POLITICS

Barack Obama demands Congress end oil, gas subsidies

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The United States and its partners are trying to deter Iran from building a nuclear weapon, including with an unprecedented European embargo on Iranian oil that takes effect this summer.

Iran has responded to tightening economic sanctions and the possibility of an Israeli attack with threats to block oil shipments from the Persian Gulf.

On the presidential campaign trail, GOP front-runner Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich also decried Obama's energy policies.

Anticipating Obama's speech, Romney argued in Fargo, N.D., that the president has tried to slow oil, gas and coal production through his Environmental Protection Agency and changes in policies governing federal lands.

"He's going to talk about how he's responsible for the increasing production of oil in this country, oil and gas in this country," Romney said. "Is he responsible for the increase? No, I didn't think so."

Gingrich, campaigning in Woodstock Ga., called on Obama to fire Energy Secretary Steven Chu, approve a Canada-Texas pipeline and open more of the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska to oil drilling. "He ran in 2008 on the slogan, 'Yes we can.' He's running this year on the slogan 'Why we couldn't,'" Gingrich said.

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