Gas prices continue to climb across the country, and are now close to an average of $3.60 a gallon. Two Kentucky Republican leaders say delays in domestic drilling permits are hurting even more, and one former Democratic President agrees.
President Obama recently said the White House is prepared to open up the nation's strategic oil reserve if necessary to help ease pain at the pump. However, both Senator Mitch McConnell and Congressman Hal Rogers told WYMT that some answers to a potential energy crisis lie just off the shores.
In two separate interviews from their respective Capitol offices, Senator McConnell and Congressman Rogers said this is not the time to tap into the nation's gas reserve
"That reserve is made for national emergency," said Rogers.
"That's not a long-term solution. We need to produce more american oil and gas," said McConnell.
To do that, Senator McConnell says more offshore drilling permits need to be granted.
"We think it's not only bad for the economy, but contributes to our dependence on foreign oil, to have so much of the America's own natural resources simply unavailable," said McConnell.
"We've got enough oil in Alaska, in North Dakota, off the coast of this country. We can be self-sufficient, and yet the environmentalists have prevented drilling for oil on American soil," said Rogers.
Last week, former President Bill Clinton called delays in offshore drilling permits "ridiculous," especially in a recovering economy.