U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk says exploring natural gas supplies in Illinois and making tax credits for renewable energy permanent could be ways to lower soaring gas prices.
Kirk told reporters Monday that federal officials need to research possibilities for harnessing natural gas from New Albany shale in the Illinois basin.
The Republican also says he'd like to see permits granted more quickly for off shore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and reduce so-called small gasoline monopolies.
But Kirk couldn't outline specifics on how quickly his ideas would take effect or how they would immediately affect high prices at the pump.
The St. Louis Beacon also reported about Kirk's position on ethanol subsidies yesterday:
Last month, Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill, warned that eliminating the ethanol subsidy would have "a tremendous impact on the central and southern Illinois economy" so he would not want to single out the ethanol subsidy unless it was part of a much broader reform of tax and energy policies. "All federal accounts should be cut in general to reduce the common danger of the deficit, but some sort of unique singling out [of ethanol] should not be done," Kirk said.
Illinois is among half a dozen states where the average price for a gallon of gas tops $4.
Reporting from the St. Louis Beacon's Robert Koenig used in this report.