WASHINGTON, May 8 (UPI) -- Rep. Tom DeLay said on "ABC's This Week" that gasoline prices were high primarily because the United States had not developed a long-term energy plan.
The Texas Republican told host George Stephanopoulos that President Bush was doing more to control oil prices than just tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, investigating price-gouging by oil companies and raising fuel efficiency standards.
"We are paying the price of Democrat policies where Democrats have stopped us from developing American oil and American gas in this country," said DeLay. "They've stopped us from drilling in Alaska, off the off-shore of Florida and California, the huge reserves of oil shell and natural gas in the West."
Had President Bill Clinton agreed to drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the 1990s, the United States would have a million more barrels a day, DeLay said, and that would have impacted gas prices.
Stephanopoulos countered, saying a million barrels was a "relatively small" amount of oil, but DeLay said a million was what the United States was losing in the Middle East.