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. Anonymous

    Where's the main stream media in reporting why the oil companies are not drilling in the 60+ million acres they already have access to drill (I have yet to hear a good answer to this critical question)? The democrats are NOT against the so called "drill more, drill now", they just want them to drill in the areas they already have access to. This appears to be nothing more than a political ploy by the Republicans (that I think they are winning right now). Wake up America! I wish the media would stop just reporting "talking points" and start analyzing.

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

    It saddens me to see idiots like Joel in Corona and Andy J on here and knowing these people actually vote and breed. By your logic, had we listened to Carter 30 years ago about conserving and moving to alternative fuels, we wouldn't be in this mess either. How stupid could you people possibly be? You sound like junkies in desperate need of your next fix that have yet to acknowledge that you have a problem.

    July 30, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  3. sarah

    why do the dems and repubs insist it must be one way (drilling) or the other (conservation and alternative energy) why dont they have the good sense to see we need both. one for the short term (again, drilling) and others for the long term. oh wait, sen mccain HAS been saying that!!! the congress and obama need to stop playing god with our lives and finances and listen to the man who has a plan.

    July 30, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  4. Jeff B

    Where's the main stream media in reporting why the oil companies are not drilling in the 60+ million acres they already have access to drill (I have yet to hear a good answer to this critical question)? The democrats are NOT against the so called "drill more, drill now", they just want them to drill in the areas they already have access to. This appears to be nothing more than a political ploy by the Republicans (that I think they are winning right now). Wake up America! I wish the media would stop just reporting "talking points" and start analyzing.

    July 30, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  5. Louis, Texas

    Everyone needs to STOP AND THINK, when someone or a country has an ADDICTION to something the answer or the cure for their ADDICTION is not MORE SUPPLY OF WHAT THEY ARE ADDICTED TO, they need an alternative so that they can be wheined off of their ADDICTION............THINK AMERICA THINK.............

    July 30, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  6. STILL FOR HILL

    Oh yes Messiah, you are right... Not...

    Bush just lifted the executive ban drilling for oil two weeks ago and gas prices have fallen 20 cents a gallon.

    You people need to put down the cool-aide.

    Still for Hill, but voting McCain

    ex-dem, now independent

    July 30, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. Kevin in NY

    What good is more drilling in our coastal areas going to do if our refining capacities are already running at maximum capacity? That's where the bottleneck is. How about building more refineries to make use of the crude already available?

    July 30, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  8. Patrick Henry, Fort Myers

    Honestly-....if it wouldn't take 10 years I'd give it to you!!!!

    Yep...that's exactly what the Congress told Ronald Reagan 20+ years ago and look where we are now?

    Change is so good.
    And so predictable when it's liberal.

    July 30, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  9. tina

    Mila,

    He actually did mention the millions of acres not being drilled on. I watched the townhall meeting.

    July 30, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  10. Mike

    No "Joel in Corona"...I think what he's suggesting is that we think and find the real problem before we act...there's hardly any sense in spending millions on useless solutions just because you want to appear busy.

    July 30, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  11. Len in Washington

    I agree with Obama.

    We need to realize that gas will probably never go back to prices of even a year ago. No matter how much we drill. What we need to do is realize that this country is addicted to oil just like addicts are addicted to meth or coke. They'll do ANYTHING for their next fix!

    It's time to have an "Intervention" and just say no. Or, in this case, just say "yes we can" and figure out a better way. There's no better time to start than right now.

    By the way. We import more oil from CANADA than ANY other country.
    The Republicans just want to bring fear and revenge into this equation. That's why they always talk about the Middle East and the oil we get from them.

    July 30, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  12. McShame

    What many people don't get is that even if we were drilling, The oil goes into an international pot. It's not our oil.

    "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."

    Duh! It's about time Big Oil is held responsible.

    July 30, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  13. Democrats Rule

    And he is right again. This man is such a breath of fresh air. Call it what it is! President Obama is just exactly what we need. I'm fired up and he's ready to go!

    July 30, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  14. Kyle Philly

    To all those Repubs claiming Obama doesn't know what he is talking about. You are missing the point entirely!!! He isn't suggesting that we continue to buy oil from foreign hostile countries, he isn't suggesting that we destroy our shores by drilling....HE IS SAYING THAT WE NEED TO FIND A NEW SOURCE TO POWER YOUR HUGE F150 SITTING IN YOUR DRIVEWAY!!! So please, for the sake of this country, you had your Bush years, now it is time for some real leadership and innovating thinkers!!!

    Obama 08 & 12!!!

    July 30, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  15. Randal NYC

    With all the talk of how inexperienced Obama is no one talks about how dishonest everyone else is.

    They guy is right alot of the times and he is not BSing uslike Mccain is.

    I would risk anything to have a leader who tells the truth to the people.
    That leader is Barack Obama

    July 30, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  16. marianna

    Have to agree here – oil co's are making it out like bandits. Record profits of only Exxon-Mobil last year translates to about $12 paid by EVERY American EVERY week.

    What does this add up to? Roughly some $600 per year – but don't complain, we got the stimulus bonus to pay for this. Now, where does this stimulus come from – the government, that is – our taxes.

    Either way – Oil Companies get it from us – directly at the pump, or indirectly from our taxes via stimulus bonus.

    July 30, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  17. Independent

    To you people who say they would prefer to buy american oil. Great go tell them to start drilling in the millions and millions of acres that they are already aproved for drilling, 30 million of those approved acres are off shore. Nobody is stopping them from drilling there.

    What you didnt know that? Maybe fact check before you sound stupid. There is no need to open up more places for drilling, they arent using what they already have.

    July 30, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  18. tony

    CM - If you got a life maybe you too can drive an SUV-
    Otherwise-Quite Frankly Barack-75% of the voters think we should use all our sources-
    Your plan will get us oil independence by 2030 you said-
    What do we do in the meantime-
    Your job-as I understand it –if you become President is to do what the people want-not what your inexperience tells you-
    Thank you for making my choice for President easy-
    Your an elitest from the Guns and Religion Comment and the comments you made to the Dems last evening - to think you even know whats best-
    You will lose !!

    July 30, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  19. sherry for Obama

    Yes.............He is smart and is telling the truth

    McBlame is a liar.........

    OBAMA.........08 AND 12

    July 30, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  20. NOBAMA

    iT MAYBE A SCHEME BUT JUST THE THREAT OF OFF SHORE DRILLING HAS BEEN KEEPING THE SPECULATERS FROM PURCAHSING AND THE PRICES HAVE BEEN CONSISTANTLY COMING DOWN. CALL IT A SCHEME, CALL IT A GIMMICK CALL IT WHATEVER YOU WANT BUT IT'S WORKING. THE BOTTOMK LINE IS IT IS WORKING

    July 30, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  21. Mike - Texas

    Obama is the typical lying democRAT.

    He is like Gore, make everyone else suffer so that HE can live the way that he wants to.

    I was talking to a friend of mine in the oil business and he said that if the government would just get out of the way with all of THEIR red tape that we could see more domestic oil flowing to our refineries in as little as 6 months to 1 year.

    The democRATs have a VERY narrow view on what needs to happen, and that is for US to conserve (while THEY live high on the land) and to invest in ONLY alternative fuels. WHAT IDOITS !!!!!

    We not only need to conserve and invest in alternative fuels (that will take 15 – 20 years) but we also need OIL, COAL, and Nuclear .

    The democRATs are extemely far sighted on this issue. They do not have a clue.

    July 30, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  22. tina

    I wonder why the McCain supporters aren't demanding that he put a bill forward for his gas tax holiday. He should put his senate power where his mouth is and put forth a bill if he thinks the gas holiday is a such good idea. He won't though because he knows it's just another political trick for the low info voters out there.

    I'll be waiting.....better hurry McCain the summers wasting......

    July 30, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  23. It Be Me

    ******Randy July 30th, 2008 2:09 pm ET

    So Obama'slan is to make gas $12.00 a gallon???????????????????????????????????????????

    Woww…brilliant leadership!******

    You can't be serious......HIS plan????? right.......
    If we continue on the course we are right now.....without looking for other forms of energy, we WILL be paying $12.00 a gallon or more in 10 to 12 years.....

    some people are to stupid for words...

    July 30, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  24. STILL FOR HILL

    This is coming from the same guy who was against the "Gas Tax Holiday". Doesn't do enough for the people.

    I'm sorry, for the majority of Americans, every little bit helps.

    What an arrogant jerk.

    Sorry, even if we move to electric cars, we are still going to need oil b/c everyone can't afford to go and buy a new car right away.

    I've figured out what Obama is lacking: Common Sense.

    July 30, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  25. Phil, FL

    I know Obama is doing something right – the propaganda rolls into my in box faster than I can keep it cleaned out.

    The more lies I read and hear, the more I like Obama.

    I'm so sick of the fear-mongering, putrid, hate-filled machine that calls itself republican.

    July 30, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
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