Barbour: Obama administration supports higher energy costs in the name of environment

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a potential Republican presidential contender, accused the Obama administration Wednesday of favoring a run-up in gas prices to prod consumers to buy more fuel-efficient cars.

Obama administration officials rejected the charge, saying they view rising gasoline prices as bad for average Americans and the economic recovery.

Barbour suggested that President Barack Obama wants to see higher energy taxes that would lead to more expensive gasoline. But his comments came amid a spike in gas prices that has been primarily driven by unrest in the Middle East, particularly Libya, that has diminished crude oil production. That, coupled with increased demand, has pushed prices to almost $3.39 per gallon, according to auto club AAA.

ABC News
AP
3/2/11