U.S. President George Bush is to announce Monday that he is lifting an executive ban on offshore oil drilling.
the statement at the White House, Mr. Bush is to urge lawmakers to lift
their ban on offshore drilling. Lawmakers would have to lift the
legislative ban before any new drilling would be allowed.
Bush has said experts believe that drilling in the Outer Continental
Shelf could produce enough oil to match the current production in the
United States for almost a decade. He has said technological advances
since the Congressional restrictions were put in place in the 1980s now
allow exploration in ways that protect the environment.
Democrats, who represent the majority in Congress, argue that oil
companies are not taking advantage of more than 27 million hectares of
federal land where they already have the right to explore.