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National Briefing / WASHINGTON, D.C.

Bush calls for offshore drilling

August 03, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

President Bush chastised Democrats 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 in a week that he has called for Congress to end the drilling restrictions off both coasts and in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

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

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

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