Obama Touts Energy Plan as Gas Prices Soar

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WASHINTON -- Gas prices are going up everyday and Americans across the country are feeling the pinch.

President Barack Obama took the issue head on Wednesday, announcing new energy policies he says will reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil in the long run.

Still, the president's pitch has a catch. The federal government can do little to halt the current rise in gas prices.

"The biggest thing that's causing the price of oil to rise right now is instability in the Middle East, this time in Iran," Obama said.

"When uncertainty increases, speculative trading on Wall Street can drive up prices even more," he explained. "So there are short-term factors at work here."

A new Associated Press-GfK poll revealed that only 39 percent of respondents approve of the president's efforts to address rising gas prices.

"Right now, we're experiencing yet another painful reminder of why developing new energy is so critical to our future," Obama said. "Just like last year, gas prices are climbing across the country, except this time even earlier."

Meanwhile, Americans are left to deal with climbing gas prices that show no sign of slowing down.

At a station near Los Angeles, the price of gas shot up 16 cents in just three hours.

Some are so fed up with the higher prices that they're taking it out on gas station workers.

"A few weeks ago I was changing the gas prices and the customer tried to run over the signs," attendant Richard Hernandez said.

Pump prices are now the highest ever for this time of year, and analysts predict gas could reach a record average of $4.25 per gallon this spring.

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Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at Facebook.com/JennWishon.