Americans unhappy with Obama over gas prices but blame others

Gas prices in California (REUTERS/Gary Hershorn)

In an interesting anomaly, two-thirds of Americans are pissed at President Barack Obama over high gas prices yet most say they don’t blame him for their pain at the pump.

A new Reuters/Ipsos online polls shows 68 percent of those who responded disapproving of Obama’s handling of the gas price issue with both Democrats and Republicans saying the President isn’t doing a good job of dealing with the situation but while they feel he should do more they blame oil company greed and other factors.  Thirty-six percent blamed the oil companies and another 26 percent cited “other factors” as responsible for the problem for a total of 62 percent laying the blame somewhere else.

Says Ipsos public affairs director Chris Jackson:

Obama is getting heat for it but people aren’t necessarily blaming him for it.  People are unhappy that they are having to pay $3.90 a gallon. They want somebody to be able to lash out at and the president is as good a person as anybody.

Fuel prices have not traditionally been factors in Presidential elections but if gas prices continue to rise the hike could affect the fragile economic recovery and that could spell trouble for Obama.

The polls has a margin of error of 4.6 percentage points.

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4 Responses to "Americans unhappy with Obama over gas prices but blame others"

  1. Lillibet Hunt  March 28, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    In fact, POTUS has little power over gas prices. FOPOTUS have immense power over gas prices.

    Fewer and fewer companies control the alleged bottleneck of refining capacity, a convenient scapegoat. We aren’t even close to using our full complement of refineries, with at least two big ones off line for the present. Then there is the threat of going to war with Iran making another convenient scapegoat to throw into the mix. The real player in pricing is speculation though.

    As a result, we are being forced to pay outrageous sums for gas, without even starting the whole “drive less, it’s good for climate change” mantra. That way, the oil industry gets their money, and the speculators get more.

    Presidents may want to steer the behavior of people, but it is the companies posting the highest profits in the history of profits that really control the show. The fault with Obama is that he isn’t a strong enough power player to call in the energy and finance bigwigs, and get them to operate with merely decent, rather than obscene profits. If he wanted to make profits easier, the bigwigs would line up at the door to do his bidding, we’d have a rerun of the early 2000′s scenario, and gas would be $7.00.

    These days, the only way to control or moderate pricing on anything means controlling or reining in Goldman Sachs. See: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-great-american-bubble-machine-20100405

    The American people are right to avoid blaming a single person, even if he is president. Truth is, those with the power to influence gas prices are not elected or otherwise serving in government. They are the ones government serves, and they are only fictitious persons known as corporations, with rights of speech, but apparently no risk of any investigation into their actions regarding the markets they make are break.

  2. Keith  March 28, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    The greedy oil speculators are simply crapping in their own nests. These clowns all seem to think that gasoline prices are on an inelastic curve and that people will keep buying it at whatever price these robber barons dictate.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. As we saw when oil hit $140 a barrel, what’s going to happen is that people will drive less, park their gas guzzlers in the driveway, and then the speculators will (once again) be left with a glut of oil in their storage tanks and the price will bottom out once again.

    As I see it, the solution to all this nonsense is that the speculators ought NOT to be allowed to trade oil contracts back and forth when oil prices change.

    Rather, they should be FORCED into actually BUYING the oil they bid on at the time and price they bid in the contract. Unlike potatoes, soybeans or lettuce, oil is a strategic mineral and out to be regulated as such.

  3. Tom  March 28, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Used to be that when you dealt in the futures market you were required to take delivery on the commodity you were trading. In 2000 the rules were changed and the CFTC no longer had oversight on the contracts. When we were buying grain from the local farmers back in the 70′s and 80′s they were required to fulfill their contract. If they had a bad crop they would have to buy the grain from another farmer or pay the difference left on the contract. My father always told them to go easy on booking usually around 10-20% of the normal yield since they could have a disaster and it could break them.

  4. Baal  March 30, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    We have over 284 TRILLION cubic feet of Natural Gas in this country.

    WHY arent we pursuing this as an altenative to oil?

    There are to many POSTIVES not to go this route…..

    Its our FUTURE, and its about time we start pursuing it….

    $1000 to convert ANY car over to CNG!!!

    $1.24 a gallon!!!

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