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. Tammy - KCMO

    "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."

    The Democrats have picked someone that uses good judgment and knows what it will take to fix the mess the Republicans have us in. We need to quit worrying about the trying to get lower prices for oil and starting coming up with solutions to get rid of our dependence on oil and think about the future. People need to quit driving the SUVs and Hummers and start driving more fuel efficient cars so that the oil industry doesn't have us in this stranglehold anymore.

    Isn't it nice to finally have a candidate around that speaks about issues and doesn't attack the competition?

    July 30, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  2. Amy

    Obama said:

    ""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.""

    Is that going to give anybody immediate relief????

    How many years is that going to take????

    Gawd, Obama is an idiot!!

    July 30, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  3. Krissy

    Even McCain has admitted that his plan is for "psychological" help to help us through this "mental resession".

    We needs REAL plans for the future! More oil is not where it is at. Every country in the world will need alternative energy increasingly over the next 20 years. We only help ourselves by investing in Research and Development.

    The entire globe can buy our technology if we seize the moment and get proactive.

    July 30, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  4. Rob indetroit

    Hello,? if drilling was the answer don't you think Bush SR. , and JR, would have been drilling years ago. Please wake up and smell the coffey dont let them fool you, something doesn't smell right. Listen to Obama the oil company's along with afew politians are running a scam.

    July 30, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  5. Jeff

    Econ 101: supply and demand.

    Congrats Senator. You fail.

    July 30, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  6. Oh Boy!!!???

    TIME OUT!!!!!

    If we would have drilled 8 to 15 years ago, would we be in Iraq? ...

    Isn't this the main reason we went to Iraq, to secure more oil for the USA?

    Now that Iraq has put us in the position of fighting $4 gas, now it is "unAmerican" to not want to drill? It was DADDY's idea to stop drilling in the first place!!!! And GW's go ahead for Iraq.

    America, Republican leadership has done THIS!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  7. Beverly, NYC

    There you go again Barack sounding all reasonable and presidential . Keep telling the truth, while we watch McCain flip flop to keep up with you. Did you hear he is for the 16 month Iraq timetable if conditions on the ground are right. Since he keeps telling anyone who would listen that the surge worked I guess his buddy Mr. Bush can begin the timetable now. Score another one for you B.

    OBAMA 2008!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  8. Rise America Rise

    To all the people that didnt click on "read rest of article", cnn buried Obama's main points there ... "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."

    Those that thought he wasn't offering solutions were duped by the way cnn chose to hide the key points.

    July 30, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  9. Jake

    Every day Obama delays off-shore drilling is another day Americans will pay more than they need to for oil. A new kind of leader... not. Just another crazy tree hugger but with a deep voice and a smooth schtick.

    July 30, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  10. Peter (CA)

    The Republicans cannot take the high ground on this.

    Jimmy Carter, often vilified even today, started tax credit programs, installed solar panels on the White House. As soon as he was out, Ronald Reagan cancelled the programs (didn't want to upset his oil company contributors). So, let's not kid ourselves that coastal drilling or a gas tax holiday is the solution.

    It's the speculators driving up the prices and the oil companies are doing well also. But, the development of China and India is important, too. It's time to starve big oil.

    July 30, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  11. M

    Obama is a fool. Oil prices are determined by speculation within the futures market. It's real simple. The idea that more oil from another source upping the supply would drive speculation for the "future" of oil towards a decrease in the price/barrel of oil set by OPEC and other oil exporting nations. You see the impact by just floating the idea that we will be drilling and producing our own oil has done to drive prices down already on the price of gas at the pump? Nevertheless, implementing policies that would make us more dependent on ourselves and not foreign nations is smart and in that interim time we can carry out more r&d on alternative/cleaner energy options. People, there doesn't exist wind powered automobiles or inexpensive electric cars or H2 fuel cell vehicles. Speaking about what ought to be and what is are two totally different things. What is is that we live in a world "driven" by petroleum at the moment and we should be maximizing our own resources to keep prices down at the pump while implementing r&d on cleaner technologies and putting to use already existing technologies like nuclear and coal. I"m voting for the only man who has a talked about implementing a "manhattan" like project approach to solving this energy problem, and not the man who is part of a group of people who are doing everything in there power to keep oil prices high to affect a substantial level of control over your lives and to hinder your basic economic freedoms. That person with the vision is John McCain and not Obama. I don't understand how this isn't evident to the majority of you guys.

    July 30, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  12. Dan Jan

    Most Americans want offshore drilling. Obama thinks it's a scheme. Seems like Obama is the scheme, as most Americans aren't suckers like that.

    July 30, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  13. The Truth

    Obama., aka Dr. No
    speaks again with no solution only a "No"

    Drill now for the shot term,
    then develop Wind, Nukes, Hydrogen Cars, Alternative Fuels

    July 30, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  14. me

    Does any one wonder why now in his last few months in office Bush is pushing for offshore drilling? This is an issue that could have been easily solved when congress and senate were republican. He is now turning around and blaming a democratic congress for the oil crisis – excuse me – who has been in charge for 8 years?? Over and over again it has been said by people in the know is that offshore drilling will not help in the short term and in the long term it will make very little difference. Why is America so scared of alternatives? is it because the conservatives are so far behind in understanding technology that it scares them? We have a sitting president that speaks of 'internets' and we have a republican incumbent that doesn't know how to use the internet and can't send e-mail – so what interest in moving forward? what interest in new solutions or technology? I fear for America if McSame gets elected....

    OBAMA 08 OBAMA 08 OBAMA 08

    July 30, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  15. ex-Republican for Obama

    Obama is telling the truth even though it's not what the majority wants to hear. McCain is lying about offshore drilling to win an election.

    July 30, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  16. Barack the Vote in RI

    This is exactly like the ridiculous gas tax "holiday" that McCain supported and Obama exposed for what it really was.....ANOTHER SCHEME.

    But when the dust settles and they find out the truth about this as well -of course they won't give Obama the credit he RIGHTFULLY DESERVES for making this known as well.

    Obama 08/12

    July 30, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  17. Rick K

    Not sure why one part of the issue never seems to come up:

    Every dollar spent on one source is NOT being spent on something else.

    So, you can't just "do everything" in a world of limited funds – the equation that we should be trying to solve (and I admit, I think O gets this), is for every dollar we spend on the next part of our energy strategy, what is the nature of payback we're likely to get? Short-term, long-term, etc.

    I'm actually in favor of ALLOWING the drilling, but if it's so easy and profitable, then Big Oil should have no problem with agreement terms that allow America to be sure that some of the money is getting funneled toward renewables IMMEDIATELY. They're asking us to bet with our environment – we should ask them to bet with their predictions of abundance.

    THE REPUBS ARE PROTECTING THEM FROM THIS KIND OF TOUGH DEAL – AND THAT'S WHAT OBAMA IS SAYING WHEN HE SAYS WE'VE SLANTED POLICY TOWARD THE OIL COMPANIES.

    THIS IS THE KIND OF LEADERSHIP WE NEED!!!

    July 30, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  18. Darryl

    Wow,

    Did Senator John McCain said Big Oil don't tell him what to do..... 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.

    Oil and gas industry executives and employees donated $1.1 million to McCain last month — three-quarters of which came after his June 16 speech calling for an end to the ban — compared with $116,000 in March, $283,000 in April and $208,000 in May

    July 30, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  19. Gramma Faye /Idaho

    There have been reports that it might only take 2 yrs. But the point is that this idiot does NOT understand that we have to start someplace to get out from under being the puppets of forgein oil. Also we keep lining the pockets of the obscenely rich while we keep biting the bullet. With out being self sufficient we are at the mercy of anyone that wants to cut us off and that is the first step in loosing OUR AMERICA. It is called NATIONAL SECURITY for the USA. Stop and think if Iran decided to close or tie up the straights over there. the whole world would be in trouble. We need someone that understands and has the best interests of America in their heart. Not a power player with all the visions of grandeur.
    Independent thinking Granny.

    July 30, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  20. Vanessa

    He is right!!

    There's only one question Americans need to ask themselves on this issue: Are we really the United States of Ignoramuses?

    Obama '08 or revolution because another boot straps republican is the end of America...the world!!

    July 30, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  21. Allan

    He is Mikle NOSTAR,,,,. He know oil will be 12 p.g. KING OBAMA. Fell like Africa. People idiot.

    July 30, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  22. tony

    Some of you Dems are stupid beyond belief-
    Let's give the Oil $$$ to people that hate us rather to those we can have some control over–
    In 1996 the Repulican Congress sent a bill to President Clinton on drilling-
    Dems said no need-but in 2001 in 5 years we would have decreased our depenedency–
    It's easier to get Oil 100 Miles off our shores than 5000 miles–

    Connie–Please know your facts–
    Clinton Vetoes you idiot-
    They allow you to vote–
    That in itself makes this a great country-

    July 30, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  23. Sane John

    Why didn't the Republicans open up for offshore drilling in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, or 2006, when they controlled all three branches of the government?

    Oh yeah, that's right, it's because then they wouldn't have been able to make it a phoney baloney political issue for idiots to salivate about.

    July 30, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  24. Another Republican for Obama

    The GOP under the rule of George Bush and Dick Cheney will say anything to get the American people to believe that opening enviromentally sensitive land will bring down gas prices.

    The real plan is to get as much land freed up for the big oil companies before George Bush and Dick Cheney leave office.

    So what the latest polls are saying is that we have a bunch of naive Americans willing to believe the lies coming from the Republcan party. Haven't they fooled us enough? How much more of beating can we take?

    July 30, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  25. Carol

    Now let's see - OB want's to WAIT. WAIT for what – the next crisis ? Is this how he plans to handle any situation that comes up – WAIT and SEE? We will be going down the tubes real fast if that the case. Do we really want this kind of thinking in our PRESIDENT? I believe we NEED A MORE DECISIVE LEADER. We need one with some hands-on experience. Let's think our VOTE. THINK THINK OR write in SOMEONE. THIS IS Sooooooooooooooooo IMPORTANT !

    July 30, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
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