Obama To Address Gas Prices, Pitch Energy Policy

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is confronting Americans' anxiety over rising gasoline prices by drawing attention to his energy policies and taking credit for increased oil and gas production, a greater mix of energy sources and decreased consumption.

Obama is heading to Florida Thursday to promote an energy strategy that the administration says will reduce dependence on foreign oil in the long term. But Obama's pitch will also have a subtext: that the federal government can do little to halt the current rise in gasoline prices.

Obama will speak at the University of Miami and tour a program that trains students as industrial energy-efficiency experts. The program is one of 24 across the country.

A new Associated Press-GfK suggests the improving economic mood is brightening President Barack Obama's re-election prospects.

Thirty percent in the poll describe the economy as "good," a 15-point increase since December and the highest level since the AP-GfK poll first asked the question in 2009.

But rising gasoline prices are a potential stumbling block. The poll finds it's a growing concern, with most people unhappy with how Obama has dealt with the issue. The poll shows just 39 percent approve of Obama's actions to address gas prices.