POSTED: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - 7:00pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - 7:14pm
President Obama charged Tuesday that speculators are driving up the price of gasoline and demanded Congress approve his new plan to crack down.
Fuel prices are dropping a bit, but still average close to $4 per gallon.
Republicans are still blaming the president.
The president, in part, blamed illegal pricing.
"Speculators artificially manipulate markets, by buying up oil, creating the perception of a shortage and driving prices higher, only to flip the oil for a quick profit," he explained.
He wants tougher penalties and higher tech tools to track fuel prices.
Three weeks ago Republicans refused to cut taxpayer subsidies to big oil companies.
Mr. Obama described his plan as a chance to make amends.
Republican House Speaker John Boehner accused the president of looking for a scapegoat, while Mitt Romney blamed President Obama's policies for limiting domestic production.
"He wants oil, coal, gas, nuclear, wind, solar, and yet, as you point out, he makes it harder to take advantage of the resources that are actually below the ground," Romney said.
The president says he wants to make it harder for speculators to take advantage of U.S. drivers, but the White House still insists nothing any politician can do would cut fuel prices in the short term.