...John McCain’s plan to lift the ban on fresh oil drilling off the US coast and accused Democrats of contributing to record fuel prices by restricting domestic production.
Mr Bush called on the Democratic-controlled Congress to lift the moratorium that has limited access to offshore oil and gas reserves for more than two decades.
His intervention came a day after Mr McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, made the same proposal in a shift from his previous support for the ban.
Mr Bush said about 18bn barrels of oil were believed to exist in the 80 per cent of US coastal waters that are off-limits to drilling – enough to match current US production for 10 years.
The Republicans have made their push for increased domestic oil production a key policy ahead of November’s presidential poll amid mounting public anger at soaring petrol prices.
McCain's move towards opening up more domestic drilling is a move in the right direction on what will probably be one of main issues in this campaign season and one on which the Dems are vulnerable, beholden as they are to the Evironmental loons of the Left. McCain, of course, is still opposed to drilling in ANWR, for reasons that still seem as mysterious as Mona Lisa's smile but the fact that he positioning himself as he seems to be doing hopefully is hinting at a reevaluation of his current ANWR policy.
The American people, under the pressure of the current dramatic spike in oil prices are finding that their adherence to every whim of the Environmental movement has consequences that they might not be ready to live with. A recent poll shows that the Republicans might just have found an issue on which they and country are unambigiously in agreement:
A push by U.S. President George W. Bush and Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain to lift a ban on U.S. offshore oil drilling could find plenty of support from Americans weary of rising energy costs, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll.
Some 59.6 percent of Americans surveyed in the poll released on Wednesday said they would favor government efforts to boost domestic drilling and refinery construction to cool record prices.
Roughly the same amount -- 59.3 percent -- said they would back efforts to reduce domestic demand in the world's biggest energy consumer through tougher fuel-efficiency standards, while 54.2 percent of respondents said they supported increased use of biofuels like ethanol to cut gasoline use.
With Iraq more clearly appearing to be a success with every passing day and an emphasis on doing what the American people want done re: oil drilling, maybe, just maybe this November won't be quite the debacle for Republicans it seemed certain to be just a short time ago.
But of course one should never discount their ability to screw things up, either.
Hot Air is encouraged as well