Washington: President George W. Bush will call on US lawmakers Wednesday to pass legislation lifting the ban on offshore oil drilling, the White House said.
“With gasoline now over four dollars a gallon, tomorrow he will explicitly call on Congress to also pass legislation lifting the congressional ban on safe, environmentally-friendly offshore oil drilling,” White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said in a statement late Tuesday.
The announcement came just hours after Republican presidential candidate John McCain called for the federal government to scrap its 27-year-old moratorium on offshore oil drilling.
His demand tapped into voters’ anxiety about sky-high fuel prices but his Democratic rival, Barack Obama, dismissed it as “political posturing” that would not help gas prices and might do much to ruin the coastal environment.
Perino said the president had long pushed Congress to expand the US’ domestic oil supply but blamed Democrats for blocking any action.
“The president believes Congress shouldn’t waste any more time,” she said, while adding that he “is not taking any executive action tomorrow.”