Is Obama to Blame for Higher Gas Prices?

As the Obama administration released a report documenting its energy achievements earlier this week, a separate Bloomberg survey found most Americans don’t blame the president for rising gas prices as many economists had suspected.

The Bloomberg National Poll results, released on Tuesday, found that sixty-six percent of the 1,002 adults responding thought gas prices were on the rise because of “the oil companies and Middle East nations who are taking advantage of [tensions with Iran] to make more money.”

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The poll found more respondents believed expanding domestic oil drilling was the best way to become energy self-reliant, with 49 percent supporting that approach. Forty-six percent preferred looking toward alternative fuels and conservation.

The finding coincides with a government release that shows record increases in domestic oil production. The White House-released One-Year Progress Report said on Monday that the U.S. cut net oil imports by ten percent, or a million barrels a day, making the country a net exporter for the first time in sixty years. The progress report also highlighted that domestic oil production had reached the highest level in nearly a decade and natural gas production was at an all-time high.

The Department of the Interior is reportedly planning to hold almost a dozen sales in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska. In December, the DoI held its first oil and natural gas lease sale in the Gulf since the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010.

Monday’s report also shows that the government plans to open more than 75 percent of the recoverable oil and gas resources to development.

The country has nearly doubled renewable energy generation from wind, solar, and geothermal sources since 2008. The Bloomberg survey found a deep generational divide on renewable resources, with 59 percent of respondents under 35 preferring alternative fuels and conservation as the best way forward, while the same percent of respondents 65 and older chose increased oil drilling.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Aabha Rathee at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com