Bush blames Congress for gas prices - UPI.com
WASHINGTON, July 11 (UPI) -- U.S. President George W. Bush Saturday said "Democrats in Congress" are largely to blame for higher fuel prices.
In his weekly radio address, the president said "one of the factors driving up high gas prices is that many of our oil deposits here in the United States have been put off-limits for exploration and production."
"Past efforts to meet the demand for oil by expanding domestic resources have been repeatedly rejected by Democrats in Congress," he said.
Bush said, however, that rising fuel costs have "caused some to rethink their long-held opposition to opening up more areas for domestic production."
"If this change of heart is real, we can work together on four steps that will expand American oil and gas production and eventually relieve the pressure of rising prices."
Bush called on Congress to increase access to offshore exploration on the Outer Continental Shelf. He said U.S. oil production could be expanded by exploiting oil shale, but he said Democrats are blocking oil shale leasing on federal lands.
The president repeated his call for Congress to drop its opposition to oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge -- which he did not specifically name, but referred to only as "northern Alaska."
He also called for increased oil refining capacity in the United States