Storm Lake, Iowa (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry suggested Friday that Iowa may be ripe for natural gas drilling.
Speaking to packed coffee house in Storm Lake during his statewide bus tour, the Texas governor accused President Barack Obama of blocking domestic energy exploration.
"I say, Mr. President, free us in this country to create jobs, free us to allow us to be more dependent on domestic crude, crude that comes from the domestic hemisphere," he said. "Open up our federal lands and waters so that we can have access."
Perry pointed to the Marcellus Shale formation that extends from New York down through Appalachia, saying that scientists only recently discovered large amounts of natural gas under the ground there.
"I mean, we don't know what's underneath Iowa," he said. "There is new technologies coming along. You may be sitting on one of the big gas formations."
"Ten years ago, they didn't know that the Marcellus Shale was there," he said. "They didn't know that we have this massive amount of energy that we are sitting on."