A heated issue now being debated amongst President Obama, congressional members, and the general public is the tumultuous rise in gas prices that Americans are now faced with daily. House Republicans have ramped up efforts to expose Democrats and the President for their purported resistance to oil development and energy independence.
Reports claim that U.S. crude oil production has increased over the past couple years, but GOP lawmakers railed against the Obama administration for standing in the way of even more production. The GOP accused the administration of bogging down the oil and gas industry through stringent regulations on hydraulic fracturing, or "fracing," and a moratorium on deep-water drilling — prompted by the BP oil spill in 2010, which leaked 4.9 million barrels of oil into the ocean — that immobilized a chief source of crude off the Gulf Coast.
"I think we need a true all-of-the-above energy policy," Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) affirmed. "Not one that is saying it but doing the opposite."
However, Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar protested against such allegations, and assured that the administration would take all suggestions into consideration to stunt the precipitous rise in gas prices. "All options are on the table because the president obviously feels the pain that the American people are facing," Salazar stated when asked about the possibility of tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which stockpiles nearly 700 million barrels of emergency oil and is supposed to be reserved for national emergencies.
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