The Worst of Times: Gas Prices Hit $3.72

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Gas prices in the United States have jumped 13 cents just in the past week. The average cost per gallon is now $3.72, the highest price ever recorded in the month of February.

Analysts say there are several reasons for the price hike:

• Tensions with Iran have caused crude oil prices to spike.
• Supply disruptions in Nigeria and the Sudan have factored in.
• Closing refineries have reduced capacities in Europe and the U.S.

"I would say in terms of overall geopolitical risk of a major supply interruption with limited spare capacity to handle it, this is the worst of times," James Williams, owner of WTRG Economics, told the Journal Sentinel.

"This is the most extreme," he added.

Republican presidential candidates wasted no time pointing the finger at President Obama for the price spike.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum accused the administration of standing in the way of domestic energy production.

Anticipating the attacks, the president suggested last week that such arguments were nothing more then political posturing.

"You can bet that since it's an election year, they're already dusting off their three-point plans for $2 gas," the president said.

"I'll save you the suspense: Step one is to drill, step two is to drill, and step three is to keep drilling," Obama said. "We've heard the same thing for 30 years. Well, the American people aren't stupid."

Some are still wondering about the president's decision to nix the Keystone XL pipeline project with Canada in January.
Obama claimed he concurred with the State Department's recommendation that the project did "not served the national interest" at this time.

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