But an administration official said the White House expects Congress to soon take up a measure ending some subsidies. The official requested anonymity to avoid speaking publicly without authorization.
Criticized by Republicans for taking too much credit for increasing oil production at home, Obama made sure to credit both his administration and that of his predecessor, George W. Bush, without mentioning Bush by name. The move seemed intended on stripping away that line of criticism from his opposition.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Obama has offered nothing to show that "raising taxes on American energy production will lower gas prices and create jobs." White House spokesman Jay Carney shot back that oil companies are making big profits and "it doesn't make sense for the taxpayer to cushion their already very robust bottom line."
Last year, a report by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service that was getting renewed attention on Thursday concluded that Obama's oil and gas proposals "may have the effect of decreasing exploration, development and production, while increasing prices and increasing the nation's foreign oil dependence."
Obama also went further than he has in the past in describing how the global standoff with Iran is driving up the cost of gasoline.
"The biggest thing that's causing the price of oil to rise right now is instability in the Middle East — this time it's Iran," Obama said. "A lot of folks are nervous about what might happen there, so they are anticipating there might be a big disruption in terms of flow."
Associated Press writers Ken Thomas in Woodstock, Ga., and Kasie Hunt in Fargo, N.D., contributed to this report.
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