President Barack Obama said Thursday he's confident that markets will be able to ride out the situation in Libya and the price of oil will stabilize.
Obama made the brief comments during a discussion with a new council of business and labor leaders he's appointed to work on economic competitiveness. He said that energy costs are generally a source of uncertainty for businesses. But as for the spike in oil prices, the president said: "We think we'll be able to ride out the situation in Libya and it will stabilize."
Oil prices, which had soared 18 percent since Feb. 15, dropped Thursday for the first time in nine days after the International Energy Agency said the rebellion in Libya may have cut oil production less than originally feared. At the pump, gasoline prices rose more than 2 cents on Thursday to a new national average of around $3.23 per gallon.
Some lawmakers on Capitol Hill have urged Obama to tap into the country's Strategic Petroleum Reserve emergency supply to ensure prices don't spike even higher. Presidential spokesman Jay Carney said the U.S. was monitoring the situation and consulting with oil-producing nations.
"We are examining our options and we have the capacity if necessary to act in case of a major disruption," Carney said at Thursday's White House press briefing.