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The Real News Network: Bush Wants Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling

June 19, 2008
12:30 PM

CONTACT: The Real News Network
Nelson Bettencourt, 416-916-5202

Bush Wants Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling
President calls for lifting 27-year moratorium on offshore drilling
June 19 - President George W. Bush called on Congress to lift its 27-year moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling saying the only way to lower gas prices was by the nation producing more oil. Bush announced that, "Congress must face a hard reality, unless members are willing to accept gas prices at today's painful levels or even higher, our nation must produce more oil and we must start now." This echoes Republican presidential candidate John McCain's call to open the Continental Shelf for oil exploration.

Congressional Democrats were quick to reject the call for lifting the drilling moratorium, stating that oil companies already have 68 million acres of offshore waters under lease that are not being developed. West Virginia Democrat Nick Rahall stated, "You cannot drill ourselves to lower gas prices. The amount of lands that are open, the amount of permits that have been issued have all increased over recent years yet so has the price of gas. There is no correlation between opening up more pristine areas and lowering the price of gas."

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama also rejected lifting the drilling moratorium that has been supported by a succession of presidents for nearly two decades. There are two prohibitions on offshore drilling, one imposed by Congress and another by executive order signed by George H.W. Bush, Bush's father, in 1990. His brother, Jeb Bush, fiercely opposed offshore drilling when he was governor of Florida.

Massachusetts Democrat Edward Markey told the public, "President Bush and Dick Cheney have turned the GOP into the Gas and Oil Party. That is the legacy that they are going to leave."

Watch the full story on The Real News Network


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