State of Play: Bush to Propose Offshore Drilling
With $4 per-gallon gas in the rearview mirrors of many drivers around the country, Americans are screaming for relief. President Bush is expected to make a speech this morning urging Congress to lift the 27-year federal ban on offshore drilling. Bush plans to ask Congress to lift the drilling moratoria in more than 80 percent of the country’s Outer Continental Shelf and to let states help to decide where to allow drilling, according to White House press secretary Dana Perino. The House Appropriations Committee was supposed to review legislation Wednesday that would continue the ban into late 2009, but the session was postponed to focus on disaster relief for the flooded Midwest. According to USA Today:
The 574 million acres of federal coastal water that are off-limits are believed to hold nearly 18 billion barrels of undiscovered, recoverable oil and 77 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, according to the Interior Department. The country each year uses about 7.6 billion barrels of oil and 21 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
Headlines across the country reflected the monumental request.
Bush Will Seek to End Offshore Oil Drilling Ban (The New York Times)
Bush to urge Congress to allow offshore drilling (Washington Post)
Bush looks offshore for remedy to high oil prices (USA Today)
Bush to Urge Congress to Lift Offshore Drilling Ban (Fox News)
Bush looks offshore for oil remedy (MSNBC)
Bush to ask Congress to clear way for offshore oil drilling (CNN)