What should President Obama do, if anything, in reaction to rising oil prices?
As Middle East unrest continues and the summer driving season nears, oil prices will likely remain high, and some are worried that the U.S. could see a repeat of the 2008 oil crisis and the same bruising congressional debate over gas prices and offshore drilling. We're seeing signs of that already. Republicans are calling on the administration to expedite drilling permits, which remain at a standstill after the BP oil spill. Democrats, meanwhile, are calling on Obama to tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
Should Obama take any concrete steps, such as using oil in the SPR or speeding up the permitting process, in response to oil prices? What, if anything, can Congress do to help the situation? Given that no one single action will immediately lower prices, what are some long-term policy initiatives that could soothe the oil markets and reduce America's dependency on oil?