July 14th, 2008
02:50 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain, Obama camp weigh in on off-shore drilling news

(CNN) - President Bush’s Monday announcement that he would be lifting the federal ban on off-shore oil drilling drew sharp criticism from Barack Obama’s campaign - and immediate praise from presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, who took aim at his Democratic counterpart’s opposition to the move.

The Obama campaign said the development was no fix for the nation’s energy woes. "If offshore drilling would provide short-term relief at the pump or a long-term strategy for energy independence, it would be worthy of our consideration, regardless of the risks,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton in a statement.

“But most experts, even within the Bush Administration, concede it would do neither. It would merely prolong the failed energy policies we have seen from Washington for thirty years. Senator Obama believes Americans need real short-term relief, which is why he has proposed a second round of stimulus with energy rebates for working families…” he said.

McCain himself told reporters that the president’s executive order was “a very important signal.”

“I know that Senator Obama is opposed to lifting the ban on offshore drilling. I believe the states should continue to decide,” McCain said, according to a pool report. “I hope that, as he has on several other issues, that Senator Obama will change his position and now support offshore oil drilling,” adding that an increase in the nation’s oil supply would reduce costs as the country made the transition to alternative energy sources.

“If we can show that we have significant oil reserves off our coasts, that will clearly affect the futures market and affect the price of oil. I urge Sen. Obama to change his position on this issue," he said.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (191 Responses)
  1. Oilman

    Everyone likes to reference 'thousands of acres of undrilled land leased by oil companies' – I work for an oil and gas company, and I support alternative energy – first and foremost, every drilling rig in this country has a backlog of a few years worth of wells to drill. If there is a rig – it is drilling. Second, the topography and geology of those thousands of acres may not support drilling – land gets leased, and then carefully researched to study the formations underneath it – if it supports oil or natural gas in large enough quantities, it will be drilled.

    Offshore oil fields give us a mid-range solution for our energy needs – it may be 3 to 5 years before they are substantially developed, but they will provide energy to last us through to a more long term solution – and once we have a long term energy solution – we will still need petroleum for other purposes – plastics, lubricants, etc.

    July 14, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  2. Matt, Minneapolis, MN

    I'm sorry, but Obama's statement says it all about politics in this country. There is no short term benefit. Short term is all they ever think about, and its high time we told them that we want someone in washington who's willing to think about past his term, or even lifetime. We need to stop saying conserve only, because it won't work even in the short term. That's a long term solution that won't see any results until 2012 or beyond when we start to get big wind and solar farms, when NIMBY fails and we re start nukes, and when Obama looses his senate seat because all of his ideas turn out to be fraudulent. How about we get someone who cares about getting the job done, not about getting politics done. Some say McCain's too old and he may die in office, so what at least we know he isn't trying to build up a resume for some speaking tour or book tour after his run in the oval office.

    July 14, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  3. ProundToBeDemocrat

    All Conservative Republicans need to be destroyed before they destroy our country.

    July 14, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  4. Pat Riot

    BIFF HUSSEIN, what is being lifted here is a symbolic ban from the executive. The Democratic House will still have to vote to return the right to consider off-shore drilling to the states. Right or Left has nothing to do with the oil lobby because it is ultimately the state legislatures that will contract out drilling. I believe that it should be the right of each state to manage their own natural resources.

    I do agree with you that there is a degree of corruption at the federal level. However, what better way to combat that than by granting more power to the states?

    July 14, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  5. ProundToBeDemocrat

    I am a girly man I mean an oil man says Mr. Bush.

    July 14, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. EBC

    BUSH is an idiot, it's NO wonder why McCain fits in so nicely with him.... They are two indiots peas in a pod!!

    July 14, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  7. Ken

    Obama seems to be the biggest FLIP-FLOPPER there is!

    It is better to dig in our own back yard for our energy resources, than staying depended on foreign countries. It is not going to make our country any worse off, but if we continue to import our energy resources, we will go from importing 70% to 100%, then they will be able to control us like puppets! Is that what Obama wants?

    Drill NOW! END our dependence on foreign oil!

    July 14, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  8. DflateMacsStr8TalkXpress: Econ MIA, AWOL on facts, POW from reality

    O.K. CNN, are you and all your corporate buddies and talking heads gonna call McCain out on this flip-flop (one of about twenty in the last couple weeks) and begin to deconstruct his alleged "maverick" image, or will you continue going soft on his behind and call this "a bold and visionary stance for the future demands of our domestic energy policy"?

    July 14, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  9. Where oh where

    Things that make you go hmmmmm...

    Where does the oil go that we get out of the Alaskian Pipeline??

    Who get's the majority of that oil??

    Why isn't more drilling in the Gulf of Mexico going on when the oil companies have tens of thousands of miles left untouched?

    July 14, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  10. Ian

    I heard oil companies are purposefully not drilling on millions of acres of land already, making the supply artificially lower than what it really is. Isn't this the same thing Enron did?

    July 14, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  11. Anthony, Dallas, Tx

    We as a nation is totally stupid. McCain and Hillary pandered about the gas tax holiday and now McCain is pandering over offshore drilling just to get votes. Why did it take Bush 8yrs to come up with this if it is the rt thing to do. He is trying to fool us by saying we will drill offshore.

    July 14, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  12. Eric

    The only way to energy independence is an all options are on the table approach, im talking more drilling for oil, natural gas, alternative energy like solar and wind, renewable energy, nuclear, and perhaps clean coal. I have to say McCain is closer to this than Obama who thinks a $300 check is going to drop the price of gas.

    July 14, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  13. Tx Dem

    So MORE oil rigs off my coast?? thousands of oil spills already occur worldwide...

    Millions invested and I save $0.10-$0.25 per gallon 5-10 yrs from now?

    The US consumes 25% of the worlds oil but has 5% of the reserves?

    Hundreds of thousands of acres already available for drilling but aren't being drilled – and this will open up more?

    no thanks!

    July 14, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  14. Neal

    This is such a joke. These people haven't explored or aren't drilling in all of the places that they already can, why give them access to more?
    Besides this will never have any significant impact and what impact it will have is over a decade away.
    Washington needs to be fired, time for a change.

    July 14, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  15. DJ, LA, CA

    Oil is the past. Renewables are the future. Bush/Cheney and his McCain surrogate are puppets for the Big Oil monopoply and the GOP party has been hijacked.

    This won't make a difference to offset dependance on imports, not to mention effect prices at the pump. It's all a BIG LIE and the Republicans have become the official political endorsers of the Big Oil monopoly.

    July 14, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  16. RMK

    We need to refine more, not drill more. Oil companies are just sitting on acres upon acres of land that can be drilled, but they won't. Off shore drilling does nothing to help us.

    July 14, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  17. Pat Riot

    Peter, what you are describing is communism. If your friend cannot help himself with an addiction friends and family can come his aid. That is quite different than government mandating that the natural resources of a state not be used because oil is "bad for us". I am disturbed that you believe government should make decisions for us to help us because we are incapable of helping ourselves.

    July 14, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  18. really? come on

    This temporary fix of offshore drilling is the equivalent of giving a cocaine addict more cocaine. "oh, you have an addiction? here, let's go find more of it." Genius.

    July 14, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  19. Patrick

    To those who think Obama is changing his mind, where is your evidence? He has always said he was against drilling, that stance has not changed. Our own Interior Dept. said that drilling will not effect anything. How blind are these people? Do you need reading and comprehension lessons? You must be one of those children left behind.

    It seems that way from all the McCain supporters here crying flip-flop, when it's McCain who is retreating from his previous stance. MCCain is a sell-out.

    July 14, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  20. Sean

    It's a simple issue of cost-benefit analysis. One, the oil companies already have large, as yet unexplored areas available to them in which to drill for oil domestically. Two, offshore drilling is no more certain to offer success in finding oil than the afore-mentioned unexplored areas currently do. Three, the long-term costs of drilling offshore far outweigh the short-term benefits. Whether or not some people want to acknowledge it, functioning ecosystems on Earth are crucial to the survival of all species, including humans. And at the heart of the Earth's ecosystems are the oceans. Even if you refuse to acknowledge the price that would be paid through damage to a huge variety of ocean life, you cannot ignore the financial repercussions we'd ultimately face when we inevitably have to deal with rectifying the negative changes we'll have caused to our planet's ability to sustain us. We're already seeing significant problems in fishing industries around the world, and in the contamination of fish populations that are making a once healthy food source become toxic to our bodies.

    We need to explore alternative solutions that have less negative consequences if we are going to tackle the energy issue effectively.

    July 14, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  21. jimmy velman

    DRIL, DRILL AND MORE DRILLING NOW. WE HAVE TO START ASAP FOR OUR CHILDREN AND OUR CHILDRENS CHILDREN.
    OIL AND NATURAL GAS WILL BE PRIME ENERGY SOURCES FOR THE NEXT GENERATIONS TO COME. AMERICA MUS,T REPEAT MUST, DRILL FOR OIL AND NATURAL GAS NOW AND FOREVER.
    AMERICANS CANNOT AFFORD MUCH MORE ECONOMIC PROBLEMS AS WE HAVE NOW. ALTERNATIVE SOURCES BEING DEVELOPED NOW WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH WITH OUR GROWING POPULATION AND THE POPULATION OF THE TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPING COUNTRIES LIKE CHINA AND INDIA.
    OTHER COUNTRIES MUST LOOK AT US AS BEING FOOLISH IN NOT
    EXPLOITING OUR NATURAL RESOURCES LIKE OIL AND NATURAL GAS WHEN WE HAVE BILLIONS OF BARRELS OF IT.
    DO CHINA AND INDIA CARE ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING AND ENVIRONMENT IMPACTS AS MUCH AS WE DO. OUR OIL AND GAS COMPANIES ARE MIINDFUL OF THE ENVIRONMENT AS NEVER BEFORE. THE DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS RATES LOW ON PERFORMANCE BY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. THEY COLLECTIVELY OPPOSE OIL DRILLING WHICH WE NEED AND WILL BE IN NEED FOREVER. EVEN IF WE DONT GET THE OIL AND GAS IN UNTIL 7 YEARS FROM NOW, AMERICANS ARE IN FAVOR OF IT AND TO START NOW, NOW, NOW.

    July 14, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  22. Pat Riot

    Anthony, Dallas, Tx, "We as a nation is totally stupid." I hope you are realize the irony in your statement.

    July 14, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  23. H-ROD

    MCCAIN IS THE IDIOT NOW HE'S SAYING THAT THE YOUNG ARE PAYING FOR THE OLD IN SOCIAL SECURITY , WELL I GOT NEWS FOR IDIOT BOY JOHN MCCAIN THAT'S HOW IT WORKS !!!!!!!! (YES OBAMA CAN)!!!

    July 14, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  24. Vote Nader

    P. Morrison July 14th, 2008 3:55 pm ET

    Are there enough refineries in this country to do anything with oil if it is actually drilled ?? Someone who knows what they're talking about, please answer this.

    Obama'08

    --------------------------------

    That's somewhat of a moot/stupid question/point. Not all oil that is drilled is refined into gasoline, some is stockpiled. But, why would you expect a company (oil in this case) to operate at 50% capacity, or anything less than 95%? That's not good business. You would get fired if you worked 50% of the time. If more oil is available, they will increase refining capacity. That's pretty obvious.

    The impact is that there will be more oil available, bringing prices down. The cost of transporting the oil to domestic refineries will decrease considerably, decreasing the costs of refined products.

    I am willing to bet any sum of money that by the time any oil from offshore hits the market, we will still be using oil as our main source of energy.

    ** Nader/Gonzalez 2008 **

    July 14, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  25. AA

    off shore drilling will kill fish and sea life like it did years ago.
    McCain is an ignorant old man who is just interested in napalm.

    July 14, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
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