"If we've learned anything from the situation in the Persian Gulf, it ought to be energy independence," Dole said, because the United States imports over 40 percent of its oil and studies have shown that could increase to as much as 60 percent.
Dole, a senator from neighboring Kansas, stopped short of calling for an oil import fee, but did say he would support one "under certain conditions" and would also like to see a floor price established for domestic oil.
"It seems to many of us that we need to stimulate production, stimulate exploration, and that's why under certain conditions I would support it," he said, referring to the fee.
One of those conditions needed to gain his support, he said, would be a 10 percent tax credit for heating oil, an important consideration to garner the support of the eastern United States where heating oil is in wide use.
Dole also said "stripper" wells, those producing about 10 barrels per day or less, should be reclassified to include wells producing 15 barrels a day in order to strengthen the energy industry and to preserve the independent petroleum industry. …