The following op-ed, written by Senator Mitch McConnell, appeared in Sunday's Courier-Journal.

The Courier-Journal editorial board believes Kentuckians ought to pay higher gasoline taxes. You've held that position for a long time, and aggressively promote it every chance you get. And on this issue, you're in total agreement with my opponent.

I believe differently. I'm convinced Kentuckians don't want their taxes to increase, especially at a time of record high gas prices. Talk about adding insult to injury.

There's a better way. I have a plan to help solve this energy crisis, bring down the price at the pump and reduce our dependence on Middle East oil.

The answer is simple: We need to find more energy and use less. This will take a three-pronged approach of greater energy exploration, new technological innovation and more conservation.

America is the third-largest oil-producing country in the world behind Saudi Arabia and Russia. Yet, you would never know it by the extreme restrictions placed on energy exploration here at home. With gas prices topping $4 a gallon, the majority of Americans believe we need to unlock more of our own natural resources to help lower them.

We should allow responsible energy exploration off the Outer Continental Shelf, at least 50 miles from the coast, where states choose to do so. After all, the offshore areas off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts contain more oil than total U.S. imports from all Persian Gulf countries over the last 15 years combined -- yet 85 percent of this area is currently off limits.

We should also scrap an ill-conceived moratorium on developing oil shale in our Western states, which could yield three times the proven reserves of Saudi Arabia.

Innovation to develop new sources of energy is important, too. That's why I support greater federal funding for research and development for plug-in electric cars and trucks, and clean-coal technology, a resource Kentucky has in abundance.
Finally, we need greater conservation efforts, which is why I supported the first increase in fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks in three decades.

Taken as a whole, these proposals can win bipartisan support in Congress and be signed into law. Kentuckians deserve no less from their elected officials. I intend to keep working in the Senate to pass this much-needed legislation so we can lower the price of gas and reduce our reliance on Middle East oil.

Here's the problem with Mitch saying we should use less.

Just look at his record from

Mitch McConnell made the following stands that are counter to energy conservation:

  • Voted NO on tax incentives for energy production and conservation. (Jun 2008)
  • Voted NO on reducing oil usage by 40% by 2025 (instead of 5%). (Jun 2005)
  • Voted NO on targeting 100,000 hydrogen-powered vehicles by 2010. (Jun 2003)
  • Voted YES on defunding renewable and solar energy. (Jun 1999)
  • Rated 0% by the CAF, indicating opposition to energy independence. (Dec 2006)
Why is Mitch saying he's against reducing consumption but voting another way? Could it be that Mitch McConnell loves the money that big oil feeds his way?