Rich Galen

According to the AAA, the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline in the lower 48 this week was $3.93.

That ranges from a high of $4.27 in Connecticut to a low of $3.67 in Wyoming.

Given the number of gasoline stations in Connecticut v the number of stations in Wyoming one might think that competitive pressures would reverse those numbers but, there you are. President Barak Obama, who has switched to All-Campaign-All-The-Time mode, according to the NY Times' John Broder:

In his weekly radio and Internet address, the president said the administration would begin to hold annual auctions for oil and gas leases in the Alaska National Petroleum Reserve, a 23-million-acre tract on the North Slope of Alaska.

Obama will also:

-- Accelerate a review of the environmental impact of drilling off the southern and central Atlantic coast;

-- Extend leases already granted for drilling in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico that had been frozen after last year's BP spill; and, according to the Broder piece;

-- Will provide incentives for oil companies to more quickly exploit leases they already hold.

The New Jersey Congressional delegation is split on whether to allow exploration off the coast of New Jersey who's self-selected nickname is "The Garden State." According to a website focusing on Franklin Lakes, New Jersey:

Conservative New Jersey Congressman Scott Garrett (R-5th) was the only legislator in the Garden State to support a federal bill that will allow for drilling near the coast of the Jersey Shore should the Senate approves the measure.

Nevertheless, Democrat Frank Pallone, according to the website, said that the New Jersey shore is "'an invaluable resource' and he is concerned what effect an oil spill could have on a region so heavily dependent on tourism."

Back to Obama.

As an example of the ping pong nature of Obama's energy policy, let's drift into the Way Back Machine to the good old days of December 2010 a long, long five months ago.

On December 1 CNN reported that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced:

"Barack Obama will not be allowing new drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico for at least seven years" and "the exploration of drilling possibilities in sensitive areas of the Arctic will proceed 'with utmost caution.'"

According to the CNN report, that announcement - again five months ago -

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at