With US motorists paying record high prices for petrol, President Bush and lawmakers in the Congress continue their war of words on energy policy. In the latest round Bush has urged Congress to end a long standing ban on drilling for oil off the coast of the United States.
In the past Bush had supported the ban on offshore drilling, but has now said that that view is outdated. He told reporters: “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.”
The ban applies to federal land off the US east and west coasts. They are estimated to contain 18 billion barrels of oil – enough to supply the US for two and a half years – but it would likely take a decade or more to find the oil and produce it.