By Editorial Board - Tampa Bay Times
As Americans face sticker shock at the gas pump with prices near $4 per gallon and climbing, Republican presidential candidates see a political opportunity. On the campaign trail, they direct public anger at President Barack Obama by making absurd claims about his power to affect gas prices.
Newt Gingrich promises gas at $2.50 per gallon if he wins the presidency. Mitt Romney blames the president for constraining domestic production. In truth, presidents have little control over the price of oil, where prices are set on a world market. Republicans who suggest that gas prices will come down if drilling is allowed in environmentally sensitive areas are looking out for only one constituency: the oil companies and their profits.