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“The most important thing to get out there is that it is a false solution,” said David Willett, citing a Department of Energy report indicating that more offshore drilling would not significantly reduce oil prices.

He nevertheless acknowledged the appeal of drilling among voters and therefore lawmakers as well.

A Rasmussen Reports survey last month found 64 percent of voters think it is at least somewhat likely that offshore drilling will reduce gas prices, while 27 percent were not convinced.

“There is undeniably pressure on everyone in Congress now because people are hurting,” Mr. Willett said. “But I think the Democratic delegation in general understands that offshore drilling isn’t going to affect [oil prices].”

The Sierra Club is promoting the same energy plans as Democratic leaders, including a crackdown on speculation in the oil futures market that they blame for artificially inflating prices.

The group also echoes the call by Mrs. Pelosi for the administration to release oil from the Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, proposes to fund by raising taxes on the oil industry.