U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following statement Wednesday regarding the President's announcement on offshore energy exploration:
"Senate Republicans have long supported efforts to find more American energy, and use less; we believe we must do both. While supporting conservation, electric cars, clean coal and nuclear energy, we also pushed for lifting the Congressional ban on offshore exploration, which was removed more than a year ago. Since then, we have been waiting to see whether the administration would follow through and open more areas for the development of American energy.
"Today's announcement is a step in the right direction, but a small one that leaves enormous amounts of American energy off limits. And the proof of the administration's announcement will be in the implementation: will the administration actually take concrete steps to finish the studies, approve the necessary permits, and open these areas for production? Will they stand by as their allies act to delay the implementation in the courts?
"The American people believe that to strengthen our national and energy security we should rely more on America's energy resources, and less on those of the Middle East. It's time to put America's energy to work for the American people, without the threat of a new national energy tax."