Contextual Content

Bush wants offshore oil and gas drilling

President George W. Bush called on congress to lift moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling saying the only way to lower gas prices was by the nation ‘producing more oil.’ 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. 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.

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Story Transcript

ZAA NKWETA (VOICEOVER), PRESENTER: President George W. Bush urged Congress on Wednesday to lift its 27-year-old ban on offshore oil and gas drilling before it breaks for summer recess.

GEORGE W. BUSH, US PRESIDENT: 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.

NKWETA: His proposal echoed a call by Republican presidential candidate John McCain to open the continental shelf for oil exploration. On Monday, McCain made lifting the federal ban on lifting the federal ban on offshore oil and gas development a key part of his energy plan. 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.

NICK RAHALL, US CONGRESSMAN (D-WV): You cannot drill yourself, 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, no correlation whatsoever.

NKWETA: 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, his father, in 1990. His brother Jeb Bush fiercely opposed offshore drilling when he was governor of Florida.

EDWARD MARKEY, US CONGRESSMAN (D-MA): After eight years, President Bush and Dick Cheney have turned the GOP into the Gas and Oil Party. That’s the legacy that they are going to leave.

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