John McCain says the federal moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling should be lifted.
During a press briefing in suburban Washington, the presumed Republican presidential nominee said his proposal would "be very helpful in the short term resolving our energy crisis."
The Arizona senator also suggested giving the states incentives, including a greater share of royalties paid by companies that drill for oil, to encourage them to allow exploration.
Asked how far offshore the states should be given control of drilling rights, he said that was a matter for negotiation.
He offered no other details for his proposal, which he is expected to describe more fully tomorrow in an energy speech.
The current ban on offshore drilling covers an estimated 80 percent of U.S. coastal waters.