Updated 5:10 p.m. Eastern Time
As gas prices skyrocketed during the 2008 presidential campaign, a chant was often heard at events for the Republican ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin: "Drill, baby, drill!"
Now that gas prices have once again risen dramatically amid unrest in the Middle East - they are near $4 per gallon in many areas, and the average across the country has gone above $3.50 per gallon - the Republican call for domestic oil drilling has returned. And with it comes criticism of the Obama administration for not doing enough to ease the burden for Americans who have no choice but to fill up the tank.
"The Obama Administration has consistently blocked American energy production that would lower costs and create new jobs," House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday. "They've cancelled leases for new exploration, jeopardized new nuclear energy, and imposed a de facto drilling moratorium. They've even pushed a 'cap and trade' national energy tax that the president himself admitted would cause energy costs to 'skyrocket.'"
Boehner was unveiling what he called the American Energy Initiative, a plan that he says will lower gas prices and create new jobs. It entails expanding American energy production, reversing government policies that he says drive up gas prices, and embarking on an "all of the above" strategy for domestic energy production.