Portman Speaks Out On Energy

ST. MARYS — An Ohio senator says the Obama administration needs to do more to ease soaring fuel prices.

“Simply put in order to get energy prices down, we have to deal with the supply issue,” U.S. Sen. Rob Portman said during a telelconference with regional media on Thursday. “It’s got to be a reliable supply so it’s a matter of producing more energy in our country, particularly on public land.”

Portman called for the Obama administration to open up more public land for energy exploration. While domestic production has increased, Portman said the spike has come from the private sector.

“Last year on federal land, there was a 14 percent decrease in oil production,” Portman said. “So the president can talk about how there’s more oil and gas being produced — that’s the private sector.”

Portman also called for the opening of the entire Keystone pipeline. The project would open up more oil to flow into the American market place — something Portman said is vital if the nation is to curb its reliance on foreign sources of oil.

Portman also shot down talk about his possible candidacy for vice president if Mitt Romney secures the GOP nomination. During the Ohio primary season, Portman endorsed Romney as his choice for the Republican nomination.

“I haven’t talked to them,” Portman said. “I’m very happy where I am. I just got elected to represent Ohio and I love the job and I love the opportunity to serve. I think there’s going to be huge issues to address in the coming year ... I think I can help Mitt Romney a lot here by being in the legislature. He’s going to have his hands full if he gets elected trying to deal with some of these big issues and I look forward to helping him and helping Ohio. I plan to stay right where I am.”