Soaring petrol prices have prompted US President George W. Bush to lift an executive ban on offshore oil drilling.
The existing moratorium is up for renewal on September 30 and Bush wants legislation that would give states a say in whether to allow offshore drilling, and how to manage revenue.
“I urged Congress to act and they’ve done nothing. They’ve not moved any legislation. And as the Democratically-controlled Congress has sat idle, gas prices have continued to increase. With this action, the executive branch’s restrictions on this exploration have been cleared away. This means the only thing standing between the American people and these vast oil reserves is action from the US Congress,” he said during a short press conference in the White House Rose Garden.
The Democrats say lifting the drilling ban would jeopardise the environment and is therefore out of the question.
They also add that production would take years to get up to speed and is not an answer to the current supply crunch.