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. McArsenic

    it is a scheme...there are 68 MILLION ACRES all ready leased for drilling. the Dems have tried to release oil from the reserves the Repubs block it...John McCain was against off shore drilling to until the Oil Comp. started gushing MILLIONS into McCains pockets

    July 30, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  2. v.a.

    of course it's a scheme. it's a waste of energy and resources. time should be spent on development of alternatives not drilling into reefs and causing a repeat of santa barbara '69.

    July 30, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  3. A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    Exactly, have the oil companies drill on the 68 million acres of land they already hold the leases to.

    There is no short term answer people and drilling will just prolong the problem for another few years. We need to get off oil!

    July 30, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  4. Nancy in San Jose

    Aren't you a tad suspiciuos America when President Bush and all the republicans are pushing for something? Specially when that thing is oil? Even if logic wouldn't say that the solution to an oil addiction is not more oil, I would still be suspicious whenever this lot pushes for something so hard.
    get real people there is just so much oil in the world and the more we consume it the earlier it will run out and the more expensive it will get as we go along. We have to find an alternative.

    July 30, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  5. Cynthia

    It is a scheme. I saw on CNN's website where they asked the Energy Department's best estimate is that drilling will save one to three cents per gallon. I wish that the media would actually put the truth out there so that people won't be left in the dark just believing what someone tells you.

    July 30, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  6. Annoy the Media, say NO to Obama

    You dont have to be a genius to know that you must include offshore drilling as part of any energy policy. If we had allowed and encouraged more drilling 10-15 years ago, we would have reduced our dependency on foreign oil. Allowing for more drilling now will help future administrations and generations of Americans on dealing with this energy problem.

    July 30, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  7. BHO Not my candidate

    I think buying oil from foreign countries is a scheme... I would rather buy oil that supports American workers... not the middle east... Obama please explain why you would rather support Middle East Oil Workers over, good American Oil Workers... because obviously you would rather buy oil there than produce it domestically....

    July 30, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  8. Jim W. California

    That is the same thing they said 10/20 years ago. IF we had done it then (drill) maybe we would be paying less to hostile lands that have oil. As for Eviro's they say it's better to ship billons of barrles of oil over thousands of miles of ocean by boat, than pump it 100 miles off shore. I'm not saying drilling is THE answer, but part of the answer. We also need to invest on renewables too. No Obama 08'

    July 30, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  9. Andy J, NY

    Yeah, we need oil for the next 20 years, minimum, so lets not do anything to get all our oil here in America... lets continue to send billions of dollars over seas to countries who really don't like us... for the next 20 years. I plan on being here in 10 years when the oil starts flowing from our own lands, how about you, Obama?

    Way to go. This guy is such a fricken joke.

    We need oil, might as well get it here, and get it from American companies... instead of sending the money to Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Russia, and other places that generally don't like us. We are talking BILLIONS of dollars, people.

    There is not viable alternative to oil RIGHT NOW. We know oil works. Lets get all the oil that we can here in America, while we develop alternatives. Its not rocket science.

    July 30, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  10. Bola

    Those who have ears, let them hear. The truth shall set us free. We can drill to eternity, but until we decide to conserve and begin to think of alternative energy sources, we will be having this same conversation 20 years down the road.

    July 30, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  11. Ex-Republican for Obama

    Obama, you give me chills of pride!

    Thank you for the inspiration, the stead-fast work ethic, and the no nonsense, non pandering straight talk. Oil companies have had 10 years already and over 70 million acres to do what they say this will do. Where have they been and why is this solution being forced down the uninformed citizens throat? Because it's an election year and the Repukelicans are avoiding the fact that THEY have caused our oil prices to soar by not holding the oil companies and speculators accountable to take corrective action. It's time we take our country back.

    Lock, stock and barrel, Obama is the undeniable solution to a better America.

    I salute you Sir!

    July 30, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  12. A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    Mike, TX – I like your well thought out argument and was impressed by the number of facts you used to back it up. Great work!

    July 30, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  13. Nancy in San Jose

    Mike from Texas, you own a pick up truck. Don't you?

    July 30, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  14. Publish this

    Ten years? Wrong. Simple economics, folks. When producers expect prices to rise, the oil stays in the ground. When they expect it to fall, oil is pumped. The point is, plans for offshore drilling, as well as conservation and alternative energy, will lead to an expectation of falling prices and, hence, more oil pumped immediately and a price drop.

    July 30, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  15. Obama 08: mature, white woman

    This man is right when is said he would tell the truth.....hopefully clear minded people are not buying McCain's claim that oil COULD be flowing in months. Surely that could be from 2 to the 12 000 months he says the troops will be in Iraq?

    What are the procedures in California, Florida and NC to lifttheir off shore bans? Would it require a referendum and how long would that take??

    Obama's right...drill where they already have leases!!!

    July 30, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  16. M.S. Indiana

    Mike, TX, read and learn buddy, and stop hating, it is not good for you...
    The oil companies are already sitting on tons of land and oil, if they wanted to explore for it...

    July 30, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  17. mayahh

    He calls it like he sees it " a scheme" thanks Senator... good job, stick to the facts... OBAMA next PRESIDENT...

    July 30, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  18. Andy J, NY

    Hey McArsenic-

    there isnt oil under every square inch of the earth... so 68 million acres – yeah, might not have oil under all 68 million acres... otherwise, i don't think there would be an oil crisis.

    How about you get a clue, pal?

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

    Obama doesn't get it. We don't JUST want offshore drilling. We want alternative energy too. We want nuclear. We want wind. We want solar. He doesn't want to pursue any of those options because he says it'll take ten years to get it done. Where are we going to be in ten years without it?

    July 30, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  20. Mike, Texas

    If congress were to REAAAAALLLLY push it, we could see oil in 5-7 years.

    However, congress is not exactly known for being quick on their feet in pushing agendas, so I wouldn't doubt it would take longer.

    July 30, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  21. Honest Leadership

    Oil companies just want more places to go drill so they can make more money. If the oil companies really cared, they could let a little of that net profit go. Oil company's net profits are in the billions.

    July 30, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  22. david

    THANKS barack Hussein....Yes lets make the rest of the Husseins in the middle east rich by buying more oil from them.... then they would like I mean love you even more. So to hell with those "deperate" american people. lets take our money and give to the oil rich middle eatern husseins

    July 30, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Well, there's seven concrete ideas of what can be done. What has McCheese Aisle said today about anything?

    July 30, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  24. Bulldog

    Republicans voted against two bills last week to help lower gas prices. All because they couldn't add in their offshore drilling admentments. They will block and stall any energy bill unless they can get their offshore drilling. That is there strategy at the expense of the American consumer. Get as much land freed up for the oil companies before the Bush term is over even though the oil companies currently have over 80 million acres of federal land they won't even touch. They wouldn't be leasing this land if there wasn't oil under it. Republicans have no right to be talking smack about the other side. They would rather bow to the big oil and Wall Street coorporations than help out the hard working Americans.

    July 30, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  25. Biffington, Biff

    political posturing....

    always remember... they could have done this when they had control of all branches of govt for 6 of the last 7 1/2 years.

    yeah, Mike in TX.. cause YOU have a better clue than Obama.

    July 30, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
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