Obama blames India, China for spike in oil prices

Washington: US President Barack Obama sought to blame burgeoning growth in India, China and Brazil for the raising oil prices in a bid to deflect the criticism of the Republicans in an election year who are attributing the surge to his failed energy policy.

Citing rising auto sales in these countries, he said as people in India and China get wealthier they will buy more cars and fill them up like Americans do, driving up oil prices.

Although Obama did not did not lay out a plan to deal with energy issues at home, he did call for removing subsidies to oil companies and investing more in clean alternatives.

"When you start hearing a bunch of folks saying somehow that there`s some simple solution, you can turn a nozzle and suddenly we`re going to be getting a lot more oil, that`s not just how it works.

"Over the long term, the biggest reason oil prices will rise is because of growing demand in countries like China and India and Brazil," Obama said in a speech in New Hampshire.

Obama travelled to Nashua in New Hampshire to deliver an address in energy and gas prices, which has crossed USD 4 per gallon here and has started pinching common man`s pocket.

Observers say the Republicans, in a presidential election year, are trying to exploit the issue in their favour to defeat Obama, who is seeking re-election.

"Just think about this. In five years, the number of cars on the road in China more than tripled. Over the last five years, the number of cars tripled. Nearly 10 million cars were added in China alone in 2010 — 10 million cars just in one country in one year. So that`s using up a lot of oil," he said.

"Those numbers are only going to get bigger over time. As places like China and India get wealthier, they`re going to want to buy cars like we do, and they`re going to want to fill them up like we do, and that?s going to drive up demand," Obama said.

Obama, however, did not give any assurance to Americans on decrease in gasoline prices.

"While there are no short-term silver bullets when it comes to gas prices, I`ve directed my administration to look for every single area where we can make an impact and help consumers — from helping to relieve bottlenecks…to making sure speculators aren`t taking advantage of what?s going on in the oil markets.

"We are just going to keep on announcing steps in the coming weeks; every time we find something that can provide a little bit of relief right now, we re going to do it," Obama said.

He added, however, that that he is asking the Congress to remove the subsidy on oil industry which currently amounts to USD 4 billion.

Obama said, "I am asking Congress — eliminate this oil industry giveaway right away. I want them to vote on this in the next few weeks.

"Let`s put every single member of Congress on record: You can stand with the oil companies, or you can stand up for the American people.

"You can keep subsidising a fossil fuel that`s been getting taxpayer dollars for a century, or you can place your bets on a clean-energy future."