May 14, 2011 11:38 AM by Matt Stafford
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says he'll extend all Gulf leases that were affected by a temporary moratorium on drilling imposed after last year's BP oil spill.
Obama is directing his administration to ramp up U.S. oil production by extending existing leases in the Gulf and off Alaska's coast and holding more frequent lease sales in a federal reserve in Alaska. He's facing continued public unhappiness over gas prices.
In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama says the measures "make good sense" and will help reduce consumption of imported oil in the long term. But he acknowledged anew that they won't provide any immediate relief.
The Republican-controlled House has passed three bills that would expand and speed up offshore oil and gas drilling. The White House opposes all three but Obama is adopting some of the bills' provisions.