Wicker visits USM

Soaring energy prices is the top issue on the minds of Mississippians, according to U.S. Republican Senator Roger Wicker.

The state's junior senator hosted a town hall meeting Monday at Southern Miss's Thad Cochran Center. Wicker answered questions from the public including those about high gas prices.

Wicker said he favors lifting the Congressional ban on off-shore drilling. Wicker said 30 hours have been set aside to debate energy policy this week in Congress, and he hopes the ban is lifted.

"Well I'm fairly optimistic, this is an election year, and our friends on the democratic side have sided over the last few years with the environmental groups, and I think they have gone too far in that respect."

Wicker is currently facing former Mississippi governor Ronnie Musgrove in a race for former senator Trent Lott's seat. Wicker was appointed to the position earlier this year after Lott announced his retirement.