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. SDunn

    John R July 30th, 2008 2:33 pm ET

    There really is no need for name calling. Both Republicans and Democrates have not done a good job managing the energy issues in America. That includes Obama and McCain. Both are current Senators who have been in office for the past couple of years while the energy issue (like the housing issues) have dropped before us.

    Before we jump on the 'bandwagon' of either of these two gentleman, we might want to ask, What bill have you presented to Congress over the past couple of years to get ahead of this problem?

    -------------------------------–

    Sorry John R. but McCain has been in office a lot longer than Obama and he has voted no on increasing fuel efficiency on cars and he has voted no on increasing research for alternative fuels. Obama has voted yes for these initiatives....Now all of a sudden John McCain is for offshore drilling. Hmmm I wonder why? As soon as he said he was for it, he began to receive millions of dollars in contributions from big oil companies! Doesn't sound like a coincidence to me.

    July 30, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  2. Eileen from Maine

    Big Oil Rushes Money to McCain After FLip FLop on

    — Campaign contributions from oil industry executives to Sen. John McCain rose dramatically in the last half of June, after the senator from Arizona made a high-profile split with environmentalists and reversed his opposition to the federal ban on offshore drilling. The amount given? $1.1 million. $892,000 more than the month before.

    Guess John mcCain knows how to get the gusher going!

    July 30, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  3. Monica, Texas

    It's a sheme and a scam by McCain camp to divert attention from the facts.

    July 30, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  4. Peter

    its true

    July 30, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  5. deeflounlacker

    john mccain has totally lost all respect i had for him. his conduct is scarey for me thinking of himin the White House. this sleazey way he is behaving because of Obamas populaity is sick. Afrustrated old man he cant know how silly his behavior looks.

    July 30, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  6. MMN-Milwaukee WI

    Jimmy Carter tried to sell the alternative fuels energy policy to Americans 30+ years ago and the re-thug-licans shoot his ideas down. Reagan even tore down the solar panels on the WH roof when he moved in back in the 80s. Brazil back then picked up on the idea and now they have fossil fuel freedom. Re-thug-licans are at it again pandering to the Americans this election season and some of you are falling for their tricks again.

    July 30, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  7. McArsenic

    oh...GOD help us. if McCain is elected we will be able to ask you in person.

    July 30, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  8. Matt, Manchester, CT

    I love how all the liberals on here stick their fingers in their ears whenever the idea of additional drilling is mentioned. They should know that the bull Obama is throwing about it taking 10 years to matter is all bunk, why not just say it'll take a thousand years to materialize, or a couple millenia?? No matter what, you Obama zombies will listen to nothing but what you want to hear, so go back to living in Never Never Land.

    July 30, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  9. vic nashville,Tn

    Hi Campbell you are doing a good job after Paul Zone you are the best on that time (8 ET) 2008 is worst year for people who is covering the politics in neutral. I know you are having tough competition . Some time I don’t agree with your pundits.

    Sen. Obama are you going to give the same statement after 10 years then please quit the politics
    Shame on you Obama you don’t under stand us
    Hillary 08 or Mc Cain 08

    July 30, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. Oh! The Irony

    Mila July 30th, 2008 1:56 pm ET

    He didn't mention that:

    1) There already are 60 million acres of offshore area in which the oil companies already have permission to explore and drill, but they're not doing it.

    2) Even if they wanted to begin drilling today (you have to find the oil first), there are no drills available that aren't already in use, and not enough skilled people to operate them if they were available. Most of them have been shipped to Brazil.

    He's right. A majority of people might want to drill because it sounds good, but they don't have the facts.
    ------------------

    He did mention your first point, but I think he used a larger number of available acres.

    July 30, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  11. G. Penley

    Once again, Mr, Obama is for "change," but he knows nothing of what he's talking about. Where are we going to get oil if we don't allow the drilling of our own known reserves. This is a scary, ignorant man.

    July 30, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  12. Michael from Waco, TX

    That's a hard line to take when people are desperate. But it is going to be tough to break our dependency on oil. Barack, you are doing the exact right thing. You are quite the visionary!

    OBAMA 08

    July 30, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  13. nerakami

    Can CNN continue to do reporting about the huge oil spill on the Mississippi river? The same one that has boats lined up by the hundreds because they're stuck... and costing the American public millions of dollars??

    As a concerned citizen of Florida where they want to put huge machinery in our sea... this is HUGELY important to me.... can we get an update please?

    July 30, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  14. Enough

    "T-Rex" McCain and gang are trying to pull a fast one.

    July 30, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  15. Bob

    Obama the socialist you are so out of touch. Dont drill now and in 10 years we will still be dependent on terrorists supplying our oil needs. Our oil dependency will never stop. I say develop alternate sources now, drill now and in 3 years we can start to become an independent USA again. I think Obama doesnt want to drill for new oil because of his ties to known terrorists like his preacher et al. I hate the oil companies and if I was able I would say lease the offshore oil to somebody other then the existing oil companies. Fund a start up company and sell them the leases and get some competition back in the market.

    July 30, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. Stone

    The oil companies enjoy being middle men. Why do you think they want to be producers?

    July 30, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  17. politicalderby.com

    How do you know when an ad is effective? When the opposition lights up the message boards. Bravo, Team McCain. This ad is genius, that's why the resentment on this site is off the charts.

    (BTW, ridiculous that CNN cuts off comments after only 450 on such a hot post as the commercial one.)

    July 30, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  18. mike

    a taxpayer vote for obama makes as much sense as chickens voting for Col. Sanders. A tax and spend president (obama)with a tax and spend democratic congress. Oh how the pork barrell spending would go out of sight.

    July 30, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  19. Phil in KC

    The poll earlier suggested that a majority of those polled favor drilling off-shore. This tells me that they either don't understand or they don't care. They have been drinking the Kool Aid being served by the Republicans and their Oil Company puppeteers.
    Drilling off-shore will have no immediate effect and little long-term effect. In the meantime, a major ecological catastrophe is in the offing. It's not a matter of if: it's a matter of when.
    T. Boone Pickens is an oilman and a conservative Republican. Even he has said "we cannot drill our way out of this". If Pickens can recognize that, why can't the others? Oil is the problem, not the answer.

    July 30, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  20. Vicki

    What a crock! The leases that he says the oil companies should use to drill on now don't have any oil under them! Believe me if there was oil they would be drilling, after all aren’t they the so called “greedy oil companies”? This is the tactic the liberals have been using to fool the idiots who keep voting for them. They make you THINK they want drilling but what they really want is the oil companies to waste their time drilling DRY HOLES!!

    The next big lie is that "it will take 10 years to get any oil" That is TOTAL crap. Ask anyone that is actually IN the oil business, we can have oil ready to go in a year to two. This isn’t the dark ages, we have good technology & we can do it environmentally safe. Then while we are using our own resources, we can pursue the alternative energy sources like solar & wind. They all must happen at the same time.

    His big plan is to tax the oil companies more. All that is going to do is RAISE the price of gas at the pump even more and if you don’t believe that you’re a total idiot. I know it’s hard for you liberals to use logic but this simple example will hopefully make you think. Just imagine you own a company & every year you make about $100,000 in profit. The government comes along & says to you “we think you make entirely too much money, we’re going to tax you 10% more” Now you’re only going to make $90,000 in profit. Are you going to A) be happy with that and say “Aw shucks, they are right I was making way too much money” or B) are you going to raise the price of whatever goods or services you provide to make up the difference? If you say A you’re a liar! If you say B, welcome to the Republican party!!!

    NO BAMA!!

    July 30, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  21. Independent Voter

    OBAMA, you elitists need to get a life!!

    It's a little late for the Holier Than Thou crap. The Democrats have the majority, remember? Maybe if you showed up once in a while, you would see that your Democratic peers have done NOTHING.

    YOU have DONE NOTHING to avoid the oil crisis.

    Americans overwhelmingly want to drill, Moron! Your self-serving solutions will take TEN YEARS to produce anything.

    You arrogant selfish elitist racist, go do something about AIDS in your "community."

    July 30, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  22. jane in CA

    Why obsess with oil? when the alternatives are better cleaner, what's wrong with solar or wind turbine? Let's China and India create their own jobs with their offshore drilling.

    July 30, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  23. JA Cook

    How about a gas tax holiday? That sounds like a really good idea to solve the problem!!

    McCain 08

    July 30, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  24. Bubs in Texas

    Just because an oil company has been granted a lease does not guarantee there is/was oil or gas there. Those fields most likely have already been explored and tested and shown to have uneconomical reserves. At least open up other areas to explore while the US comes up with an "alternative" fuel. What will that standard be?

    Come on Obama....come up with a plan rather than being a nay sayer.

    July 30, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  25. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Obama is right on target. American cannot drill itself out of this energy crisis......alternate energy sources and their development are the "long term solution." America needs to reduce or become less dependent on oil..

    July 30, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
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