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. Pick Me! Pick Me!

    There are people on this board stating that we should do this now. Excuse me, where were you in the 70's when we had long lines of cars waiting for gas? There were gas stations that really did run out of it.

    There have been NO gas stations in my town that has put out the signs saying "Out of Gas" let alone closed because they didn't have any in their tanks.

    It has been 30+ years and we still depend on other country's for our oil so, don't blame the Democrates or Republicans, they all share enough blame to go around. No one wanted an alternitive fuel because they didn't want to spend the money needed.

    Education is a terrible thing to waste, so is not using fact check about all the b.s that has been slung during this campaign.

    July 30, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  2. Jay D

    I am sick and ******* tired of the Democrats stonewalling the development of domestic nuclear and oil resources. The French get 90% of their power from nuclear, so why can't we? Nuclear has no emissions. Oil is in everything – energy, fuel, food and plastic products and we can't just stop using it. Oil has a part in everything that you see, touch, hear or taste. The cost of everything will go up as it goes up! How can we develop alternate technologies and "save the environment" if our People can't afford to buy food or clothing or drive to work?

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

    Thank you GOP (Grand Oil Party) for siding with the oil companies. Open as much land as you can for the oil companies before Bush and Cheney leave. Don't make them use the 68 million acres they already have just give them a few more million acres so they can sit on that too. What a scam.

    July 30, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. Diane Panama City Fl

    Rethuglian McCain wants to do is Drill, Drill, Drill, kind of like his bomb, bomb, bomb Iran recommendaton.

    McCain is just another Repuker sycophant who has no solutions, is clueless about the real issues, uses slimy political tactics because he has no vision, no answers and is useless as "tits on a boar hog" ,as my grandfather would say.

    July 30, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  5. Jon

    Same old BS from the Dems, including Obama, and it appears most of you responding to this article have bought into that BS. They keep saying don't drill here, don't drill there because it's not going to give us IMMEDIATE relief at the pump. WELL OF COURSE IT"S NOT GOING TO GIVE US IMMEDIATE RELIEF, these things take time, everyone with half a brain knows that!! Dems lie about another fact and that is how long it will take before that oil would impact us as well ... they repeatedly say 10+ years ... it's more like 5 to 8 years depending upon circumstances. Fact of the matter is if we had started to do something on ANWAR 5-10 years ago, we would be enjoying the fruit of our labor now and oil wouldn't be $140 a barrel. And if we don't start drilling for oil off-shore now, gas WILL be $10 a gallon in the near future because we didn't do anything to prevent it.

    July 30, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  6. Maggie

    We need to stop using so much oil and focus on clean alternative energy. I just don't see that happening with a republican in office.

    July 30, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  7. Ian from Canada

    Cincinatti girl, excellent post. If you all truly want relief from the scourge of high energy prices, Americans need to wean themselves off oil. My gf and I bike 5 miles to work everyday and we have lost weight & saved [a lot of] money doing it. Until people realize that it is not sustainable to live 50 miles away from work just so you can have the big house and big yard and drive your SUV to work, until then you will all have to deal with this. Offshore drilling or not. Obama has proposed many ideas to help with this, please stop saying he's doing nothing just because he's doing nothing for big oil. It's about time someone had such a mindset as president. Thank you.

    July 30, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  8. Bendo

    Alice? Alice? is that you again? I thought the guys with the white coats came and got you a few weeks ago....listen, take your meds, lay off the Johnny Walker, ( you thats a contradiction, cause it might cause retardiness in outspoken gibberish).... on election day....do us all a favor and double up on your medication and just lie down.

    July 30, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  9. Jackwer

    Experts have estimated the total reserves of the world oil can only produced 800 billions of barrels left with us, world consumption: 76 millions per day, it looks like planet Earth has have oil for about 10,000 days left, Its about 27 years from now.

    Obama is VERY right to Prepare Americans of the REALITY before it's too late.He has the Vision of the Future,unfortunately many Americans still dont realise.

    July 30, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  10. Mat

    I want to know what people out there are thinking when they say Off Shore drilling will lower gas prices? Like in the next month or year we'll see Gas back down to $2 a gallon?

    I don't see how Obama saying that by opting into off shore drilling won't help our situation is him twiddling his thumbs – but more so focus on what he wants to do with alternative energy. however we all know that Oil companies are freaking out about that thought!

    Maybe we should invest in off shore drilling for some future use, because lets face it for the next 100 years we'll still need it – however for the next 1,000 years we'll be needing something else – so it's time to focus on alternative fuels.

    No McBUSH

    July 30, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  11. Biffington, Biff

    The republic party scream machine is at full-throttle howl pretty early in the game. They are worried. They are very worried. It, and the pink elephant in the room (closet racism) are the only reasons Obama does not have a 30 point lead.

    But mark my words... as loud as they are screaming now... it is about to be DEAFENINGLY loud before this "campaign" is over.

    listen for it.

    remember, a Bush person is now running tha mccain campaign. The drumbeat of attacks has been consistent since he took over on July 2nd.

    July 30, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  12. Jim Reynolds

    With trillions of dollars to be made in the transition to renewable energy resources, I can't figure out why the Republicans want to stick with the fossil stuff. Obama will go in there, support renewables, and balance the Bush deficit with tax revenue from these new industries before the Republicans will realize that this sort of vision is what made us #1 in the world. If we want to keep that spot, we'd better catch up and start to lead in this field.

    July 30, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  13. Doesn't like Kool-aid

    Are you kidding me? This guy wants to take our reserves so we will never have them again. Ya, he's a great visionary. We need to drill for new oil and work on alternate forms of energy
    It wasn't important before because we didn't need it. We need it now. Stop the stupid bickering. We need all forms of energy.

    July 30, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  14. An American

    Now that's straight talk. This is what he meant when he said that we may have to deal with some things that we may not want to hear, but it's for our good. All the experts are saying that we won't see the benefits of this for at least 10 years. I've heard some say 20 years. And the benefits will be PENNIES!

    The answer is not more drilling; we need to break free from this dependency on fossil fuels!

    Thanks, Sen. Obama for having the courage to be honest.

    July 30, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  15. E for Obama

    John McCain's answer to this will be "Senator Obama opposed the surge, I didn't. The surge has worked and senator Obama will not acknowledge the fact".

    That has been McCain's "message" for close to a month now.

    If he's not comparing Obama to Spears and Hilton, he is touting that the "surge" has worked.

    July 30, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  16. JB

    Why can't we drill for oil and explore alternative energy possibilities at the same time? Democrats are to focused on satisfying the environmental extremists, and not focused on what will help the citizens. If the US said it would drill for oil, then the market would realize the supply will get larger and prices will go down. I guess the Democrats didn't pay attention in Econ 101. Pelosi's vote blocking scheme is just another example of partisan politics in its purest form.

    Change isn't always for the best. Progress is what makes our Country better!
    Bob Barr 08!

    July 30, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  17. steve

    i wonder if obama's car runs on gasoline. i bet it does. or the private jets he flies all around in.

    he's just kowtowing to the pipe dream treehuggers who are clueless about economics.
    there is absolutely no way oil will not still be a main energy source 10 years from now. you can invest in other sources of energy all you want, but you just won't come close to replacing oil in 10 years. nobody tells a heroin addict if he just stays sober today, he'll be clean forever right?

    oil companies do have land for use. unfortunately all the best spots to drill for oil are on restricted land. oil may come from the ground, but it's not EVERYWHERE.

    we need to start building nuclear power plants NOW, and drilling for more oil here in america NOW. these are long term problems, and a quick fix is exactly what WON'T work. drilling for more oil in our own country, keeping the money here and providing jobs for americans, is a LONG TERM piece of puzzle. it's not going to completely cure anything, but an issue as complex as national energy will never be resolved overnight or with 1 fix.
    if we had started drilling 5, 10 years ago we wouldn't have continued digging our hole deeper now would we?

    obama and his obamaniacs are just stick their heads in the sand when it comes to the facts about energy use in america.

    July 30, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  18. Just a thought

    hey, what if we were to just close our eyes and pretend where we wanted to be and then when we opened our eyes we'd be there!! that would be totally awesome!! okay maybe if we closed our eyes with an ear of corn and a windmill – awesome!

    July 30, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  19. Not An Idiot

    What people don't know the Oil we drill will be going to who?? .. you guessed it the Greedy Oil Companies .. not the American People ... Exxon Mobile, Shell etc . . those who are controlling the prices of the oil ... If you think they care about you .. you all are Idiots .. can't blame you all .. you all voted for Bush (the biggest Oil's Man in America) .... These people only care about their pockets .....

    You people are just pausing the Inevitable .. We will be soon investing in Alternative Sources of Energy sooner or Later .. why not sooner ....??

    Mc Cain, Bush, Cheney are all in the Tank for the Oil Companies

    July 30, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  20. democrat voting Republican in Nov.

    You people keep talking about the oil leases the oil companies have now and are not drilling. the reason they are not drilling is there is no oil in these fields. Do you think the dems will lease them land with oil actually in the fields Wake up. Price is high because of supply and demand. I use to farm When demand was High Price was too. Economics still works that way today. Drill Now. then push for alternative energy. I'm all for Solar power, Electric Cars, Wind Power nuclear power. But that is a long way before it helps our energy needs. Your normal working man can't afford to buy a hYbrid car or put solar panels on his House. He has to keep buying Gas to go in his 10yr old car to do the best he can. Drill and keep prices going down.

    July 30, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  21. Emily

    In order for us to have any sort of chance of beating this energy crisis we have to put as much as we can into more research and development on sustainable energy. The oil coming from off-shore drilling isn't able to go to directly to the U.S., it will be put in the world market for sale just like everything else we buy. For me waiting seven years for a small change is not enough, if we begin developing more and more sustainable products like electric cars or solar energy the cheaper it will be in years to come.

    July 30, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  22. Sven

    When Bush took office 8 years ago, gas was $1.46 a gallon. I think that speaks for itself as far as who to trust when it comes to a realistic plan.

    July 30, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  23. KE

    Another reason we can't vote for Obama and the Obama Democrat.
    He’s a big spender. He probably will be listed as the most expensive candidate in the history.

    Maybe somebody can give us ideas how much money was spent already on the secret service throughout the primary season alone and how much more if he keeps it up and how much money was spent on his first foreign trip as a presumptive candidate.

    He hasn’t delivered anything concrete yet. I’m afraid what will be like with Obama and the current congress when they get the power.

    July 30, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  24. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    If Obama thinks we can be off oil in 10 years he's back to using cocaine. We will need oil as part of the mix for decades, even with major investment in alternative fuels. His opposition to nuclear is insane as well. France gets 80% of it's electrical power from nuclear. Modern designes are safe an efficient. It emits no greenhouse gases, and with reprocessing our supply of uranium will last centurys. Wwe need every means possible to generate power. Obama just doesn't get it.

    July 30, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  25. Biffington, Biff

    Randy,
    After reading your post ONCE, i understood what you meant. What you meant was to take what Obama said and twist it into something stupid and un-defendable.

    nah... I got it... and i got YOU.

    July 30, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
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