GOP: Obama, Dems need to do more to fight high gas prices

Republicans attacked President Obama's energy policies as the cause of high gas prices in Saturday's weekly address.

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 the weekly party message - ticked off the administration's initiatives that he contended will exacerbate the problem, instead of alleviate it.

Obama has "called for raising energy taxes, which the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service says would actually lead to higher prices. He’s asked the Attorney General to ‘reconstitute’ an oil speculation task force that has never reported its work to the public. He quietly pushed members of Congress to prevent construction of the Keystone pipeline - despite overwhelming support for the project and the jobs that it would create - and his lobbying may have made the difference in the vote," Gardner charged.

Under mounting criticism and facing falling poll numbers, Obama addressed the issue in a speech Thursday on his "all-of-the-above" energy policies - a term borrowed from Republicans, who made it popular in the summer of 2008.

Gardner accused the president of failing to follow-through on policies that would bring down the price of gasoline.

“It was good to hear that the president indicated he’d be willing to work with Republicans on energy. In the meantime, the House has continued to pass ‘all-of-the-above’ energy initiatives as part of Republicans’ Plan for America’s Job Creators. Right now, there are at least seven bipartisan, House-passed energy bills sitting in the Democratic Senate, waiting on a vote. Unfortunately, the president has yet to follow through and urge the Senate to act," Gardner said in the address.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), a supporter of the White House energy policy, said that there isn't a quick fix to the issue of rising domestic energy costs.

“Contrary to what some Republicans allege, there is no easy fix. In addition to increasing domestic production, this Administration is also working to help reduce energy costs for American families by promoting energy efficiency and helping our businesses deploy new energy technologies into the marketplace," Hoyer said in a statement late Thursday.

Still, House Republicans intend to make every effort to attach Obama's energy policies to the rising cost of gasoline, especially as they hear from constituents back home.

“People in my district and around the country are fed up with the way the president is handling this issue, and rightfully so. The most forceful thing the president has done about high gas prices is try to explain that he’s against them. Americans are right to expect more from their leaders," the Colorado Republican said.

As part of their renewed effort to perform more oversight of the administration's policies, a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee will delve into energy innovation and Canadian oil sands extraction. A source familiar with the subject matter told The Hill that rising gas prices will be discussed at length.