Washington: Expressing concern over the rising gasoline prices and America's increasing dependence on foreign oil, US President Barack Obama on Saturday sought an end to the massive subsidies to oil companies and said the nation needs to develop alternative sources of energy.

"The truth is: the price of gas depends on a lot of factors that are often beyond our control. Unrest in the Middle East can tighten global oil supply. Growing nations like China or India adding cars to the road increases demand. But one thing we should control is fraud and manipulation that can cause prices to spike even further," Obama said in his weekly address to the nation.

Obama said at a time when big oil companies are making more money than ever before, "we're still giving them USD 4 billion of your tax dollars" in subsidies every year.

Obama said that he expected Congress to consider in the next few weeks halting USD 4 billion in tax subsidies.     "Your member of Congress should be fighting for you. Not for big financial firms. Not for big oil companies," he said.

"In the next few weeks, I expect Congress to vote on ending these subsidies. And when they do, we're going to put every single Member of Congress on record: They can either stand up for oil companies, or they can stand up for the American people," he said.

"They can either place their bets on a fossil fuel from the last century, or they can place their bets on America’s future. So make your voice heard. Send your representative an email. Give them a call. Tell them to stand with you," Obama said.

While there is no quick fix for the problem of high gas prices, Obama said his administration has taken steps to save families money at the pump, including signing Wall Street reforms to stop traders from unfairly manipulating the energy market, and establishing historic fuel economy standards that will nearly double the efficiency of the vehicles we drive, saving families USD 1.7 trillion at the pump and reducing oil
consumption by 12 billion barrels.

The US now is producing more oil at home than at any time in the last eight years, but with only two of the world’s proven oil reserves, drilling alone is not a solution, he said, adding that the country must have an all-of-the-above energy strategy that invests in new technologies and ends the USD 4 billion in annual subsidies to oil companies that are earning historic profits.

(Agencies)