Washington (AP) President Bush is planning to officially ask congress today to lift the ban on offshore oil drilling.
For a quarter-century, drilling for oil and gas off nearly all the American coastline has been banned in part to protect tourism and to lessen the chances of beach-blackening spills.
But now gasoline prices top $4 a gallon.
Bush argues that it's high time to battle high prices with increased domestic production.
He says states should decide where to allow drilling.
For their part, some lawmakers have their own plan: legislation that would continue the ban into late 2009 was scheduled to be considered Wednesday by the house appropriations committee.
Congressional democrats, joined by some GOP lawmakers from coastal states, have opposed lifting the prohibition.