WASHINGTON, April 14 (UPI) -- Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., Saturday called for more domestic oil drilling and a hold on further regulation of U.S. refineries.
Upton, in the weekly Republican media address, said President Obama's energy policies were contributing to higher gas prices.
"Last year we produced 100 million barrels less on federal lands than we did the year before," Upton said. "The president rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have decreased our dependence on oil from unstable regions of the world. And heavy-handed federal agencies are adding new layers of regulations on the energy sector, pushing prices only higher."
The congressman called on Obama and Senate Democrats to support measures on drilling and refinery regulation.
The refinery measure "pushes the pause button on costly new regs affecting refineries until we study them all to determine how much they're driving up the price at the pump."
The other bill would require President Obama to open more federal land for energy development if he taps into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, as he did last year.
Republicans have attempted in recent days to link Obama's energy policy to higher gas prices.
"Today we're knocking at the door of a brighter energy future, one that promises abundant, secure and cheaper North American supplies, as long as Washington doesn't create artificial obstacles," Upton said.
"That is what Republicans are working toward, and we invite the president to join us. If he won't lead, we will."