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The Washington Post, though, crunched the numbers and found that more than half of the increase had happened since Mrs. Pelosi had become speaker.

Mrs. Pelosi’s office did not respond to messages seeking comment.

The current price isn’t the lowest of the Bush administration. That came the week of Dec. 17, 2001, when gas averaged $1.04 a gallon.

The EIA says the declining economy worldwide has helped bring down demand, and therefore prices. The agency said worldwide demand would drop 450,000 barrels a day in 2009 and U.S. gas prices would average $2.03 this year.

Still, over the long haul, EIA says gas prices will rise, plateauing at $130 a barrel by 2030. The 2008 average was projected to be about $100 per barrel.

President-elect Barack Obama is already taking a hands-off approach; his transition team has announced he will not seek a windfall profits tax on oil companies.

In early June, with the average national price about to cross the $4 threshold, Mr. Obama said oil companies should face an extra levy to help fund a consumer rebate. However, by early December, with gas less than $1.80 and falling, Mr. Obama’s team told the Houston Chronicle he had backed off.

• Tom LoBianco contributed to this article.