Meanwhile, Capitol Hill Democrats including Sens. Max Baucus of Montana and Robert Menendez of New Jersey are pushing for legislation to end tax deductions for the five largest oil companies, a purely political move that will do little to increase the energy supply or deliver gas price relief.
None of this should be surprising. Obama's secretary of energy, Stephen Chu, once said Washington needs to "figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe," where prices are above $8 per gallon.
And while a Democratic senator from Colorado, Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar promised in 2008 to vote against drilling for oil in the Outer Continental Shelf -- even if gasoline prices reached $10 per gallon.
In addition to its rhetoric, the administration's anti-energy agenda is well-documented. Since taking control of the White House, Obama has kept 97 percent of federal offshore areas and 94 percent of federal onshore areas, all of it owned by taxpayers, off-limits to energy production.
The Obama administration has canceled 138 leases for Western energy production, indefinitely delayed other projects and erected regulatory burdens for American businesses to produce energy in America.
The president essentially shut down the Gulf of Mexico beginning last April, killing 19,000 jobs and decreasing domestic oil production by 240,000 barrels per day through 2012.
The administration is signaling to the markets that America -- the world's third-largest oil producer -- is closed for business. With world consumption increasing and unrest reigning in the Middle East, it's obvious why the price of oil is climbing. The combination of crude oil prices and taxes composes 80 percent of the price of a gallon of gasoline.
Obama and his anti-energy allies are desperate to deflect the blame for high energy prices. The latest scapegoat is oil and gas companies. They say these companies receive huge taxpayer subsidies to bolster their profits. If it sounds absurd, that's because it is.
Oil and gas companies lose more than 40 percent of their net income to taxes. That is on top of rents, royalties and other fees -- a combined $86 million every day. After all their bills are paid, the oil and gas industry has a profit margin that ranks 44th against other industries.
America's two largest oil and gas companies, ExxonMobil and Chevron, had combined profits of $16.9 billion in the first three months of 2011. But they paid more than $12.8 billion in income taxes over the same period.
The bulk of the 'subsidies' Obama is targeting are actually business expenditures the Internal Revenue Service allows most companies to deduct from taxable income. The practice is common across U.S. industries, but the president wants them stripped exclusively from a single industry.
If he is successful, oil and gas companies' taxes will naturally rise. And this will accomplish nothing for prices at the pump.
Obama's proposal would incentivize oil and gas producers to operate in other nations. The tax increases are projected to decrease American oil production by 400,000 barrels per day by 2025, which will force Americans to depend even more on state-owned energy companies in unstable countries.
In essence, unilaterally raising taxes on American energy companies benefits state-run companies that are inimical to American values.
Punishing oil and gas companies for existing will do nothing to lower gasoline prices for American motorists. The president and his allies need to abandon their anti-energy agenda and get serious about producing the vast energy resources we have here at home.
Thomas J. Pyle is the president of the Institute for Energy Research, a not-for-profit analysis center.