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State Senator Stivers touts gas plan to create better security

As gas prices continue to hover around $4 a gallon, the Republican candidate for the 15th congressional district seat, Steve Stivers, said he has a plan that will make the U.S. more self-sufficient and safer.

It's about 11:30 in the morning at the Sunoco at Front and Mound Streets near the Franklin County Courthouse. Drew Dixon puts the gas nozzle in his car's gas tank and selects 93 octane - it costs $4.05 a gallon.

"It's inevitable, you gotta pay for gas. And I'm just going to pay for what my car needs. I'm not going to sacrifice the octane rating,"Dixon said.

Dixon said he's not sure what needs to be done to lower gas prices, but he said he knows one thing,"It's out of our hands, you know? And it just cut off. What'd you pay? $53.27."

Just before Dixon filled up his tank Republican State Senator Steve Stivers stood in the service station parking lot and announced a five-point energy plan he said will reduce America's dependence on foreign oil and strengthen national security.

Stivers, who's running against Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy for the 15th Congressional District seat, said he wants to create a variation of FDR's 1942 Petroleum Administration for War, except Stivers wants one for security.

"It led to new supply, new pipelines and new refineries that helped us in the war effort. I believe the national imperative is more important now than it was in World War Two," Stivers said.

Stivers said the Petroleum Administration for Security director would have the power to locate and build new refineries in the U.S.

Stivers would not pinpoint geographic areas he thinks could be tapped for oil. But his congressional opponent, Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy, said Stivers wants to drill in governmentally protected areas.

"He's talking about opening up drilling in places that have been environmentally protected or in our parks and that's not the right answer," Kilroy said.

"What we need to do is have energy policies that help consumers and stop benefiting the gas and oil companies," she said.

Stivers calls for a higher mile per gallon standard on cars and trucks. In December President Bush signed a law that requires automakers boost gas mileage on cars to 35 miles per gallon by 2020. Stivers touts his plan can do it better and sooner.

"I'm calling on fleet averages for cars to be raised to 40 mpg and for trucks to 35 mpg 2015, and that's six years from 2009," Stivers said.

Kilroy agrees with higher mile per gallon standards on cars and trucks. And she said she thinks the government should help people buy eco-friendly cars.

"Get some tax breaks that help middle-class Americans so that they can buy these fuel efficient vehicles," Kilroy said.

Back at one of the Sunoco pumps, Barney White, an independent contractor for the delivery company DHL, just filled up a truck for one of his workers. It's the first time White's actually filled up one of the 48 gallon tanks. The total was $186.

"Whoa. That's a shocker," White said.