WASHINGTON, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Republican lawmakers blamed energy policies from the Obama administration for the recent rise in gasoline prices.
Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives passed a bill last week that called for more domestic oil and natural gas production. It would also transfer U.S. President Barack Obama's authority to approve the Keystone XL pipeline to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, in a message on his Web site, blamed Obama's energy policy for high gasoline prices, unemployment and slow economic recovery.
Gasoline prices in the United States are averaging around $3.56 per gallon, though drivers along the West Coast are reportedly paying as much as $5 per gallon. In general, analysts blame saber rattling with Iran for higher energy prices.
Hastings said the Obama administration had placed roadblocks to domestic energy production. The U.S. Interior Department, which oversees some aspects of domestic energy, said Obama's "blueprint for energy security" is focused on developing oil and natural gas reserves responsibly.