Gas prices are skyrocketing – putting pressure on your wallet and further wounding a slowly-recovering economy. With unrest in the Middle East, we’re unlikely to see prices fall dramatically any time soon. Yet President Obama and others in Washington refuse to explore the vast American energy supplies off our coasts. In the state Senate, we passed a bipartisan bill this week that urges Governor Beverly Perdue to partner with the governors of South Carolina and Virginia to lobby the president and others to open North Carolina’s coast for energy exploration. We think doing so could produce a robust energy sector in North Carolina – one that brings thousands of new jobs and billions of dollars in new state revenue.