• 72°

Bush to lift executive ban on offshore drilling

By BEN FELLER
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — In another push to deal with soaring gas prices, President Bush on Monday will lift an executive ban on offshore drilling that his stood since his father was president. But the move, by itself, will do nothing unless Congress acts as well.

The president plans to officially lift the ban and then explain his actions in a Rose Garden statement, White House press secretary Dana Perino said.

There are two prohibitions on offshore drilling, one imposed by Congress and another by executive order signed by former President Bush in 1990. The current president, trying to ease market tensions and boost supply, called last month for Congress to lift its prohibition before he did so himself.

But Perino said Bush no longer wants to wait. She pinned blame on the leaders of the Democratic Congress, noting that no action has been taken on this issue.

“They haven’t even held a single hearing,” Perino said. “So we are going to move forward, and hopefully that will spur action by the Congress.”

Asked if Bush’s action alone will lead to more oil drilling, Perino said, “In terms of allowing more exploration to go forward? No, it does not.”

The president, in his final months of office, has responded to record gas-prices with a series of proposals, including more oil exploration. None would have immediate impact on prices at the pump, according to White House officials, who say there is no quick fix. But starting action now would help, they say.

Bush’s proposal echoes a call by Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, to open the Continental Shelf for exploration. Democrat Barack Obama has opposed the idea and instead argued for helping consumers with a second economic stimulus package including energy rebates, as well as stepped up efforts to develop alternative fuels and more fuel-efficient automobiles.

“If offshore drilling would provide short-term relief at the pump or a long-term strategy for energy independence, it would be worthy of our consideration, regardless of the risks,” spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement. “But most experts, even within the Bush administration, concede it would do neither. It would merely prolong the failed energy policies we have seen from Washington for thirty years.”

Congressional Democrats have rejected the push to lift the drilling moratorium, accusing the president of hoping the U.S. can drill its way out a problem.

Bush says offshore drilling could yield up to 18 billion barrels of oil over time, although it would take years for production to start. Bush also says offshore drilling would take pressure off prices over time. In addition, the president has proposed opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for drilling, lifting restrictions on oil shale leasing in the Green River Basin of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming and easing the regulatory process to expand oil refining capacity.

Congressional Democrats, joined by some GOP lawmakers from coastal states, have opposed lifting the prohibition that has barred energy companies from waters along both the East and West coasts and in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. A succession of presidents, from Bush’s father ó George H.W. Bush ó to Bill Clinton, have sided against drilling in these waters, as has Congress each year for 27 years. Their goal has to been to protect beaches and coastal states’ tourism economies.

Comments

Comments closed.

Elections

Former North Carolina Gov. McCrory enters US Senate race

Crime

Salisbury woman arrested in Myrtle Beach for abducting child

Health

County updates health director job description, will advertise for position

High School

High school tennis: East beats Carson, still hopes to share NPC title

Elections

Board of Elections to purchase upgraded voting equipment using federal grant

Kannapolis

Kyle Seager drives in winning run in first game as Mariners split doubleheader with Orioles

Local

City exhausts this year’s funds for Innes Street Improvements, Municipal Services District grant programs

Landis

Landis adopts amendments to Zoning Ordinance related to signs, Planning Board terms

Nation/World

Cop, police chief resign 2 days after Black motorist’s death

Nation/World

Expert says cop was justified in pinning down George Floyd

Crime

Blotter: April 13

Coronavirus

County switches vaccines for Livingstone clinic after federal, state guidance

Coronavirus

US recommends ‘pause’ for J&J vaccine over clot reports

Education

Superintendent talks first 100 days, dives into district data

Business

‘It was an answer to a call:’ TenderHearted Home Care celebrates 10 years of providing care at home

News

Political Notebook: Local polls find increasing number of North Carolinians want COVID-19 vaccine

News

Trial begins on challenge to latest NC voter ID law

Local

Burch, Fisher, Marsh honored as 2021 recipients of Elizabeth Duncan Koontz Humanitarian Award

Landis

Landis board talks revenues, budget planning, department updates

College

College baseball: Catawba rolls 7-1 and 24-1

Nation/World

Student fires at officers at Tennessee school, is killed

Nation/World

Police: Minnesota officer meant to draw Taser, not handgun

Crime

Man receives consecutive prison sentences for sex offenses

Education

RSS Board of Education approves Faith Elementary sale