65% of Americans Blame Obama, Congress for High Gas Prices

A warning to the regular Treehugger reader: Kindly prepare to restrain yourself from slamming your head onto your desk.

A strong majority of Americans "hold President Obama and Congress responsible for rising gas prices," according to the Hill. A new Gallup poll reveals that 65% believe that Obama and congressmen in D.C. are to blame for rising costs, and just 31% understand that fluctuating gas prices are largely beyond the control of either. And 85% think that the federal government should act to drive costs down.

This is disappointing news: here at Treehugger, we've repeatedly driven the point home that the president has almost no control over the price of gas in the short-term—a cocktail of global demand, oil speculation, and political instability in volatile regions determines the price of gas more than anything else.

And it had seemed like that message was gaining traction. Obama has taken pains to communicate that very point in recent energy speeches, and even his presumed GOP rival, Mitt Romney, admitted as much in a talk show appearance this week. A 2008-era video medley of Fox News clips explaining why presidents can't control gas prices went viral.

But it appears like the political drumbeat has overpowered reason, and the Republican's 'Drill Now!' mantras have leaked into the popular consciousness. The GOP has been using rising gas prices as an incessant line of attack against Obama since before the spike even started making headlines—and, as is usual with post-truth politics, the loud, brainless repetition of simplistic concepts has appeared to prevail over the truth.

Tags: Congress | Oil | United States