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Bush lifts ban on offshore oil drilling

US President George W Bush lifts a White House ban on offshore oil drilling and urged lawmakers to follow suit amid an election-year fight.

world Updated: Jul 15, 2008 22:43 IST

US President George W Bush on Monday lifted a White House ban on offshore oil drilling and urged lawmakers to follow suit amid an election-year fight over painfully high gasoline prices.

“The American people are watching the numbers climb higher and higher at the pump, and they're waiting to see what the Congress will do” about legislative prohibitions, he said in a brief statement in the White House Rose Garden. But Democrats rejected Bush's mostly symbolic appeal, effectively dooming a proposal that appeared to enjoy broad US public support some four months before the November elections.