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Gas prices in the United States soared 6 percent in February, and there are signs they will continue increasing regardless of what happens with the strategic oil reserve. Why? Critical refineries are shutting down in the Notheast, reports the Wall Street Journal. Numerous refineries have been idled or are preparing to close across the region due to increased costs and the price pressure is likely to grow even higher if, as expected, Sunoco shuts the region’s largest refinery this summer.
The average price for a gallon of gas rose for the ninth straight day on Sunday to $3.838, around 6.7 percent below the record high of $4.11 seen in July 2008, reports CNN. Futures suggest the average price in the U.S. will cross the $4-a-gallon mark soon, notes the WSJ.
Concern over the increasing gas prices, which could quickly put a dent on hints of an economic recovery, is giving way to increased political rhetoric. On Sunday, Mitt Romney increased his attacks on President Obama over the issue by calling for the firing of the Interior and Energy secretaries as well as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency. He dubbed the three officials the “gas hike trio” on Fox News Sunday.
“When [Obama] ran for office, he said he wanted to see gasoline prices go up," Romney said. "And he has selected three people to help him implement that program."
One of Obama’s top advisers, David Axelrod said the claim was “nonsense” and promoted the president’s “all-of-the-above strategy” to “break this dependence on foreign oil,” reports USA Today.
Politico’s Bob King writes an instructive guide to “some of the season’s most bewildering rhetoric” regarding gas prices, including the fact that many in the conservative media are fond of using “the ultra-high-priced Exxon” near the Watergate as an example of what the average American pays for gas.