As Democrats such as Colorado Sen. Mark Udall blame speculation in the financial markets for skyrocketing gas prices, Republicans – including U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton of Colorado – continue to target Obama administration policies. This time Tipton is fingering the Federal Reserve.“The value of a barrel of oil is based off of the U.S. dollar, correct?” Tipton said during a congressional hearing this week. “So would you see it as a failure of the federal government, specifically the Fed, failing to stand up and strengthen the U.S. dollar, allowing it to weaken, which is ultimately affecting gas prices – hurting senior citizens, hurting struggling families here at home.”
However, many observers say infusing the banking system with cash is critical to freeing up credit for small businesses and that a weaker dollar improves the climate for U.S. exports.
And besides rampant speculation in the oil markets, an ongoing spring of violent unrest in the Middle East is also being blamed for higher prices at the pump.
Tipton and other Colorado Republicans have been criticized for their lack of support for reining in tax breaks and subsidies for the nation’s leading oil and gas companies, which have been enjoying record profits during the recent spike in gas prices.
The Colorado GOP contingent, however, continues to hammer on Obama administration policies favoring more environmentally restrained domestic energy production.