The White House and the GOP Battle Over Gas Prices

The political rhetoric over energy is rising as fast as gas prices these days and Tuesday the battle stretched from the White House and Capitol Hill to the campaign trail.

Early in the day, a fiery House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) kicked things off by excoriating the president over his energy plan, or what Boehner says is a lack thereof, "The president says he's for an 'all-of-the-above' energy plan. Has anyone seen it? I've not seen it," he said.

"And the fact is, is the president blocked the Keystone pipeline, he's blocked efforts to expand energy production in the Intermountain West, over in the Gulf and in a small portion of Alaska."

Plans by Canadian company TransCanada for a pipeline, named Keystone XL, were derailed after a battle between the White House and Hill Republicans resulted in a State Department review of the plan to be halted and the company's permit to be denied.

White House Spokesman Jay Carney took exception to the speaker's assertions on Keystone.

"[S]ome members in Congress, are politicizing the issue of gas prices. The speaker of the House apparently spoke with reporters this morning in which he suggested that the president wasn't in support of expanding domestic oil and gas production, which is demonstrably, categorically false..."

Carney said Boehner's suggestion that drilling alone or approving the Keystone pipeline permit would lower gas prices is a "dishonest" promise to the American people.

Boehner's frustrations boiled over at the end of his press conference when he stated simply, "[I]t's just about damn time that we actually have a national energy policy and do something the American people want us to do."

He followed with a letter to the president requesting a meeting on energy policy, to which the president's spokesman said, "I'm sure the president will engage in that discussion when it takes place." Carney said there is room for bipartisan compromise on the issue.

Yet Carney rejected out of hand a proposal by Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich, saying, "I think most Americans are aware of the fact that when a politician comes at them with a three-point plan to reduce gas prices to $2 or $2.50 a gallon, that they're blowing smoke, because there are a number of factors that go into a spike in oil prices, including economic growth."