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GOP blames Obama for high gasoline prices

Sept. 11, 2012 at 9:08 AM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- A leader in the U.S. House of Representatives said President Barack Obama was to blame for the high price of gasoline across the country.

The U.S. Energy Department reports the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline for the week beginning Monday was $3.84, up 7 cents compared to prices in August.

Retail gasoline prices topped $4 a gallon in some markets in late August, however, as operations along the southern U.S. coast were shut down because of Hurricane Isaac.

U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, in a message on his Web site said high gasoline prices translates to higher prices across the board.

Hastings blamed the Obama administration for blocking offshore oil and natural gas development, which, he said, would increase U.S. energy security.

The Energy Department had said U.S. drivers are driving farther on less gasoline because of improvements in fuel efficiency.

Obama last month said his administration finalized plans to increase fuel economy standards for passenger vehicles to 54.5 miles per gallon by model year 2025.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate for president, issued a statement describing Obama's proposal on fuel economy standards as "extreme."

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