President Barack Obama is expected to address the issue of rising oil prices, on Friday, during a visit to a parts plant in Indianapolis that produces fuel-saving hybrid systems for buses and trucks.
The president is hoping to maintain the momentum offered by the weekend take-down of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden as he tackles one of the toughest issues facing the nation today. With job growth faltering, some analysts believe near-record fuel prices are threatening to push the U.S. back into recession.
Obama last week announced his goal of increasing domestic oil and exploration and production, while making automobiles and trucks more fuel-efficient and encouraging the switch to electric and other forms of alternative propulsion.
But the steady increase in fuel prices, now nearing $4 a gallon nationwide – and $5 in a few key markets, like Southern California – is becoming a short-term political liability. At the current rate, oil industry analysts say, a gallon of regular could soon top the July 2008 all-time peak of $4.11. And some are forecasting the figure may hit $5 before leveling off.