South Mississippi Congressman pumps gas for frustrated drivers

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Some drivers in Jackson County got a surprise when they pulled up on Wednesday to get gas.   Congressman Steven Palazzo was there to pump it for them.

A congressman pumping gas for drivers in his district is not something you see every day. But new congressman Steven Palazzo didn't mind rolling up his sleeves to do the work.

He was also there to hear his constituents frustrations about soaring gas prices. The Congressman said he's on a mission to speed up domestic oil production.

He said with gas nearly $4 a gallon and rising, he wanted to find out how high prices are hitting the budgets of families in South Mississippi.

When Palazzo asked a driver "How's $4 gas?" The driver responded, "It is terrible, I can't go out of my house."

The congressman also talked to drivers about our country's reliance on foreign oil and the need to producing more of our own.

"We need to start issuing leases and open up places that have had a moratorium, just not in the Gulf, but in other parts of the country."

Palazzo also asserted that the slowdown in drilling permits since the BP oil spill is costing jobs and adding to the oil crisis.

"I have been screaming to the top of my lungs, just calling, beseeching the president to put 12,000 men and women to work offshore."

The new congressman said the U.S. House of Representatives has already passed two energy bills and working on another one.

"We need a common sense energy policy and we need a sound energy policy."

But Palazzo points out that it is going to take a lot of bipartisanship to really ease the pain at the pump.

A lot of drivers like the sound of anything that drops prices.

"I remember when gas was 19 cents a gallon. I know it won't ever get there again," a driver said.

Jackson County driver, Lynn Vehos, agreed, "Gas is so expensive, I haven't bought clothes in a year."

Palazzo said filling the gas tank should not empty the wallet and he wants Congress to make changes to help.

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