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. David George

    People, off-shore oil from U.S. waters will not go to the U.S. market, it will go the world market, as it already does. There is not enough oil in the U.S. to impact the world supply. Unless McCain also proposes that we put in trade restrictions so the "new" off-shore oil can only be used to supply American refineries, at below world-market prices, off-shore drilling will NOT MAKE GAS CHEAPER! I have not heard ANYONE propose this. Off-shore drilling as proposed is another big-oil lie for their own enrichment.

    July 30, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  2. A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    Hey "STILL FOR HILL", you say that Obama has no "common sense", your name suggests that you yourself lack common sense. Isn't that a pot calling the kettle black kind of thing?

    July 30, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  3. a southern bell for OBAMA

    WE SHOULD LISTEN TO WHAT BUSH, MCBUSH & CHANEY

    WANT. AFTER ALL THEY HAVE DONE SO MUCH FOR US.

    THEY HAVE PUT US IN RECORD DEBT.

    THEY HAVE DESTROYED OUR ECONOMY.

    THEY HAVE SINGLEHANDEDLY INCREASED THE LEVELS

    OF POLLUTION & FOOD CONTAMINATION BY MORE

    THAN ANY ADMINISTRATION EVER.

    THEY HAVE DESTROYED OUR WORLD STANDING.

    THEY HAVE INCREASED THE LEVEL OF HATE WE HAVE

    FOR EACH OTHER IN AMERICA & THE WORLDWIDE.

    THEY HAVE MADE ALL OF US WAR CRIMINALS.

    WHAT'S THERE NOT TO LOVE ABOUT THEM?? EVERYTHING!!!!

    July 30, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  4. Steve Harrison

    Sorry SDunn. But that was not his question,they all vote. I believe the question was how many of those intiatives they voted on had thier name on it as the Author of it.

    July 30, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  5. Frieda

    Anyone else noticing, how much Obama is talking more and more of President Bush's policies and ideas? Obama would drill himself.............President Bush said there is no magic wand he could use or he would.............Obama is an empty suit, using whatever, from wherever he can. Even President Bush's policies,..you know those 'Bush failed policies" he used to tout and trample the President with for so long.

    July 30, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  6. proud army and navy mom

    I am all for expensive gas prices......Keeps teens and broke liberals off the road. That in its self is worth the extra $2 dollars. Please dont drill I agree with Obama my commute to work has almost been cut in half

    July 30, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  7. B J

    We need to do all of it, wind, solar, nuclear, and drill. Being off oil in the near future is a pipe dream. We should be more efficient and use alternatives but not at the risk of having $12/gal gasoline. Look at it this way when we eventually do not need as much oil, we can export it. That would be nice for a change.

    July 30, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  8. McCain Lies!

    Hey STILL FOR HILL – No it was your girl who was lacking common sense when she couldn't manage her campaign or its finances. Shame on you for wanting her to run our country. Have you contributed to her debt??????????????????

    July 30, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  9. scott,manchester NH

    wait a minute now...can we really be SO sure that the oil companies have THAT cozy a relationship with the GOP...; i mean,is that really fair?

    (YES...that is meant to sound COMPLETELY RETARDED, much like the average republican voter)...

    July 30, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  10. Lauren

    So, are they lying again? Where did they get their "international celebrity list?" I have a feeling that Britney and Paris are hardly thought of anywhere but here, and mostly thought of here by McCain supporters.

    July 30, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  11. Sane John

    Offshore drilling is dumb.

    There's no polite way to dress that up.

    Will it decrease dependence on foreign oil? Maybe. Maybe not. If the oil companies get to drill all the places they're having the Republicans demand they be allowed to drill, it will add up to about 2% of the oil our country takes in. We'd still be pretty dependent on foreign oil.

    Moving off of our oil addiction to other forms of power, now, that will decrease our dependence on foreign oil, it will cost far less in the long wrong, and it will have much less of an economic impact. How many carcinogens do you want your children and grandchildren to grow up with?

    As a nation, we need to follow the lead of all those Texas former oilmen who can read the writing on the wall and are investing in wind power. Wind, solar, geothermal, nuclear, hydroelectric, these are the way of the future. Instead of drilling for more, we need to increase fuel efficiency standards and provide incentives for hybrid cars, and use less oil, and then slowly wean ourselves off it until we are using no oil.

    July 30, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  12. von from lakeland, fl

    America has to have some of the outright dumbest people in the world. Offshore drilling is not a quick fix and it doesn't serve American interests. Why isn't there a focus on building our public transportation infrastructure? In Florida, where building more congested highways when I'm sure most people would rather enjoy the comfort and ease of light rail and a more robust public transportation system.

    End the Drama, Vote Obama!!!!

    July 30, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  13. The real rush lim shady

    well, now we know who the "Real Straight talk express" is.
    Barack gives u want u should hear and not what u want to hear. I hope people are sensible enough to elect him

    July 30, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  14. Frieda

    If Obama becomes President.........we will see just how fast they can get new drilling going ..........but not until then, thanks Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid for holding America Hostage.

    July 30, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  15. Republican Joe

    It seems that our candidate John McCain wanted to run a clean campaign and as far as I can see their is nothing clean about it. It makes me think does he really tell the truth or has he sold his soul to the devil. Makes me want to vote for Obama even more, I cant trust his word and many of you republicans out there need to think about pulling the lever for him. Lie now and we will get l

    July 30, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  16. marvinj

    I agree when was the last time the oil company's or Bush did anything to really help working american 1st red flag.. 2nd if the oil companies and there rich friends want it watch out . I grew up with this saying if it looks to good to be true (you know the rest). Why hadn't they did this before. John McCain has been around for a 20 + years why had he not gotten this done before. Now politically it might help him, and his buddies are trying to help him and themselves at our expense .Don't believe the hype. Just think they will control the oil in the middle east through there Iraqi oil deal with that accomplished they are ready to drill here.
    Funny how this war worked so well for just a few .....Poor judgement was a vote for war.....Say your sorry Sen. McCain and Bush.

    July 30, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  17. Nancy

    IT IS A SCHEME!! How can anyone with a brain not see this!! Experts have been saying for years that it is not the answer, that we need to focus on "OIL" independence! Listen to Pickens!!! These attack ads of McCain's really show the kind of person he is-a phony liar. He and his cronies truly think the American public is stupid. And I am beginning to think they are partially right if people buy this is even part of the solution. It isn't!

    Go Obama-keep telling the truth about the Republicans. What a selfish group of liars. How do they sleep at night.

    Obama 08!

    July 30, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  18. James

    You have states in the south-west that have millions of un-used federal land. The place is a desert. Why not put in solar panels and wind turbines in these places for energy?

    July 30, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  19. Bobby

    Oh by the way thanks CNN for letting me type all that stuff about MCSAME'S ad and then tell me this site won't take no more comments!!!!. ............ Barack Obama will tell the truth no matter who don't want to hear it. YES I wish there was a way to cut gas prices in half!!! I do not want the rich to get richer in this country or endanger wildlife areas. We need to tap into our oil reserves or place some kind of sanction on these oil kingpins to pressure them to stop making these HUGE profits on us struggling hard working people!!!

    We need BARACK OBAMA to finnally tell the truth and restore integrity in the "WHITE HOUSE" !!!!!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  20. fafa

    John McCain finally found a campaign topic. He choose the wronf one, unfortunately. Unfortunatley I wont vote for him. With this stance he is driving me in Senator Obama camp. I am not that smart but I know when I am being panderd. Once bitten twice shy. Not this Senator. NOt this time!

    July 30, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  21. Jim

    So what is Obama's solution?

    July 30, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  22. Republican Joe

    It seems that our candidate John McCain wanted to run a clean campaign and as far as I can see their is nothing clean about it. It makes me think does he really tell the truth or has he sold his soul to the devil. Makes me want to vote for Obama even more, I cant trust his word and many of you republicans out there need to think about pulling the lever for him. Lie now and we will get lied to in the future. Sounds like another GWB.

    July 30, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  23. Kim J

    As long as there are gas cars on the road – and that includes hybrids – we are going to need crude oil. If the only cars being sold or resold today were hybrids or alternative energy vehicles, it could take 20-30 to get gas only cars off the road. But they aren't the only cars being sold, so it is going to take longer than that. If we cut our consumption, while drilling for more oil and developing alternative sources, then we would only need the crude from this country, and could stop depending on the Middle East for it.

    I think the Republicans should use the $12 a gallon gas sound bite to gain leverage on the issue.

    July 30, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  24. Nando, Florida

    I knew it was full of KA KA when G.W. BUSH AND MCCSAME were for it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  25. joe

    How do we know that John McCain is ready to lead? How do we know his plans are right? He never tells us what he would do as president, all he says is " I know how" but he never says how to what ! Most of his time spent in Vietnam was as a prisoner as sad as that is, does that make him ready to lead? Senator McCain 's speeches are all about what he thinks Senator Obama doesn't understand. But I don't understand what McCain would bring to American as president. What is John McCain telling us? He has no theme.

    July 30, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
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