The truth is harder to arrive at and is, as usual, more complicated than talk-show pundits and super-PAC-fed politicians might suggest.
Wall Street and other financial centers see an opportunity in speculation in future oil investments. They scan the daily news, looking for some development that can serve as a reason to fiddle with the market or, in this case, push up the price of a commodity. Tinder for this fire includes a number of phenomena under way in the world.
One is the unrest in the Middle East stimulated by Israel's threats to attack Iran for developing its nuclear capacity and by Iran's menacing ripostes to the threats and the economic sanctions pushed by the United States. Iran is now shifting its oil exports from Western Europe to customers such as China.
Iranian oil constitutes less than 5 percent of the world market, but the Middle East, which would be mightily disrupted by a war over Iran, provides a third of the world's oil and 20 percent of U.S. oil imports. The United States imports 60 percent of its oil.
Another phenomenon is the tentative recovery of the American economy. This includes lower unemployment, various business "starts" and higher consumer confidence, which leads to optimism, which leads to higher demand for fuel. Ironically, that higher demand plus the events in the Middle East could drive a stake through the heart of the recovery that all Americans want to see.
One way for Mr. Obama to curb the rise in gas prices is to quiet the cries for war that are unsettling the Middle East and giving speculators a case for playing games at Americans' expense.