According to a new Gallup poll, 65% of Americans mistakenly believe that President Obama and Congress are responsible for the recent spike in gas prices, while only 31% understand that neither the President nor Congress have any immediate control of the rising costs. Gas prices continue to reach record levels in the U.S., with a gallon of gas getting closer and closer to $5 in some parts of the country, and while that’s alarming, the fact that so many Americans are misinformed about who controls those prices is equally problematic. The poll also revealed that 85% believe that the government should step in to help lower the rising prices.

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Unfortunately the government for the most part has no immediate control over gas prices. Gas prices are largely determined by a combination of global demand, oil speculation, and political instability in volatile regions. In reaction to the poll’s results President Obama released this statement:

“We have made progress, with imports of foreign oil decreasing by a million barrels a day in the last year alone. Our focus on increased domestic oil and gas production, currently at an eight-year high, combined with the historic fuel economy standards we put in place, means that we will continue to reduce our nation’s vulnerability to the ups and downs of the global oil market.”

President Obama and GOP rival, Mitt Romney have continued to inform Americans that the President and Congress have no control over gas prices. In 2008 Fox News also put together a series of video clips that stated the same message, “No President has the power to increase or to lower gas prices. Those are market forces.”

As we get closer to the next presidential election, Obama’s Republican opponents have used the rising gas prices as an attack against Obama, but the reality is that the prices are beyond his control.

Via Treehugger

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Second Image by KEVORK DJANSEZIAN/Getty Images