Bush Rips Democrats For Refusing To Consider Offshore Drilling

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush chastised Democrats on Saturday for refusing to allow a vote on whether to lift the federal ban on offshore oil drilling before lawmakers departed for their summer recess.

"To reduce pressure on prices, we need to increase the supply of oil, especially oil produced here at home," Bush said in his weekly radio address. It was the fourth time this week that he has called for Congress to end the drilling restrictions off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

Some of the drilling moratoriums have been in place since 1981 for environmental reasons and concerns that energy development might harm coastal tourist industries.

Bush acknowledged it would be years before any of the oil beneath the offshore waters could be pumped, but he said "lifting the ban would create new opportunities for American workers and businessmen."

"But the leaders of the Democratic Congress have refused to allow a vote" on whether the drilling moratoriums should be lifted, Bush complained.

Most energy experts and the government's own research agency at the Energy Department have said drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf, which is now off-limits, would have no impact on current gasoline prices and probably would have none for years.

Congressional Democrats have argued that oil companies already have large areas of federal land and waters where they can drill for oil, especially in Alaska and off its coast.

"The president knows ... that the impact of any new drilling will be insignificant, promising savings of only pennies per gallon many years down the road," says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has called the demand to lift the drilling bans a hoax.

Pelosi, D-Calif., has refused to bring up for House consideration various Republican proposals to lift the offshore drilling moratoriums that Congress has renewed annually for years.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada offered to consider a GOP offshore drilling proposals, but when Republicans demanded votes on a number of other energy proposals, he withdrew his offer.

Congress began its annual August recess on Friday without having enacted any substantive responses to public outcries over high gasoline and other energy costs. Reid blamed Republicans, who have filibustered a number of energy measures, for the congressional gridlock.

A proposal presented Friday by a bipartisan group of 10 senators - five from each party - would allow oil and gas drilling beyond 50 miles of the coast in the South Atlantic and eastern Gulf of Mexico, but leave the ban in place elsewhere.

Bush in his radio remarks also urged Congress to end restrictions on developing shale oil on federal lands in the West and to allow drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Bush called these actions "vital steps to help reduce pressure on gas prices," although none of the actions would produce any new oil for years.

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  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Aug 6, 2008 at 05:29 AM
    I hear people blaming Bush for everything but four times? Four times he requested the ban be lifted and Pelosi wouldn't even bring it up? All of those that vote democrat for house and senate are the problem here. Liberals now have the democrat party by the......and they still vote for these crack heads. Vbush, you are so right, companies have left here due to environmental reasons and the laws here. Again, the liberal agenda. Remember this if you vote Obama. Figure gas at $9 a gallon, higher taxes and new redistribution of you tax money to those that don't need it. Don't forget reparation to blacks for slavery. All liberal agenda items. The socialists are coming....
  • by Devil Dog Location: New Bern on Aug 3, 2008 at 06:06 AM
    $700 billion dollars a year to our enemies is enough for me to say "start drilling".
  • by VBush Location: MHCY on Aug 3, 2008 at 05:45 AM
    If they would have lifted those bans 10 years ago, oil would be coming up today. The environmentalist wackos are the reason we are in this situation. That coupled with the fact that we have no real leadership to shut them up. They are also in large part the reason that so much industry is leaving the country. They want you to believe it is for cheaper labor, but it's more to do with regulation and taxes...oh yes and let us not forget litigation! The cost of doing business in this country is the reason they leave...our government has regulated our industry right out of the country.
  • by Cactus Location: Strabane, NC on Aug 2, 2008 at 07:06 PM
    You know I don't expect much of our government, just the truth. Is that too much to ask. Just another stupid though.
  • by Mr. Bob on Aug 2, 2008 at 05:50 PM
    Pelosi has no place in our government. She should go back to lala land in disgrace.

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