Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bush Touts Mortgage Plans, Offshore Drilling


Under the backdrop of a deteriorating economic picture, President Bush said Tuesday he is taking action to help people with falling home values and high gas prices.

Bush highlighted plans to stabilize the mortgage lenders Fannie Mae (FNM, Fortune 500) and Freddie Mac (FRE, Fortune 500) and lift the ban on offshore oil drilling as two steps his administration is taking to address some of the nation's economic ills.

On the gas price front, Bush reiterated his call for more drilling off the East and West Coasts and in Alaska.

“The only thing standing between these vast resources and the American people is action from Congress,” he said. “The sooner Congress lifts the ban, the sooner we can get these resources from the ocean floor to the refineries to the gas pump.”

There were two bans restricting drilling off most of the U.S. coast - one from the President and one from Congress.

On Monday Bush lifted the executive ban, putting pressure on the Democratic-controlled Congress to do the same.

So far, the Democrats have resisted calls for more drilling, arguing the amount of oil it would bring to market would have little effect on prices, and the nation's efforts would be better spent developing alternatives to oil and focusing on conservation. Complete article here, and more on lifting of the offshore drilling ban here.