Shoe’s On Other Foot: Now Republicans Blaming Democrats For High Gas Prices

As The Cost Soars, Lawmakers Scramble To Come Up With Logical Solutions

WHITE PLAINS (CBSNewYork) — The last time gas topped $4 a gallon was during the last presidential election. And now the Republicans are blaming the Democrats instead of visa versa.

But are there any solutions? CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer has the politics at the pump.

Oil prices are sitting at a 9 month high after Iran announced it is cutting off crude oil to Britain and France in retaliation for nuclear sanctions. But some are blaming President Barack Obama for the sky-high gas prices, claiming he wants to help enforce the “use-less gas lifestyle” he wants Americans to adopt.

“We should make gas prices go up as high as they are in Europe and this way people will use less gasoline. That’s the mentality of the Obama administration. Now in Europe prices are at $7 to $9 a gallon, well, the president’s on his way there,” Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm said.


“No smart politician wants high gas prices,” Sen. Charles Schumer said in response. “If the Saudis were to say tomorrow that for every barrel of oil the Iranians stop we will produce a new one, we the Saudis, the price of oil would go down $10 to $15.”

But New York’s senior senator stopped short of saying just how President Obama should twist the arms of the Saudis.

“Friendly persuasion,” Schumer said. “It ought to tell the Saudis, ‘You know, we’re trying to keep Iran in line by squeezing them economically,’ but they ought to pump more oil so the price doesn’t go up.”

Added New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand: “In this difficult economy New Yorkers can’t continue to bear more pain at the pump. For the short term, we must work with our allies in the Middle East to increase oil production and tap the strategic petroleum reserve if necessary. Part of the longer term solution must be continuing to invest in renewable energy sources to decrease our dependency on foreign oil and increasing the fuel efficiency of cars on the road.”

Pump prices hit an all-time high in New York City — $4.41 a gallon — during the last presidential election. Only then, it was then-candidate Obama attacking then-President George W. Bush.

“At a time when oil companies are posting record profits consumers are paying $4 a gallon. That is wrong,” Obama said back on April 1, 2008.

There are other ideas about what to do.

“I think we that we should be looking at a very simple model. If you drill it in America, you keep it in America,” New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez said.

Menendez said don’t sell oil produced in America abroad. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney said we need to go on a gasoline diet.

“We need to move for energy independence by being more efficient in transportation high speed rail, the standards for car efficiency,” Maloney said. “We also need energy independence in our lifestyles.”

“I don’t believe that we should be punishing the American people right now with these gas prices just because the president believes they should be doing it a different way. To me that’s anti-American,” rep. Grimm said.

Right now there’s a lot of finger pointing and shouting, but the pressure will really mount for some action here at the pump the closer we get to the November elections.

The average gas price reached $3.87 in New York City on Tuesday, $3.86 in Connecticut and $3.51 in New Jersey.

And it’s not even summer yet — the usual time consumers can expect this sort of thing.

Gas prices have been steadily increasing for 13 straight weeks. Many places here are above $4. That magic number is enough to make pulling into a gas station painful.

Drivers are reeling from a sudden spike in gas prices are now being warned to brace themselves because it’s going to get much worse.

“I think they’re ridiculous. I just came from Connecticut. There it’s $3.89, here $4.49 along the highway. It seems like it’s getting out of hand right now,” driver Tom Salierno told CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown.

One Citgo station along the Hutchinson Parkway is charging $4.49 for a gallon of regular gas. That has drivers watching their consumption.

“Hopefully enough to get me to a gas station where they’re a little cheaper, on Long Island,” said driver Michael Cacciola.

Just a few miles away, gas was still above the $4 mark, but much cheaper: $4.09.

Lhadi Alrefai, the manager of a Mobil station in Schylerville of the Bronx, explains the prices this way: As oil prices rise, wholesalers jack up their prices. Today, that’s $3.40 to the supplier. Then there’s 65 cents in state and federal taxes. That leaves just pennies in profit for Alrefai.

“Let’s say you get $20, which is almost 5 gallons,” said Alrefai. “You get less than a dollar [in profit]. Way less than a dollar.”

New York and Connecticut have the highest gas taxes in the country. New Jersey has some of the lowest — taxes there are about half what they are in New York.

WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau With Calls To Cap The Gas Tax There

Gas prices are going up alright. But if you’re buying gas in Connecticut you’ll really feel the pinch.

In the Nutmeg State, there are two taxes on gasoline at the pump. One of them — the gross receipts tax — rises and falls with the price of gas.

Now that gas prices are on the rise, this tax has gone up at an astounding rate.

“Believe it or not, for the first six months of this current fiscal year, the collections of that tax are higher than the previous year, by 41.4 percent,” Connecticut State Sen. Len Suzio said Tuesday.

Suzio said he wants to cap the gas tax in his state.

He said if they don’t, gas could soon hit $4.50 or $5 and in Connecticut, they could be paying about 80 cents a gallon at the pump on gas taxes alone.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below. …

  • The Realist

    Four years ago, Democrats claimed (and Republicans denied) that the President had direct PERSONAL control over retail gasoline prices.

    Now, Republicans claim (and Democrats deny) that the President has direct PERSONAL control over retail gasoline prices.

    Well, which is it? Does the President PERSONALLY control gasoline prices or not? It can’t be both.

  • Romulus

    they are all the same ! corrupt !!! and they will never do something about curing cancer and other diseases with the very cheap medication like HEMP OIL and they will never do something about the price of oil .

  • U. R. Eft

    The sheep get what they deserve: high gas prices

  • susan

    bush and cheney did have a vested interest in the oil companies (plural)because they both had many friends in the business-cheney with halliburton of course and bush with his drilling activities as well as his fathers, before he became president..because of their political positions, they were able to appease lobbyists in the business of swaying the rules and regulations in washington in favor of oil companies, mainly on the tax break front..obama has attempted to close the loopholes allowing large tax breaks for the oil companies,and it has nothing to do with drilling or what is paid for a barrel of oil….lobbyists,traders,speculators,distributors and last but not least,economic woes and unrest in the middle east are what drive up and down the price of gas and oil…before commenting or making remarks about what obama is doing or has not done,read and research a llittle, and have some respect for others opinions without snide remarks…

  • Idratherbegolfing

    Every Dem on this earth said Bush and Cheney were in the pockets of big oil companies and that is why we were paying so much for gas 4 years ago. They forget all their rhetoric. The fact of the matter is Obama’s energy policy or lack thereof has not improved our dependence on foreign oil one bit since he took office. Demand has been down the past few years because of a slow economy so the administration has gotten away with it. Now it is 4 years later and we are still not drilling in the gulf, no further exploration in the oceans and minimal exploration in the arctic. Obama answer is to give billions of dollars away in grant money for the development of more fuel efficient cars. Has anybody heard of Fisker. Obama gave them hundreds of millions of dollars to develop a high end concept electric car which the average American won’t be able to afford. Kicker is they are using US tax payer money to develop the car but it will be built in Finland. And the company filed for bankruptcy already and they were granted millions of dollars more. They are based out of Delaware. Funny that is where Biden is from. Dems seriously open your eyes. You elected a president who had virtually no experience. He is pushing his policy down your throats but your to blind to see it because the main stream media will not call him out on anything.

  • Mayor Koch's Tomb Ltd.

    Hoiw quick to forget Bush-Cheney $4.00+ gasoline and those Repuglicans
    did not have Iran stoppin oil exports to Europe forcing prices up as Obama
    has now. Also with a warmer Winter the oil Arab’s have to make a buck off
    of us with car gas.
    Republican’s can only whine as Obama turns out to be a great President.
    Business is back strong in the USA and now Repugs bring up GoD and abortion which has zero interest in helping our country compete with China & India.

  • stan

    Stop the commodities traders from trading up the price. Last month it was “Iran is going to close the Straits of Hormuz”, this month it is “a problem in the North Sea Fields”. Stop the BS already, we all know that greed is driving the prices up.

  • nrichard

    The more the republicans talk, the more insane they sound…..

  • The Realist

    Four years ago, every Republican swore up and down that the President (i.e. Bush) DOES NOT personally control retail gasoline prices. Now every Republican is complaining that the President (i.e. Obama) isn’t personally controlling retail gasoline prices.

    Which is it? Does the President control gas prices or not? It can’t be both.

    • Steven

      The President has nothing to do with the price of gas. However, that didn’t stop the dems and left wing media from blaming Bush every chance they get. Now, it is time to give it back.

      • KPMc

        do you hear yourself?

        do you read what you write?

        This is the system you want to continue?


  • DP

    The article did not mention how much are in reserves, whether capacity is meeting needs, whether this is a speculative bubble based on what Iran *might* do, and whether there ought to be some mechanism to recognize speculative trouble. It was, after all, high oil prices that led to the wholesale unraveling of most people’s ability to keep up with debt, jobs, and still buy stuff to fuel the consumer-driven economy going into 1988.

  • Traveler

    Obama has nothing to do with it. He knows, as well as anyone, that the more is spent on gas, less is spent elsewhere, thus hindering economic recovery. The problem is the speculators, bidding up the futures for gas. The price of a barrel of oil has been fairly steady the past couple of months, only fluctuating up and down by a few dollars, yet gas prices keep going up day after day. It’s a fact that the U.S. has been using less gas for the past couple of years. As for oil production in this country, the oil companies sell some of it to other countries. We need to stop that and keep domestic oil here in this country. Tar sands pipeline? If it’s ever built, most of that oil is intended to be shipped overseas, mainly to China, who has invested heavily in Canada oil and the pipeline company with that intention.

    • susan

      thank you for an intelligent well thought out husband was a geologist in exploration for many years and i am quite familiar with how it works.people immediately want to blame obama for everything that occurs..

      • Steven

        were you defending Pres Bush when the left wing dems were blaming him and Cheney for helping their oil rich cronies from making profits off of high gas prices?

  • John V

    I’m far from being a “TREE HUGGER” but we have to kick or at least reduce this country’s oil habit. What do you want. oil wells on our front lawns for Gods Sake ! I like driving as much as anyone, and partisian politics aside, but can one person out of the 350 million or so citizens here lead us down the right path. I have no solution but I know they way we are going is not the right answer.

  • Ziggy

    Obama has not allowed supply to keep up with demand. He is incompetent, plain and simple. How do you like paying for Obama’s ignorance America?

    • Michael H.

      Demand is down, genius.



  • susan

    according to aaa, gas prices in states like california will at $5 per gallon by memorial day and even in texas at $4 per gallon..there is a lot more exploration and production in the united states than is publicized,and also,reports do not tell the public that the distributors of petroleum products are a go between for oil companies and the public, and prices are raised by what they charge..before you tell people to shut up or stop driving, educate yourself on the situation a far a the political aspects, the oil companies, and the environmental aspects..

  • guido ambrosi

    staycation time again, same problem this time everyyear. mild winter and the price of fuel should be low. but iran and the speculaters get the price up. any gains in overcoming the recesion will be lost. tapping the oil fields in alaska and sand oil in canada wil help us .but obama is aginst it. iam already planing to spend less shopping only for need. gas prices will eat up most of my social security check..

  • rolandotx

    How about drilling more in the US? Open California offshore and Alaska ANWR. How about a new Keystone XL pipeline from Canada? You don’t like any of those ideas then shut up or stop driving!

    • Michael H.

      All that oil gets sold on the open world market. It doesn’t get set aside for use by Americans.

  • Joe the Plumber

    Good, maybe Americans will stop buying oversized SUV’s and people will start walking.

  • Edde

    Sad, nothing more to say…..

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