Bush stumps for oil drilling in Alaskan wildlife refuge Associated Press March 10, 2005 COLUMBUS, Ohio -- President Bush said Wednesday that the answer to high gasoline and oil prices was a long-range energy plan that includes drilling in an Arctic wildlife refuge. Bush gave his energy pitch in Ohio, where consumers have been battling high winter heating bills and gasoline prices exceeding $2 a gallon. "Higher prices at the gas pump and rising home heating bills and the possibilities of blackouts are legitimate concerns for all Americans," Bush told a crowd of supporters inside the Franklin County Veterans Memorial here. Ohio was at the center of a massive power blackout nearly two years ago, but broadly supported proposals to increase power grid reliability have been tangled up in the debate on wider energy legislation in Congress. "We've had four years of debate on a national energy bill. Now is the time to get the job done," Bush said. While acknowledging that high energy costs are hurting Americans and "are a drag on our economy," Bush offered no new proposals that would have any short-term impact on prices. A White House spokesman reiterated the administration's opposition to using the government's emergency oil reserves of more than 600 million barrels to try to dampen oil prices. In Washington, a group of Democrats said Bush should release that oil in a swap that would guarantee that the crude will be replaced when prices decline. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., urged Bush to pressure the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to boost supplies. Republican leaders in Congress hope to use a budget measure to get approval for drilling in the Arctic refuge. But that approach encountered a setback Wednesday when some House lawmakers refused to include expected revenue from Alaskan refuge lease sales in their budget measure.