July 30th, 2008
12:30 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama calls offshore drilling a 'scheme'

Obama opposes offshore drilling.
Obama opposes offshore drilling.

(CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama stood his ground Wednesday in opposing what he calls the "scheme" of offshore drilling, during a campaign event in Springfield, Missouri.

"The oil companies are shoving this thing down the throats of Congress, because they know everybody wants to try to pretend they're doing something about the energy crisis,” Obama said. “This is not real. I know it's tempting. The polls say its one of the ways that a majority of Americans think we're going to solve this problem, but it's not real."

"I understand how desperate folks are. If I thought that I could provide you some immediate relief on gas by drilling off the shores of California and New Jersey... I'd do it.”

But the Democratic presidential candidate added, "The soonest you would see any drop of oil from drilling off our shores would be 10 years from now....The most you would end up saving 10 years or 20 years from now would be a few cents on the gallon, although at that point, I figure oil might be $12 a gallon."

Citing the oil companies' record profits, Obama charged that they are, "making money hand-over fist, they're making out like bandits."

For more on the the latest political news, tune into Campbell Brown: Election Center tonight at 8 pm ET.

Obama then proposed his own answers: "First of all, let's make the oil companies drill where they're already got leases, let's increase supply by making them do what they're supposed to do."

Obama also said he wants to make sure speculators aren't manipulating the oil markets.

To a standing ovation, he said, "And let's get serious about alternative energy sources like solar and wind and bio-diesel. Let's raise fuel efficiency standards on cars. Let's get plug-in hybrids all across America. Let's finally free ourselves from dependence on foreign oil. That's the direction we need to go."

soundoff (603 Responses)
  1. Ken

    Mike, TX is clearly one of those fact-challanged neo-cons who bows to his corporate neo-masters and spreads the [R] dogma. Its worrysome that such goons are allowed to procreate and vote.

    I'm clueless on most of the facts.......CHECK
    I've never seen evidence of corporate wrong-doing.......CHECK
    I believe everything I hear on the FOX channel.......CHECK
    I need more guns for my anti-gov't arsenal......CHECK
    Spaceflight is illegal; it doesn't appear in the constitution.....CHECK
    Only Democrats evolved from apes......CHECK
    I don't like big government.....CHECK
    I like what Bush has done in downsizing gov't and the debt.....CHECK
    I support invading Mexico to confront terrorits abroad.......CHECK
    I know America has enough of its own oil to rule the world....CHECK
    A "Dick Cheney Christmas" is my all-time favorite album........CHECK

    [R] voting checklist: $1.52. A barrel of oil: $130. [R]ightwing cluelessness: PRICELESS

    July 30, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  2. Raul Martinez

    Latinos for McCain.

    A mexican joke on Obama:

    ¿POR QUÉ LA ALTA POPULARIDAD DE BARACK OBAMA? Sencillo, 8 de cada 10 Negros lo prefieren!!!

    July 30, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  3. Maria

    What is Obama's short term and long term plan for Energy? I don't believe he's articulated it, or perhaps he doesn't have a clue.

    July 30, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  4. James Hussein, SC

    Mike, TX
    I am an idiot because I know he is right. America has to stop being reactive and start being pro-active.

    July 30, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  5. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Oilman T. Boone Pickens says this is a problem we can't drill our way out of...He has had a lot more success than some clown who ran Arbusto Oil into the ground...Get a clue, kids!

    July 30, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  6. maramara

    Who gains when oil is drilled? The Big Oil Companies. Who owns most of these companies? Lobbyist in the Bush administration and those running the Mccain campaign. Do the know that the oil will be at the pump only 10 yes from today? Yes, even President Bush and Mccain say so but that it will give a psycological boost so people can vote for Republicans and maintain the status quo. So why are they pressing this issue so hard? Because after winning in Nov. they will remind us that we were warned that oil will only be available after 10 yrs when drilling starts.
    So why do they oppose renewable energy sources and biofuels? Because it will take money out of their pocket and will disatisfy the lobbyist who are running Mccain's campaign.

    July 30, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  7. Phil,NC

    Twenty years from now our grandchildren will say off-shore drilling was one of the lamest ideas that characterized 2008 politics. They will be saying things like why did our elders burn up all that petroleum so fast when we need petrochemicals now for plastic IV bags in hospitals or other life saving technology? We could reduce the demand for crude oil now if we would switch to higher mpg vehicles. The oil we save could be used for materials, mostly plastic, for which we have no viable alternatives.

    July 30, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  8. Chut Pata

    I won't call "Oil for Beacher" a "SCHEME". It is pure and simple "SCAM". Obama is just being "politically polite".

    July 30, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  9. dave

    So now Obama is an expert on energy and the US OIL INDUSTRY?

    WHAT ELSE DON'T WE KNOW ABOUT THE WORLD"S GREATES CELEBRITY?

    July 30, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  10. Victor Young

    To those who think offshore drilling will help the energy crisis: please, I understand where you are coming from. But offshore drilling will not solve the energy crisis. It will worsen it. Permitting offshore drilling will only put more money in the pockets of the oil companies, take more from the consumers, and continue to destroy the environment. Oil companies are sitting on millions of square miles of excellent oilfields – why aren't they drilling there?

    Don't be naive. Offshore drilling will help the oil companies, and no one else. If anything, it will hurt us, the consumers.

    July 30, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. Steve Harrison

    Although I agree that politicians tend to look out for thier future first before those of thier respective parties (in some instances) and definately before us the tax payers. I can't help but wonder who paid for the jet fuel and the secret service (remember they've asked for more) while Obama was speaking to 200,000 (democrat figures) who aren't even allowed to vote for in our election. Offshore drilling only postpones the enevidable and that is sooner or later it's gonna dry up.

    July 30, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  12. Marj,Paso Robles, Cal

    Hey Messiah-drill were they already have leases? Whats stopping them? Why is off shore drilling preferable? Maybe because OIL is there and not on the land were the leases are. I honestly think if the oil companies could drill more, sell more and make bigger profits, they would. Just my opinion!

    July 30, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  13. Paris

    Wow!
    Other than being arrogant and deceitful he is not very smart either.
    GAS IS OVER $4.00, why not drill? We need to drill and drill NOW.
    We don’t drill so we stay dependent to the likes of Ahmadinejad of Iran?
    That would give Obama a lot of leverage so he can meet with him unconditionally!!!

    My god this man is so clueless and dangerous for this country.

    July 30, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  14. Roger from CA

    Finally! Obama has to be this to-the-point, clear, direct and forceful in this and all the other points on which McCain lobs his political grenades.

    I think he could be simpler still: he should say "The oil companies and politicians pushing the offshore drilling and promising lower gas pump prices are CONNING YOU!"

    July 30, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  15. Robert

    Why drill offshore when there are tons of areas on land with drills already in place? That's right, that's not what the oil companies want.

    July 30, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  16. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    According to the many sources-oil could be running from off-shore and ANWR in as little as 24 months.

    Wonder where Obama is getting his estimates from? The same hat he uses for gleaning statistics of U.S. healthcare (conveniently leaving out the impact perhaps of milliions of illegal aliens and unemployed in his calculations–conveniently.

    July 30, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  17. Are u kiddin'?

    So what is your argument, Mike from TX?

    July 30, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  18. ProudToBeDemocrat

    "Scheme" indeed election time repulicans have nothing to offer ,but pretend they're doing something about the energy crisis, only the oil companies and Republican Conservatives will profit from this deal. Like obama said we are all desperate would like to see some relief, but this proposal is not real, watch out American let go for the alternatives like solar and wind and bio-diesel. Let's raise fuel efficiency standards on cars. Let's get plug-in hybrids all across America. God Bless Obama and the United States. Free at last from dependence on foreign oil.

    July 30, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  19. NC Man

    Yes ALL HAIL OBAMA ... rookie senator has all the answers! He is as bad as Bush and will make things worst. Come on people do your homework, he has no record .... how can you trust someone that has no record and no leadership!! he is nothing more then a DNC puppet

    July 30, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  20. Former GOP Member For Obama 08-12

    Obama is right! Notice how the republicans only tell half the truth. Not to mention they are the ones who did not wont to dill all this time, but now it is an election year they are all for it. Here is the problem I have with my former party, they think that the American people are stupid; they think they can throw us a bone and we will be all over it. I don’t want another President in office who just talks a good game.
    McCain is a grumpy old man, he is bitter, and plan mean. We are hurting and it is not in our minds. The truth of the matter is, I need lower gas prices YESTERDAY not in 10 ys by the time we get oil from the ground in the US I will be homeless and carless

    July 30, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  21. Carl from MI

    You know... it's really hard to feel sorry for the Oil Companies right now, considering how they've been economically raping us at the gas pumps. They can just shut up and quite whining, and drill for oil where they're allowed to drill for oil. They've done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to help out the American Public, and have done everything in their power to run up gas and oil costs.

    The Oil Companies will receive NO sympathy from me, because they give none in return.

    July 30, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  22. Debby

    Lets see he thought the gas tax was a political stunt, and now he thinks off shore drilling is a scheme, but yet he hasn't proposed what he is going to do about lowering the cost of oil and gas other than raise taxes. I think Mr. Britney Spears better get out of the public eye and start working for the Am. people if he wants this job.

    July 30, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  23. sola

    What lead to Iraq War?
    McCain and Bush should tell us.

    July 30, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  24. K

    Wow! You people really are clueless! Go get in your cars and drive to an Obama rally somewhere, the rest of will deal with reality!

    July 30, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  25. Connie in Missouri

    The price of a barrel of oil recently dropped dramatically - because many believe the Enron Loophole is about to be closed. Some of the speculators are selling off, fearing Energy will be regulated again. Speculators have been inflating the price for Energy since it was de-regulated. For five years Democrats have tried to change this. After blocking Democratic bills for five years, the Republicans NOW want to close the loophole - but they want it tied to a bill for offshore drilling. What a scam. Estimates are that the price of oil will drop very quickly 25% to 50% when the Enron Loophole closes. So the Republicans want to take advantage of that and say "see, we told you offshore drilling would make a difference". But it will really only benefit a few rich oil tycoons. (and their friends in the White House).

    July 30, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
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