As Americans continue feeling squeezed at the gas pump, it is more important than ever that Congress take action to implement meaningful energy policies to put us on the road toward energy independence and more affordable gasoline.

America must do a better job of immediately increasing our domestic production of energy at home and invest in alternative and renewable energy sources to free us from dependence on foreign oil. I support exploring for oil and gas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and in the Outer Continental Shelf’s deep waters off our coast. Those areas hold 24 billion barrels of recoverable oil. It is important that states be given the ability to control the use of their coastal resources.

I also believe we can diversify our future energy supply through the use of alternative and renewable energy. The United States is the Middle East of coal, and any long-term energy policy must recognize this resource. A good example of the potential coal holds is the conversion of coal to low-cost and environmentally friendly liquid fuel. This technology is being employed now in Mississippi, and with our vast coal reserves, our state can become a key player in the future of coal-to-liquid fuel.