Greenville -- U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said Friday he still wants to expand the search for offshore oil and gas despite the massive oil spill that's threatening the Gulf Coast with environmental disaster.

Graham, R-S.C., said he figures most Americans want to find out what happened in the April 20 explosion at a BP oil rig off the Louisiana coast.

But Graham said it would be irresponsible to halt offshore drilling as some Democratic senators now are asking the president to do. "We've had problems with car design, but you don't stop driving. The (Space Shuttle) Challenger accident was heart-breaking, but we went back to space," Graham said.

"The biggest beneficiaries of this proposal to stop drilling would be overseas oil interests, OPEC and regimes that don't like us very much."