Bush lifts executive ban on offshore oil drilling
President Bush lifted an executive order banning offshore oil drilling on Monday and urged Congress to follow suit.
If President Bush can persuade Congress, more oil rigs like this one off Canada could appear off U.S. shores.
Citing the high prices Americans are paying at the pump, Bush said from the White House Rose Garden that allowing offshore oil drilling is "one of the most important steps we can take" to reduce that burden.
However, the move is largely symbolic as there is also a federal law banning offshore drilling.
"This means that the only thing standing between the American people and these vast oil reserves is action from the U.S. Congress," Bush said. Watch Bush announce lifting of ban »
Bush has been pushing Congress to repeal the law passed in 1981.
"There is no excuse for delay," the president said in a Rose Garden statement last month. iReport.com: Is drilling the answer?
"In the short run, the American economy will continue to rely largely on oil, and that means we need to increase supply here at home," Bush said, adding that there is no more pressing issue for many Americans than gas prices.