U.S. President Barack Obama said Saturday "fraud and manipulation" help drive up the price of gasoline and again called for ending oil industry tax breaks.
In his weekly radio and Internet address, the president said the price of gas "depends on a lot of factors that are often beyond our control."
"Unrest in the Middle East can tighten global oil supply," he said. "Growing nations like China or India adding cars to the road increases demand. But one thing we should control is fraud and manipulation that can cause prices to spike even further.
"For years, traders at financial firms were able to game the energy markets, distort the price of oil, and make big profits for themselves at your expense. And they were able to do all that because of major gaps and loopholes in our regulations," he said. "When I took office, we did something about it."
Obama said Wall Street reforms "are helping bring energy markets out of the shadows and under real oversight."
"They're strengthening our ability to go after fraud and to prevent traders from manipulating the market.
Obama said "some in Congress want to roll back those protections," which he said was "not just wrong but dangerous."
"What's more, at a time when big oil companies are making more money than ever before, we're still giving them $4 billion of your tax dollars in subsidies every year," he said. "Your member of Congress should be fighting for you. Not for big financial firms. Not for big oil companies."
The president said he expects Congress will vote "in the next few weeks" on ending these subsidies.
"And when they do, we're going to put every single member of Congress on record: They can either stand up for oil companies, or they can stand up for the American people," he said. "They can either place their bets on a fossil fuel from the last century, or they can place their bets on America's future. So make your voice heard. Send your representative an e-mail. Give them a call. Tell them to stand with you."