Facing intensifying election-year attacks over rising gasoline prices, President Barack Obama sought to shift the spotlight onto oil and gas companies on Thursday by pushing for the repeal of U.S. tax breaks that benefit the industry.

Obama’s speech in New Hampshire, in the backyard of leading Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney, was part of a White House strategy to blunt a campaign by Republicans to blame a spike in energy prices on the president’s energy policies.

With the issue posing a potential threat to Obama’s re-election prospects in November, his administration has been at pains to say it is doing everything it can to bring down costs, even as it stresses that the market-driven price rises are largely beyond its control.