Facing attacks by GOP 2012 rivals over rising gas prices, President Obama is defending his energy policies, releasing a report Monday on progress made by his administration toward energy independence. The report, signed by Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and other administration figures, brags that under Obama, domestic crude oil production is at its highest since 2003, natural gas production is at its highest ever, and foreign oil imports are the lowest since 1995. Obama is also publicly touting the success of his energy agenda in press interviews and speeches.
As other parts of the economy slowly improve, many are blaming Obama for the recent hike in gas prices, which are expected to eclipse a national average of $4 a gallon in the coming months. A recent Washington Post/ABC poll finds that nearly two-thirds of Americans disapprove of Obama's handling of fuel costs. The Republican presidential candidates are making gas prices part of their stump speeches, with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich promising to bring prices down to $2.50 a gallon if elected president. However, some, including U.S. News contributing editor Susan Milligan, are skeptical of how much a president really can do to influence the cost of fuel.
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Previously: Is Barack Obama Turning Around the Economy?