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. Alex , TX

    - To Mike TX,

    If anyone is clueless, that person is you. If you truely believe that spending valuable time and resources over the next 10 years only to save a few cents at the pump then you are obviously a mindless nit wit. And just so you know, most of the commercial quantity crude recovered from drilling are not useable in the US and would have to be exported out to be refined.
    Amazing how a clueless person like u would think its okay to come on here and refer to people that know more than you as cluess.

    July 30, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  2. RoRo

    Why do you all think gas prices are going down?? It is economics, the demand have gone down because we have been forced to make changes in our habits.
    Can you imagine what will hapen if Demand went way down because we have alternatives?????

    Think!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  3. Pat in Cali

    Offshore drilling is going to be a coastal states issue. California already has limitations laws that the voter enacted.

    Can you imagine your Florida vacation on the beach with the smell of tar and oil and deposits in the white sand and a view of a line of oil rig along the horizon? Through in a few dead seagulls and residual other pollution.

    Alternative fuels is the key – look at Brazil – sugar cane ethanol. We can do this. Yes, we can.

    July 30, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. Southern white female

    Obama '08

    Read Obama's books, if you haven't.
    He is the real deal and so intelligent. A solid individual. We should all be proud someone such as Obama wants to lead our country. Thank goodness he has the confidence of a celebrity with the intelligence and clout to back it up unlike our current CIC!

    McCain and his camp are only hurting themselves, in my opinion, with such negative ads. It's insulting and a waste of time and money. We should remember the about-face McCain did recently with big oil concerning offshore drilling. It was quite disgusting to hear all that ego-stroking from someone so revered for his integrity.

    July 30, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  5. Robert in Seattle

    Why isn't Arizona leading the way in solar power? Big oil profits! Republicans in their pockets. Republicans will lie to take your money. And 50% or more of americams will fall into this trap like sheep to the slaughter. If McCain is elected, they will get what they deserve, a corrporate fascist state led by oil barons. The skys will blacken with coal smoke and the seas will blacken from oil spills. There will never be relief at the pump until we have a Democrat for President. Energy competition is what they fear, they are trying to wring out every last drop before the US changes.

    Obama 08 Democrats forever.

    July 30, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  6. RyanD.

    Oil is a global commodity. If we drill here, the oil doesn't "stay here"...it becomes part of the "world pool".

    Why are people, some in this very blog, clueless to this fact?

    Do Americans really think we're gonna drill off of Florida and in 5 months have barrels full of "U.S." oil to turn into gas somewhere in Nebraska and send straight to "our" pumps?

    People are laughably out of touch with the facts on this issue.

    Obama 08'

    July 30, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  7. Barbara

    Andy J, NY July 30th, 2008 2:00 pm ET

    Are you serious, You sound like the Joke. Did you not hear what he said. The Oil Companies Have over 60 Million Acres of land that they are sitting on and doing NOTHING with. So They are the ones that are a JOKE. If they want to drill so bad and lower the prices then why cant they use the land they already have. YOU KNOW WHY? Because they are greedy and they want to destroy what little area we have left thats clean and free from there toxins. You Need to get a clue.

    July 30, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  8. William Ayers

    What we all have failed to understand: Obama has NO answer to high energy prices. Alternative fuels are not going to be realized in the next administration, no matter who is in office.

    INCREASED DOMESTIC DRILLING WOULD HELP IMMEDIATELY, IF ONLY THROUGH SPECULATION!!!! Anything would help.

    July 30, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  9. Kris from AZ

    Obama is not out to fool the poeple. Oil drill now ..is a scheme...but is funny how poeple with get suckered into it. The right wing noise machine making all the drama.

    July 30, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  10. fella from Chicago

    To Ex-Republican for Obama; "You give me the chills". Is that you Senator Craig?
    The mere mention of drilling off shore has started the process of falling oil prices. We're not going to be able to stop on a dime and eliminate our dependency on oil any time soon. I would love to see solar energy expanded along with nuclear energy. However, we're not there yet and won't be for a couple of decades. Until that happens we have to stop giving away billions to the Arabs who dispise us and who in turn give arms and materials to the terrorists to murder Americans, and devote our attention to securing our own energy sources within the borders of America. If that means drilling off shore for now until the other avenues for obtaining energy are in place, so be it.

    July 30, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  11. tonyrich69@msn.com

    right on, we have been scammed b the republicans for 8 years. If you vote McGramps it will be the same Bush/Cheney rerun– power to the rich and oil eaters.

    July 30, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  12. JR, Plymouth

    True, it's granstanding on the part of the same McCain campaign that called Obama a celebrity; can they spell "charisma"? They can look it up under "leadership".

    July 30, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  13. Cmmntr

    He's completely correct. The only short-term fix is for consumers to curb demand. It would take years to find more oil and drill for it. Not to mention having to deal with the states on environmental issues. The biggest opposition to increased off-shore oil exploration and drillinig is Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican. And don't forget the total lack of additional domestic refining capacity. Yes you could replace foreign oil with the domestic, but it wouldn't get you any more gas or lower prices.

    July 30, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  14. Phil Newton Murphy, Oregon

    It is.

    OBAMA 08

    July 30, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  15. WE NEED THE TRUTH

    The real reason Oil Men (Bush and now McCain) with the BIG Oil companies behind them are pushing for off-shore drilling is to simply get their hands on the off-shore leases and in ten or 20 years that's around the time they would get any oil from drilling. Then the Oil companies can sell the Oil on the open (international) market and make hugh amounts of Oil, because other countries will be increasing their demand for Oil, then the Oil companies here can lay claim to being big foreign Oil suppliers. While we here in the U.S. will not see any relief from our dependence on Oil. WE WILL PAY THE PRICE JUST LIKE THE REST OF THE WORLD!

    Senator Obama has the future vision to take us in a new and better direction.

    July 30, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  16. NPA

    All I know is that McCain does not talk for McCain's Campaign.

    July 30, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  17. therealist

    Obama doesn't care that American's are paying $4 a gallon. Ideology before the poor. Change you can believe in..

    July 30, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  18. Nicole In NE

    I can't believe some people can still be pandered to with this gas tax holiday. Thousands of people will lose their jobs because the tax going to bridges and roads would go away.

    Yeah, great for the economy. But I guess some people would rather save $20 for the summer for themselves and let THAT happen! Give me a break. Start car-pooling, walk or a bike a little. That would save you more money then your precious gas-tax holiday would!

    People are too lazy!

    July 30, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  19. redwhiteblue

    The Swift Boaters have brought out their big guns. It is extremely important to defeat these Rove-like lying evil men.
    I know that many people were terribly disappointed that Hillary did not win. I was fortunate because I decided early on that I would support the one that the majority wanted. We had two excellent candidates and they both fought very hard.I believe that she will be given an important job in Obama's administration and she will do her very best.
    This was more about the popularity of each candidate. Now let us get back to the importance of the fall election. Remember WHY it is so important to beat the Republicans. Let us all stand together and WIN. Because Hillary did not win, would you rather have more years of this frightening war? Do you want to worry constantly about losing your home or your job? Do you want more years of high gas prices, and $4.00 a gallon milk? Aren't the worries about our huge deficit more important than the candidate? The loss of allies, the secrecy of this administration,the cover-ups and torture and constantly being lied to? Do you want to allow more terrible things like New Orleans. It was his slow and uncaring action that I criticize. Do you want to have to worry about your Social Security being terminated? McCain wants privatized Social Security. Think what those rich people have already done to the average citizen.That was one of the things Bush wanted . Do you want to continue with the arrogant administration breaking every law in the book , AND GETTING AWAY WITH IT. The Democrats should be held responsible also because many of Bush's offences should have called for impeachment and Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the house. stated that
    Impeachment was not on the table. Obama is a well educated man and I ask every Democrat to put aside their disappointment and fight for the election of a Democrat.The recovery of our nation is truly at stake.

    July 30, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  20. SidearmS

    Here is one American that is telling Congress TO HOLD THE LINE.

    This is a smokescreen for oil industry. Do some research and you will find that:

    1)Most of the oil these guys are producing is being sold overseas.

    2)Most of the oil profit is going into the buyback of shares on NYSE. PATHETIC. They spend more on stock buyback than alternative energy research.

    3)T. Boone Pickens, he who just sold all his Yahoo! stock, has even come out and said this "drilling" push IS A SHAM. Mr. Pickens is one of the few who has actually come out with a plan to use wind. And yes, he hopes for a 25% return on his investment, which I think is fair.

    4)There are no plans for refining expansion, no plans for improving the derricks they have, and they have THOUSANDS of acres leased to drill on already. They don't want to drill on them because IT IS TOO EXPENSIVE. Well, TOUGH MUFF. Spend some money for the good of the American public instead of trying to worm out what is being carefully, and RIGHTFULLY, protected.

    5)And today, the article on Bush's speech mentions that speculators were allowed into the market by (and this is the article's quote) "a THEN REPUBLICAN CONGRESS". You want to blame speculators? BLAME THE REPUBLICANS BECAUSE THEY LET THEM IN.

    6)Any oil will take SEVEN TO YEARS to get to the public. FACT. The next person who says we have the technology to drill safely, then ask them why they don't use this technology to drill on the lands they already have leased from the government?

    Enough smokescreens. Enough garbage. Enough Republican trainwreck policy. SAY NO TO DRILLING. SAY NO TO BUSH.

    July 30, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  21. Wes

    Think about it. How do we as a nation stay in power? We use up every other countries resources first...then we tap into our own. Why drill now? We will regret it in the end. Plus, this is an opportunity for renewable energy sources to make their way into the market.

    Don't give in Obama. We have to suffer a little now, so we don't suffer even more later.

    July 30, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  22. Mike

    He is absolutely correct. Bush's 3rd term McSame wants more drilling so that his buddies in the Oil Industry will continue to get rich. What Oil Companies have done to find alternative ways of solving energy crisis. Obviously they want to drill for oil so that Americans can continue to be dependent on oil. Pahetic McCain. Obama is right, it is time to get out of Oil Companies' stranglehold.

    July 30, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  23. Martin

    Thank you Senator Obama for telling the truth, oil companies have been reporting record profits for consecutive quarters and we want to remain depend on them to do what’s best for this nation. Alternative energy and fuel is America's next industrialization and the Republican presidential candidate supports drilling for oil… Brilliant!! It’s time for this country to become independent of oil if Brazil can do it why can’t America?

    July 30, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  24. Steve

    Hey, "Still For Hill", get your facts straight, you ninny. Obama was absolutely correct in being against the gas tax holiday. Dozens of economists (yes, yes, I know Hillary is an expert in everything and can ignore the advice of other experts) said it was a stupid idea. Did you not notice how the idea was quietly dropped by both Hillary and McCain after the facts came to light?!?!!? A gas tax holiday would do absolutely NOTHING to drop the price of gas more than a few pennies. If the oil companies were taxed instead of the consumers, as Hillary suggested, what do you think they would do? Raise the price of gas to cover the new taxes. This is not rocket science (to anyone but a rabid Hillary supporter).

    And by the way, electric cars use petroleum too. It's just burned at the electrical generation plant instead of in the engine of the car. Please, for the sake of an IQ point or two for yourself, read a book or a magazine (other than "People") once in a while. While you're coming up to speed with real facts, I'll pretend you aren't dumb as a box of rocks. Geesh!

    July 30, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  25. D. Moore

    McCain's new commercial slogan:

    All attack, all the time!!

    Cindy McCain stated on the Today Show, May 8, 2008:

    "What you're going to see is a great debate. Which is what the American public deserves. None of this negative stuff, though. You won't see it come out of our side at all.”

    Seems that you can't believe anything this family says.

    July 30, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
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