fraud

While saying there is no "silver bullet," President Obama said Saturday that regulating energy markets and cutting government subsidies to big oil firms will help control spikes in the prices of gas.

"The truth is: the price of gas depends on a lot of factors that are often beyond our control," Obama said in his weekly address. "But one thing we should control is fraud and manipulation that can cause prices to spike even further."


The president said financial firms had been "able to game the energy markets, distort the price of oil, and make big profits for themselves at your expense." He said the Wall Street reforms passed during his time in office "are helping bring energy markets out of the shadows and under real oversight."

Obama also repeated his call for Congress to end government subsidies to the oil industry.

"At a time when big oil companies are making more money than ever before, we’re still giving them $4 billion of your tax dollars in subsidies every year," he said.

Obama urged Americans to contact their representatives in Washington to eliminate them.

"Your member of Congress should be fighting for you, not for big financial firms, not for big oil companies," he said. 

Facing criticism from Republicans and faltering poll numbers, the White House is shifting its optics on gas prices.

The GOP has seized on the issue as a political winner, especially in the current economy, and blame rising gas prices on the president's policies. 

Freshmen Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) - tasked with delivering his party's weekly message - ticked off the administration's initiatives that he contended will exacerbate the problem, instead of alleviate it. He included Obama's investigation of oil price speculation, as well as the administration's rejection of the Keystone oil pipeline.

Obama will head to Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Ohio next week to tout American-made energy — including an area which houses more than seventy active drilling rigs.

The trip, which includes three battleground states, provides for much-needed photo-op moments of Obama visiting or possibly even speaking in front of active wells, which the White House hopes will hammer home its argument that domestic production has increased under his administration.

"Under my administration, we’re producing more oil here at home than at any time in the last eight years, that’s a fact," he said in his weekly address. "We’ve quadrupled the number of operating oil rigs to a record high, that’s a fact. And we’ve opened millions of acres on land and offshore to develop more of our domestic resources."