Debate Club

Is Obama to Blame for High Gas Prices?

Is Obama to Blame for High Gas Prices?

The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States is now $3.74, a 29-cent increase over the past month. This trend shows no signs of slowing down, as AAA says that today marks the 24th straight day that prices have gone up. According to the Associated Press, gasoline has never been more expensive during this time of the year.

With the summer, and the high gas prices it invariably brings, approaching, people have started to place blame for the spike in prices, and some have centered their attacks on Barack Obama. Blaming presidents for gas prices is nothing new, and the upcoming election hasn’t helped curb the attacks. Critics argue that the president isn’t making an effort to stymie the rise in gas prices by exploiting domestic oil reserves.

“The president actually has some options that make a lot of sense to a lot of Americans,” said Sen. John Barrasso, a Republican from Wyoming, “and that option, of course, is to increase American energy production.”

Obama’s defenders say that the price of gasoline is out of the president’s control. They argue that the reasons behind spikes in oil prices are notoriously hard to diagnose, and they point to tensions with Iran, conflict in Syria, and increased demand from China as the real problems.

Regarding Iran specifically, the president’s situation is especially difficult, as economic sanctions on the country tighten global oil supplies. “It’s a bind for Obama,” Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service, told the New York Times recently. “How do you get tough on Iran without getting tough on American wallets?”

Is Obama to blame for high gas prices? Here’s the Debate Club’s take:


The Arguments

#1
153 Pts
Obama Doesn't Have an Answer for Rising Gas Prices

Yes – Obama Doesn't Have an Answer for Rising Gas Prices

Daniel Simmons Director of State Affairs at the Institute for Energy Research

#2
57 Pts
Obama Can Do Something About the Struggle at the Pump

Yes – Obama Can Do Something About the Struggle at the Pump

Douglas Holtz-Eakin President of the American Action Forum

#3
35 Pts
Obama Can Control Some Factors That Affect Oil Prices

Yes – Obama Can Control Some Factors That Affect Oil Prices

Christopher Prandoni Federal Affairs Manager of Americans for Tax Reform

#4
-8 Pts
Gas Prices Shouldn't Be a Political Football

No – Gas Prices Shouldn't Be a Political Football

David Friedman Senior Engineer and Deputy Director of the Union of Concerned Scientists' Clean Vehicles Program

#6
-22 Pts
The U.S. Can't Control the World Oil Market

No – The U.S. Can't Control the World Oil Market

Severin Borenstein E.T. Grether Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy at U.C. Berkeley's Haas School of Business

#7
-46 Pts
Obama Is Not the Only One to Blame for High Gas Prices

No – Obama Is Not the Only One to Blame for High Gas Prices

Nicolas Loris Policy Analyst in the Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation


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