President Barack Obama proposed higher penalties for companies accused of oil market manipulation and sought more money for government oversight on Tuesday, trying to blunt the impact of high energy prices on his re-election chances.
Republicans, who blame Obama’s energy policies for high gas prices, immediately called the effort a political ploy.
Gasoline prices have surged nearly 50 cents since late January, as tensions in the Middle East and supply disruptions bolstered oil costs. While prices at the pump have eased slightly in the past two weeks, gasoline remains around $3.92 a gallon nationwide.
Obama has spent weeks trying to show he is on the case to bring down energy costs over the short- and long-term.
READ MORE: Obama seeks new oil market crackdown

President Barack Obama proposed higher penalties for companies accused of oil market manipulation and sought more money for government oversight on Tuesday, trying to blunt the impact of high energy prices on his re-election chances.

Republicans, who blame Obama’s energy policies for high gas prices, immediately called the effort a political ploy.

Gasoline prices have surged nearly 50 cents since late January, as tensions in the Middle East and supply disruptions bolstered oil costs. While prices at the pump have eased slightly in the past two weeks, gasoline remains around $3.92 a gallon nationwide.

Obama has spent weeks trying to show he is on the case to bring down energy costs over the short- and long-term.

READ MORE: Obama seeks new oil market crackdown