Bush Calls for Off-Shore Drillingby Tim Manni
In a follow-up to a story written last week:
President Bush plans to call upon Congress this morning to lift the nearly three-decade-old ban placed on off-shore drilling for US oil reserves. A Senate subcommittee voted against the proposed bill last Wednesday. Experts say Bush could lift the ban himself by issuing an executive order, but will not do so today when he makes his statement this morning. The president is not endorsing a specific bill; rather he is encouraging Congress to merely accomplish the initiative in order to help lower gas prices.
A White House spokesperson said that off-shore drilling is both safe and environmentally friendly. In addition to drilling off US coastlines, Bush and Republican lawmakers have pushed to begin drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. In what has turned into a battle between political parties, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi agued that drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge would only decrease US gas prices by one cent per gallon. Bush has blamed Democrats for stalling efforts to increase oil production.
Cuba may soon begin drilling for oil 50 miles off the Florida coast with the help of ally China which means the US could potentially lose control of reserves it once had access to.
This issue is already a hot topic between presidential candidates. Republican candidate John McCain supports off-shore drilling, while Democratic candidate Barack Obama supports establishing alternate forms of energy rather than drilling off shore.