Once more, it's a case of Americans wanting it all - and wanting it cheap. From the New Yorker's Elizabeth Kolbert:
Like almost anything that the Republican candidates can manage to agree on, the Obama Administration gas-price-hike conspiracy theory is nearly a hundred-per-cent hokum. The fakery begins with the theory's premise: that the President could, if he wanted to, reduce the price of oil. Oil, as it is well known, is a global commodity traded on a global market. Gasoline prices have risen--they are up roughly fifteen per cent since the start of the year--mostly because demand is climbing in countries like China and because instability in the Middle East has prompted worries about supply. (Since sabre rattling on Iran tends to increase those worries, candidates like Santorum, who calls the Administration's policies toward Iran "appeasement," are almost certainly aggravating the very situation they decry.)
What the country needs--and has always needed--is an energy policy that, instead of pandering to Americans' sense of entitlement, would compel us finally to change our ways. In addition to a phased-in increase in the gas tax, it would include a comprehensive, economy-wide tax on carbon, or, alternatively, a cap-and-trade system. As it turns out, [Romney advisor Greg] Mankiw isn't the only senior person in a Republican campaign to see the importance of a new policy. When Romney was governor of Massachusetts, he presided over the introduction of one of the country's first cap-and-trade programs, for the six largest power plants in the state. And in his book "No Apology" he wrote that "higher energy prices would encourage energy efficiency." Perhaps, once he secures the nomination, he can Etch A Sketch his way back to reality, and challenge Obama to do the same.