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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) also declined to endorse Mr. Hofmeister’s rationing recommendation.

“It’s normal for prices to increase following periods of constraint - that’s what happens when supply and demand are imbalanced,” said DOE press secretary Healy Baumgardner. “The Department of Energy is mitigating impacts to American families by working with the EPA to issue multi-state fuel waivers, releasing emergency exchanges from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and monitoring gas-price gouging.”

Mr. Hofmeister also lashed out at the U.S. political system’s failure to muster the courage to address the nuclear waste problem.

He lamented the “fundamental problem in Congress,” where he said it appeared to be more important to follow the rules of the Senate that permit two senators representing 2.5 million Nevadans to block the solution to the nuclear-waste storage problem at the expense of 300 million other Americans.

Mr. Hofmeister decried the “lack of an energy policy in this country for most of the last 50 years,” saying Americans became spoiled during the 1990s when energy prices hit “bargain-basement” levels, when oil sold for as little as $10 per barrel. He stood behind a statement he made in congressional testimony earlier this year as the price of oil headed toward $147 per barrel.

“$65 is a pretty good price,” he said.

Mr. Hofmeister recently founded Citizens for Affordable Energy, which advocates increasing the supply of energy from all sources and making major investments in energy infrastructure.

“We need a whole lot more energy to sustain the lifestyle we’ve chosen for ourselves,” he said.