Bush Blames Congress for Gas Prices

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President Bush challenged Democrats in Congress to lift the ban on offshore oil exploration before they leave for August recess.

Flanked by cabinet members in the Rose Garden, the President cited a national consensus in favor of oil exploration off the U.S. coastline and the in Artic.

The President says he's done his part by lifting executive restrictions on offshore drilling. He said its now up to Democrats to allow a vote.

"And that means the only thing now standing between the American people and these vast oil resources is the United States Congress," the President said. "The sooner Congress lifts the ban, the sooner we can get this oil from the ocean floor to your gas tank."

Congress has been in a standoff over energy legislation, with both parties bickering over how to respond.

House and Senate Republicans have demanded a vote on opening new offshore waters, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has ignored calls for a vote on lifting the drilling bans in Atlantic and Pacific waters. She argues that oil companies already have vast areas available for drilling but have chosen not to do so.

As lawmakers move toward their annual August recess at the end of the week, it's unlikely that action on energy will be taken in Congress before fall.

Recently, high gas prices have begun to recede.

Source: The Associated Press

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