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Obama addresses oil subsidies

President Barack Obama continued Tuesday its offensive against the high price of gasoline, urging Congress to eliminate subsidies paid four billion dollars annually on oil companies.

"We can do certain things to make sure the American people do not fall victim to the explosion in gasoline prices in the long term," Obama wrote in a letter to the most important elected Republicans and Democrats in Congress, including John Boehner and Harry Reid.
"One of these actions is to eliminate undue tax credits to oil and gas industry and invest the money in renewable energy to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. "

The Achilles heel of Presidents

Although American presidents have little power to bring down gasoline prices, they often pay a political price. In addition to siphon wallets of motorists, high prices may halt the recovery in employment and the economy.

In his letter, Obama noted that rising gasoline prices hurt many Americans who are still struggling to pay their bills and find a job.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama used the high price of gasoline to attack the Republicans by accusing them of serving the major oil companies and be responsible for the situation.

The chairman of the House of Representatives and great opponent of President to Congress, Republican John Boehner, has admitted on the air Monday on ABC that "if the price of gasoline reaches $ 5 or $ 6 a gallon it certainly does not win "the elections of 2012.

Unnecessary subsidies?

U.S. giants ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and Chevron will announce their earnings this week, while gasoline prices are at their highest in three years. According to the spokesman of President Obama, Jay Carney, these profits will be "significant, if not record."

Nevertheless, oil companies are entitled to generous grants for research into new energy sources, expensive and unnecessary subsidies, according to the president.

The oil industry has repeatedly said that the elimination of subsidies would lead to job losses in a country that can ill afford.

Cautious opening of the Republicans

Monday, John Boehner had been open to the idea of ​​cutting subsidies to oil companies during his interview on ABC. His comments were welcomed by Mr. Obama. But Tuesday, a spokesman for Mr. Boehner has tempered his boss.
"The chairman of the House wants to increase U.S. energy supply and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. He is only interested in reforms that will reduce energy costs and create jobs in the United States, "said the spokesman. "Unfortunately, this suggests that the president would only increase taxes and increase the pump price."

According to the U.S. Agency for Energy Information, a gallon of gas (3.79 l) costs about four dollars on average in the country, up nearly a dollar in one year.