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Cornyn calls for more oil, gas drilling in Fort Worth stop

FORT WORTH -- U.S. Sen. John Cornyn called for more oil and gas drilling, lower taxes and a new system to finance the federal highway system during a stop here Tuesday.

“We know the failure of the United States to develop our own God-given natural resources has made us intolerably dependent on foreign oil,” Cornyn, a Republican, told a crowd at a Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce lunch.

“This $140 per barrel oil is enriching some of our worst enemies.”

Cornyn said the U.S. should open drilling on the continental shelves of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, along with the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge and more of the Rocky Mountain West.

He rejected the so-called Gang of 10 proposal by a group of congressional moderates that would open more areas drilling in exchange for higher taxes on energy companies.

“I don’t have to tell you that public opinion has shifted dramatically” in favor of more oil and gas drilling in the U.S., he said.

Cornyn also said Congress should pass incentives for wind, solar and nuclear power, along new technology such as extracting liquid fuel from coal. Congress should get rid of the federal subsidy on ethanol, which he called “a mistake” that has driven up food prices.

Texas loses out on federal transportation funding, receiving 92 cents for every dollar collected in the state, Cornyn said. He said he doesn’t support increasing the federal fuel tax and other funding methods, such as toll roads

“What the elected leaders need to do is explain, ‘Here are our alternatives and none of them are pretty,’ ” he said.