BOUNTIFUL, Utah (ABC4) – U.S. Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK) say supporting energy independence is supporting middle-class Americans and national security.

“You should be all for utilizing America’s energy resources including those found on federal lands. Because if you don’t use that we’ll end up buying more from countries like Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela, all of which have horrible human rights records and very very substandard environmental records,” said Sen. Lee.

The abundance of federal lands is something the senators’ home states of Utah and Alaska have in common. It is land the senators say has potential for energy production.

“But if you can’t get the federal government to help you get through the permitting system, the transportation, it hurts your country it hurts your state,” said Sen. Sullivan.

But White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a press conference last month, there are existing leases oil companies should be using first.

“We know there are 9,000 unused and approved oil leases right now that these oil companies could tap into and do more in,” said Psaki.