George W Bush lifted an almost 20 year-old executive order that banned oil and natural gas drilling in most US coastal waters on Monday. The symbolic move was presented as a way of relieving the pressure that high oil prices are placing on US citizens.
It follows on Bush's call for the US Congress to end its drilling ban last month. Both bans must be lifted in order for offshore drilling to go ahead.
With prices at the pump over $4 a gallon, Bush pushed Congress - currently under Democrat control - to expand offshore oil and natural gas drilling in the outer continental shelf and give oil companies access to the Arctic Wildlife National Refuge.
"Today, I've taken every step within my power to allow offshore exploration," Bush told reporters. "This means the only thing standing between the American people and these vast oil resources is action from the US Congress."
Now the only thing standing between the American people and these vast oil resources are some orange booms and a stretch of well-oiled beach and wildlife.