The average price of gasoline in the US rose to $3.93 per gallon, an increase of 11.49 cents in the last two weeks, according to the Lundberg Survey conducted across the nation.
Tulsa, Okla., has the nation's lowest average gas price at $3.58, while Chicago has the highest at $4.56.
Oil prices have climbed this year following attempts by the US and Europe to push for sanctions against Iran. The US and other western nations have alleged that Iran is in the process of building a nuclear weapon, a claim denied by Tehran. In response, Iran has threatened to withhold oil deliveries and block the Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of the world's oil flows.
With the upcoming presidential election, the rising gasoline price is of serious concern to President Barack Obama.
Republican candidates blame the Obama administration for high fuel prices. Mitt Romney’s address to a crowd earlier in March in Vernon Hills was a clear indication of this. “With the economy looking like it's getting a little better on the employment front, gasoline's getting a lot worse,” Romney said. The focus of the attack has certainly moved towards gasoline prices.
An escalation in tensions between Iran and the West could lead to another step-up in oil prices. American Automobile Association had reported in February that gasoline prices could rise as high as $4.25 by the end of May.
There is no immediate solution to the Iran crisis. Iran has already put a stop to oil exports to the UK and France in retaliation to the European Union's decision to ban purchases of Iranian crude that was planned to begin in July.
Without a doubt, the GOP field has seized on the high price of gasoline to slam Obama administration’s energy policy. Rising gasoline price could suffocate the signs of economic recovery and GOP candidates are by all means ready to exploit the situation to the utmost to tarnish Obama's popularity.
Republican presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have already attacked the incumbent president for the high oil prices. According to the Republicans, the resistance to offshore drilling as well as Obama’s support for ending tax breaks for oil companies have contributed to higher gas prices.