The president said restrictions on offshore drilling have become "outdated and counterproductive," and urged Congress to act on three other proposals in addition to offshore drilling. The other proposals include opening exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, expanding and enhancing U.S. refineries, and leasing land for shale exploration in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah.
Democrats in Congress refute the president, saying shale is at least 10 years from commercial development, because technology isn't mature enough.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., dismissed Bush's proposals, saying oil companies need to change their ways.
"We have to look to the reality," Durbin said. "The reality is oil companies are making profits at record-breaking levels. The reality is that speculation is driving the price of oil up. And the reality is that the president of the United States has yet to call the oil company executives into the Oval Office to tell them they're wrecking the economy."
He added that oil companies already have the rights to drill on 68 million acres of American soil that aren't currently under development.
Z. Byron Wolf contributed to this report.