With gas prices rising, the GOP presidential candidates have increasingly focused on energy in recent days, seeing it as a one of President Barack Obama's remaining vulnerability as the jobs numbers improve.

Speaking at the 2012 Gulf Coast Energy Summit in Biloxi, Miss. on Monday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich went so far as to say that energy will be the most important issue of the general election:

That's part of why energy independence is economically the right thing to do, it is in national security terms the right thing to do, it is in jobs terms the right thing to do and it is in balancing the budget the right thing to do.

That's why I think the biggest issue this fall is going to be drilling versus algae. It's going to be $2.50 a gallon versus $10 a gallon. It's going to be which future do you want for your children.

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In referencing algae, Gingrich was making fun of comments Obama made on Feb. 23, when he said that gasoline and diesel fuel were already being developed from algae.

"If we can figure out how to make energy out of that, we'll be doing all right," he said.

The Gingrich campaign has also been promoting the slogan "Newt=$2.50," in reference to the former Speaker's promise to get the price of gas down to $2.50 per gallon if he is president.

The White House released a report on Monday touting Obama's energy successes. The report says Obama has cut net oil imports by 10 percent, or 1 million barrels prt day.