Former House Speaker and Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is calling for a new national energy policy to include drilling for natural gas off the South Carolina coast.
Gingrich, campaigning in early-voting South Carolina, told about 120 executives of the state's electric cooperatives in Charleston the nation's energy policy needs to be reset to develop the country's gas and oil supplies.
He said natural gas could provide a new industry for the state with high-paying jobs. He said the wells would be far enough offshore so they wouldn't be seen and not affect the state's $18.4 billion tourism industry centered on the coast.
Gingrich wrapped up a two-day campaign swing through the state that holds the first GOP primary in the South. He'll be back in Iowa campaigning this weekend.