President Obama could instigate lower UK fuel prices

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The key to lower fuel prices in the UK could be in Barack Obama's hands, as he and Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday discussed releasing oil reserves.

The 'crippling' fuel prices that both nations are facing were high on the agenda during Mr Cameron's visit to the US this week.

But 'crippling' in America and 'crippling' in the UK are evidently some distance apart: according to the US Energy Information Administration, average US petrol prices are around $3.80, which equates to approximately 53p per litre. Today's UK average is 139p per litre.

That's probably why Mr Cameron told a hall full of students in New York that the UK's fuel prices would "probably make you faint."

A startling deal has been discussed in which both nations will release some of their fuel reserves. This will increase supply and instantly drive down the price of a litre - though by how much, and for how long lower prices will last, are both open to debate.

It's in the interests of both nations to bring fuel prices down, to stimulate the economy, but cynics suggest that the move is partly a pre-election ploy on Obama's behalf: lower US fuel prices sustains US confidence in the economic recovery; Obama wins second term.

While Mr Cameron has confirmed that he is considering releasing some of the UK's fuel reserve - thought to be around 70 days' worth - he has reiterated the desire to "become less reliant on hydrocarbons," calling our reliance on oil an "addiction," quoted from The Daily Mail.

But in the UK we're nowhere near relinquishing our love for, or dependence on, the internal combustion engine: today's poster boy for available electric cars, the Nissan Leaf, made its way to just 635 homes in 2011. That's 0.03% of total UK car sales.