President Bush has decided to temporarily halt deposits to the nation's strategic petroleum reserve to make more oil available for consumer needs and relieve pressure on pump prices, a senior administration official said Tuesday.

Bush, under pressure to do something about gasoline prices that are expected to stay high throughout the summer, was to announce the decision in a speech. It was part of a flurry of actions designed to demonstrate that the administration was trying to deal with rising prices. The government also asked states on Tuesday to guard against unfair pricing.