(ROBERTSDALE, Ala.) - Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich pledged to "open up" off-shore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico at a rally in Robertsdale Saturday morning.
Gingrich laid out his aggressive energy plan which he says will lower gas prices to $2.50 a gallon, including drilling on land and off-shore as much as possible and abolishing the Department of Energy. Gingrich said the DOE has hampered energy growth with red tape and bureaucracy.
He added that under his plan, the United States could become the number one oil producer in the world.
Gingrich did not mention the BP oil spill, but said the off-shore drilling leases he's seeking to "open up" are off the coast of Louisiana and Texas, which would produce 400,000 barrels a day.
Gingrich said the oil industry has 16,000 jobs they cannot fill because the unemployed don't have the required skills. Gingrich proposed requiring people to go through training while out of a job in order to receive unemployment checks.