News / USA

US Motorists Fume, Politicians Bicker Over High Fuel Prices

Michael Bowman

A spike in gasoline prices has U.S. motorists angry and economists worried about damage to the nation’s fragile economic recovery. Petroleum price volatility also is providing ample political fodder in an election year.

During the past month, gasoline prices have risen 20 percent or more in some parts of the country, draining drivers’ wallets as they fill up their gas tanks.

“It is very disturbing. It is very disheartening when you have to go to the gas pump now,” said one motorist.

“They are really robbing your pocket,” said another.

“It is absolutely maddening,” said a third motorist.

There is sympathy from gasoline vendors like Juan Diaz in Miami, who pass along higher fuel costs to their customers.

“People here complain all the time. And that is direct money that is coming out of the economy to fill your tank,” said Diaz.

Speculators have bid up the price of oil amid tensions surrounding Iran, a major supplier of crude, and signs of a U.S. economic recovery expected to boost demand for energy. U.S. domestic oil production is up, but America’s capacity to convert crude into gasoline is not.

Republicans blame President Barack Obama, who has limited new drilling and rejected an oil pipeline from Canada. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell weighs in.

“We have now reached the point where gasoline prices are 100 per cent higher than they were when the president came to office.  America is an energy-rich country. It is high time we began to exploit the resources we already have,” said McConnell.

The president accuses opponents of election-year political opportunism and a short-sighted fixation on oil drilling.

“We cannot just drill our way to lower gas prices,” said Obama.

He continues to champion greater fuel economy and alternative energy sources.



“We need a sustained, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy: oil, gas, wind, solar, nuclear, biofuels, and more. We need to keep developing technology that allows us to use less oil in our cars and trucks,” said Obama.

Not everyone is complaining about higher fuel prices. Car dealerships report a surge in demand for fuel-efficient vehicles.

“It has been a great week, almost double and triple in sales just over the past five days,” said Troy Pelz, a Chevrolet dealer in California.

For everyone else, a somber reality: Gasoline prices could rise even further in a few months, during the summer-vacation season.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid