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. Consider This

    if we increase oil supply here in america, what's to stop opec from reducing their output of oil supply to maintain the current price of oil.

    They can eaisly reduce their output to match our output maintaining the same demand and supply.

    Also If we drill offshore I'ts my understanding that the oil would go onto the world market not just the US market.

    Does anyone know for sure?

    July 30, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  2. Pat Riot

    The key word here is "immediate". Why does every solution have to be immediate? What solution do you have that will provide immediate relief Obama? I saw T. Boone Pickens discussing building the largest windmill farm in the world in the central U.S. with Joe Lieberman. All I've heard from you is to raise taxes on oil companies? What!?! Reduce the price of something by taxing it? Sure sounds like you believe in more government control over the means of production and that is the definition of socialism. You have all the wrong answers for all the wrong reasons.

    July 30, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. Chris

    Yo Mike, TX – So, I guess you think if we allow the offshore drilling the gas prices will come down? If that was allowed, any oil found would go in the the pool and more than likely head to China. America wouldn't see any change in gas prices. Obama is finally telling you guys the truth. He has nothing to gain from being in the pockets of the Oil companies and Auto makers!!! I mean really in the last few months since we have stop using so much gas the prices have dropped. Uh, just think if we start using other sources of energy what they could drop to.

    July 30, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. aware

    Give it up Obama!

    You are dead wrong Dr. No, and 76% of the American people disagree with you.

    Don't let China suck up oil off our shores while we sit on our hands! It is all about supply and demand, and the demand is growing big time!

    We need to get with the program and utilize many sources of energy – including oil, natural gas, coal, ethanol, wind, nuclear…!

    Bill Clinton blew it during his tenure! Stop the dumb Democratic political pallaver.

    I am a former Democrat who will not vote for the arrogant Obama who speaks like a Greek Sophist but does not engage in reality! :(

    July 30, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  5. A bitter Hillary Fan Waiting 4 years

    lol oil is a scheme?...so the oil to power his plane. ??the oil powering his bus. ??the oil powering his almighty europe trip.???.the oil spilling out of his caravans (all at tax payer expense) is a scheme? because all that oil is coming from your truely over in the big mid east. so while we develop renewables why dont we stop that oil coming from yours truely and start making it come from the north carolina and florida coast....for heavens sakes i dont care what his plans say..they need to be actually plans not hot air...Hillary in 2012..Rverand wright, rezco, bitter white people who cling to guns religion and antipethy, typical white grandma (whatever a typical white person is), and "this is the moment that we have all been waiting for? are you kidding me. im waiting for someone who will talk to me without the cameras..not ditch american soldiers because the pentagon said no cameras senator barack. grow up and become a real person of the people

    July 30, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  6. Mikey

    Observation: Texas Trail Dog is deranged and needs help soon before his/her head explodes. It must be very tough to live with all that nastiness trapped inside. You can feel the hatred and bitterness in every post. Has to make those of us with happy, positive lives feel blessed that we are not so afflicted. Nothing he/she writes can be considered to be a reflection of Obama or anything external to the Trail Dog, only of the ugliness within.

    July 30, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  7. KMAN

    Get used to it folks ... the price of gasoline is NOT going down significantly in the future no matter how much we drill .... anyone thinking we can actually get back to reasonably priced gas going forward is simply naive or ignorant.

    July 30, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  8. Sean

    Most Americans that want off shore drilling don't live near the shore. So they say of course, why not, it doesn't affect me. For those of us that do, when I go to the beach I don't want to see oil rigs on the horizon. It's that simple.

    July 30, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  9. Bibek

    Obama= no false hope
    Obama= truth
    Obama= no gimmicks
    Obama= Not just another politician
    Obama= Our President

    July 30, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  10. RealityKing

    Creating more oil supply is a scheme!? Evidently Obama hasn't taken economics 101.

    July 30, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  11. Belle

    So Senator Obama believes it is MUCH better for CUBA AND CHINA to drill 50 miles off of the Coast of Florida than the United States.

    Senator Obama can call McCain's plan a "scheme" all he wants, but Senator Obama VOTED FOR Bush's plan!

    At least McCain is coming up with temporary AND long term solutions to the energy policy. Obama would RATHER stick the taxpayers with a $150 Billion dollar RESEARCH and DEVELOPMENT plan with NO Guarantees.

    I still ask Senator Obama instead of the R & D bill, why doesn't he look to ONE country in South America and MIRROR that plan? No need to waste $150 Billion in R & D when we could use it to implement a "like" plan when technology is ALREADY THERE!!!!

    July 30, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  12. ARB

    Obama running for presidency is a scheme.

    July 30, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  13. GH

    I'm reminded of an episode of the Simpsons where Flanders' parents plead to a doctor, "Doc, you gotta help – we've tried nothign and we're all outta ideas!"

    If offshore drilling won't help, then why has oil dropped more than $20 a barrel in two weeks since Bush rescinded the executive ban (a purely symbolic gesture given the Congressional ban)? Simple – it scared the speculators enough to think that oil prices might come down, so they started bidding them down.

    But hey, let's say Senator Obama is right and it won't help – what's his idea?? I see nothing here. If he wants alternative energy, could he at least ask his pal Ted Kennedy to stop blocking Cape Wind??

    July 30, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  14. Amy

    Obama is absolutely right-by the time McCain's offshore oil hits our pumps in 10 years (and at only 2 cents cheaper than what we're paying now) we will have moved on to hybrid, solar and electric cars. Who is falling for McCain's plan?

    July 30, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  15. Jason

    "Get rid ov your Hummer and buy a ford escape hybrid or buy an old mercedes and have the engine converted to biodiesel."

    Spoken like a true, affluent liberal with no clue about real Americans

    July 30, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  16. RealityKing

    Meanwhile....., out in the real world.

    "Crude posts biggest one-day gain in nearly 3 weeks on surprise decline in supplies"

    July 30, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  17. Friends for Hillary in Denver and 2012

    Oh Barack your the one thought now is the time and your the man of the hour. your a self annointed ultra liberal not even a democrate you just are using the party like you do with everyone. one burp and will be under the bus too.

    Your campain will spin out of control soon and you know why once people start to really look at your record i.e. what record and the tactics you use and the company you keep. Nice try Barack you should have let Hillary take the lead. and learned from her , but no thats not big or flashy enough for you, so the Dems lose the WH again well at least we will have the congress.......:-

    July 30, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  18. Tjstelten

    I'm really really happy that Obama will not take the easy pandering way to get votes. Wake-up..this is an honest noble man that will tell us the truth! He has said ,you may not agree with me , however we can disagree without being disagreeable. How refreshing! A leader that will be honest and truthfull. They are wrong to call him arrogant. He is confident ,and thats what a strong leader must be. Obama is brillant and his vision for our nation and the world, is the world I want for my grandchildren. God bless Obama and his family.

    July 30, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  19. Libertarian Alien who crash-landed on Crazy Liberal World

    I agree, if we can't see results from drilling immediately, then we shouldn't do it. Why wait ten years?

    Using that same logic, I say we also stop funding cancer research, aids research, research into "alternative energy" (found in the dictionary under "rainbows, unicorns, sunshine, leprechauns and other things which will never power your car"), and the big Kahuna, we should stop doing anything to counter so-called "man made" global climate change because the earth won't really warm for another 60-100 years.

    And as a matter of consistency, I say all higher education programs should be halted too, since you won't really begin to see a return on your investment for at LEAST five to ten years. Wow, what a great world to live in when we just think about right now... I mean "now"... no, I mean now... Now... now...

    July 30, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  20. A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    Texas Trail Pup!,
    Again, I like the use of facts that you use to support your arguments. Do you know Mike from Texas. Maybe you both listen to the same radio shows.
    Why don't you try and use less opinion and more facts to make your points. People would probably take you more seriously. Oh, and take the tinfoil hat off, there are no alien beams trying to read your thoughts.

    July 30, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  21. Jackwer

    This all Repubican Political Gimmicks game,they wasn't serious about Offshore drilling,this just Political stunts.We Know the Cost of Off-shore drilling the figure around US200,000 a day, it's wasn't cheap,that any Oil company going to take this lightly .

    They Just want excuses to reserve the right of the Whole USA rather then 68 million hectres given to them.When the Best time to Ask for more ?if Not Now.

    IF we allowed and given permission to any off exploration US drilling I'm sure the doubt of any takers lightly. This just political game played by Republican on high agenda on expensive Gas prices hit the voters.

    July 30, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  22. ANGIE

    Now thats some straight talk my friends obama08

    July 30, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  23. Obama 08

    People who are claiming that the mere thought of America announcing that they may be drilling for oil if the states involved agree to it are plain silly. India and China will step right in and buy any extra oil that is available.

    And to out of thin air to claim that because Bush lifted the presidential freeze on off shore drilling lowered the price of oil have no idea about the global market and supply and demand.

    People in other countries are not as uneducated as Americans think they are!!They know how slow Americans are at making decisions and how frozen all levels of gov't are.

    Looking for a quick fix is what has caused the foe closure mess, the invasion of Iraq and the freetrade agreements which has lost jobs.

    July 30, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  24. gw fourmyle

    look at gold, platinum prices-when global citizens see a major nation 'ruled' by a stolen election, start a major war on lies? what would you do with that nation's currency, only paper as it now is? i'd both dump it fast for metals, and start 'ripping' the chumps any way possible. if Americans are so inept at thinking straight-they will be robbed-at the pump, grocery, pharmacy-time to get smart-thieves love dumb people-

    July 30, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  25. Not fooled by negative ads

    I view offshore drilling as GWBushs parting gift to the big oil companies.

    July 30, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
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