* Boehner says "maybe" to subsidies on the table
* Says Obama has done nothing to bring down oil prices
By JoAnne Allen
WASHINGTON, April 25 The U.S. Congress should
"take a look" at multibillion-dollar subsidies to oil companies
amid rising concern over skyrocketing gas prices, House of
Representatives Speaker John Boehner said on Monday.
"It's certainly something we should be looking at," Boehner
said in an ABC News interview. "We're in a time when the
federal government's short on revenues. They ought to be paying
their fair share."
"Everybody wants to go after the oil companies and frankly,
they've got some part of this to blame," he said.
But Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said he also wanted to
"see all the facts" first.
Boehner's remarks echoed concerns expressed this month by
President Barack Obama, who asked Congress to repeal $3.6
billion in annual oil, natural gas and coal subsidies, a move
that would total $46.2 billion over a decade and help pay for
clean energy initiatives.
But Boehner's comments go against Republican orthodoxy
because the party traditionally is very supportive of the oil
and gas industry and reject most policies that would raise the
costs of domestic energy production.
Boehner also suggested that Obama could lose the 2012
election if gas prices do not decline.
Rising fuel prices are a persistent concern for the White
House, which is worried about their impact on the economy as
Obama mounts his run for re-election.
A New York Times-CBS News poll found that 70 percent of
Americans believe the country is on the wrong track and
analysts believe gas prices are a main reason.
The Obama administration tried unsuccessfully during the
last Congress to slash tax breaks and subsidies for fossil
Unrest in the Middle East has pushed crude oil prices above
$110 a barrel. U.S. retail gasoline prices hit $3.88 a gallon
over the last week, the highest level since the summer of 2008
when prices reached a record $4.11 a gallon, the Energy
Department said on Monday.
Asked who the American people should blame for high gas
prices, Boehner pointed the finger at Obama and said the
president won't win re-election of gas prices are "$5 or $6" a
(Reporting by JoAnne Allen and Ayesha Rascoe; Editing by