Again, we are reminded of the importance of energy independence.Due in part to Hurricane Issac blasting the Gulf of Mexico and a deadly explosion at a Venezuelan refinery, gas prices are set to turn upward just in time for the busy Labor Day travel holiday. Futures are up 23 percent since June. AAA says prices will the highest Labor Day levels EVER in U.S. history.

Financial experts say this price spike -- especially with an election looming -- will likely cause President Obama to release oil supplies from the SPR, or Strategic Petroleum Reserves, in an effort to drop prices. But, say critics, this is only a temporary relief and does nothing to help with long-term prices. It also doesn't change the fact that every time there is a significant weather event -- or other situation that disrupts supply and production -- the U.S. faces gas price spikes.

According to AAA, drivers could be paying $4 a gallon by the end of September. Mitt Romney blasted Obama earlier this week over his faulty energy policy, saying Obama has imposed restrictions for drilling on federal land, as well as implementing costly regulations. He also pounded Obama for investing billions in faulty, untested energy technology such as the ill-fated Solyndra solar panel company.

By the way, with gas prices projected near, or at, $4 a gallon by late September, the first presidential debate is Oct. 3.