Republicans say the Obama administration’s policies are contributing to skyrocketing gasoline prices – now at more than $4 per gallon throughout much of the country – and they have introduced legislation to reopen the nation’s coasts to drilling.

This year will be the first year since 1958 that the federal government will not have sold a lease for offshore drilling, and Republicans say this is fueling skyrocketing prices at the pump.

Congress opened the nation’s coasts to drilling when gas hit $4 per gallon in 2008, but the Obama administration effectively reinstated the ban last year by placing the Alaskan, Atlantic and Pacific coasts off-limits to drilling, as well as Florida’s west coast.

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