Bush to lift presidential ban on US offshore drilling

14 July 2008 16:55  [Source: ICIS news]

Bush called on Congress to lift drilling banWASHINGTON (ICIS news)--President Bush will announce on Monday that he is lifting the longstanding executive order that bars drilling in 85% of the US outer continental shelf (OCS), a White House spokeswoman said on Monday.


Bush will announce an end to the presidential moratorium on offshore drilling at a press conference at 13:30 Eastern Time at the White House, said spokeswoman Elizabeth Chervenak.


She said Bush also will again urge the US Congress to lift its 27-year-old ban on offshore drilling.


The congressional ban on oil and gas drilling off the US east and west Coasts and along almost all of Alaska’s lengthy coastline has been in place since 1981, while the separate presidential offshore development ban was put in place by the first President Bush in 1990.


Both moratoria were meant to protect shorelines from possible contamination that might result from oil drilling, but both development bans were initiated when oil and gas were much cheaper.


With US retail gasoline prices at more than $4/gal, oil at plus-$140/bbl and natural gas - a key feedstock for US chemicals producers - at around $12/m Btu, there has been a growing clamour from consumers and industry for further development of vast US domestic oil and gas resources.


Bush urged Congress on 18 June to lift its drilling ban, saying he would end the presidential moratorium if the legislature moved first.


However, the White House said the president is now going to take the initiative and lift the executive order first.


“It has been nearly a month since the president urged Congress to act, and it has not moved forward,” Chervenak said. 


“So the president will announce today an end to the executive’s offshore drilling ban and he will urge Congress to follow suit.”


The move by Bush is seen as another effort to pressure the Democrat majority in Congress to authorise more offshore drilling along the US east and west coasts and in the controversial Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) on Alaska’s northern coast.


($1 = €0.63)


To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Joe Kamalick
+1 713 525 2653

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.

Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.

Printer Friendly

Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index