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. Jim

    This is a sign of Obama's leadership qualities. Obama choses to take a position not popular in the polls, but one essentially correct based on economics and science.

    Offshore drilling, like McCain's gas tax holiday scheme, does not provide a solution for our energy independence. Obama has my support here, because he does speak like a typical politician, He thinks through the problem and sees the big picture.

    July 30, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  2. Matt, Canoga Park

    Obama you and your ego is a scheme. You offer nothing to America but taxes, fluffy speeches and a inflated ego so big your head won't fit through the door.

    Your ego check is coming in November. So by all means continue with your fluff and arrogant elitist attitude.

    July 30, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  3. w.l. jones

    Theirs hundred of million of land though out the South not in use which in one year could start producing Bio-fuel. Why spend government su.. for fossel fuel when penny on the dollar Bio-plants can be built within six month and first raw material nine month later. Way to go.

    July 30, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  4. Sylvia

    Those people that do not agree with Obama statements probably drives an SUV . We can drill to China, but the addiction will only get worse. We need to change our behavior and be innovative in how we can reduce the need for oil. Obama tells it like it is. The truth. Sometimes the truth hurts.

    July 30, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  5. jfs Memhis, Tn

    HE"S RIGHT FOLKS.....oil is a depleatable resource. When its gone ......its gone. This country needs to call on our brillance for solving problems and find new sources of energy. Just as we exploded the Industrial revolution ( Now the Rust Belt) that drove the economies of the world for a hundred years ....so can we do this !!! Listen to Mr Pickens and Sen. Obama. We have become complacent and lazy. Lets work together for solutions !!! NEW Oil drilling will take ten years to hit the market and will only extended the eneviatable...at great costs. Set a goal like we did to get the moon. We need to stop this greed and selfishness. YES WE CAN !!! Follow a leader with a plan not an old whinner than can not even sign on to a computer. I can do that and I'm 60 years old !!! Go Obama

    July 30, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  6. Terry, Butte, Mt

    why do I get censored so much in here? Is this not a valid point?

    The media SHOULD be asking, "why are the oil companies not drilling in the millions of acres they have?"

    July 30, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  7. EDW

    ALPHA MALE: I want an alpha male for president. Do you really want someone that is going to sit around, call names, make attack ads, and whine all week long. Oh Iran won't listen to me, oh France called me a bad name, oh China is not playing fair. Silly!!! I WANT AN ALPHA MALE.

    July 30, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  8. Biffington, Biff

    With all of this howling about Obama...

    can any of you republiCONs tell me something good about mccain besides, vietnam war and maverick?

    And I don't mean spin.. i don't mean propaganda... give me something tangible.

    it was finance reform.... until he voted agains his own bill

    he has taken the party line of the last 8 years on every single thing.

    July 30, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  9. Bravo

    Yeah lets invest in "Alternative" and "Renewable" energy that doesn't exist, while we keep paying our kids college tuition to fill up our cars while we wait for the "Alternative" energy technology to arrive.

    July 30, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  10. eric from canada

    MACCAIN TO OLD TO LEAD

    July 30, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  11. AR

    FACT – We are already drilling offshore. Are there any drilling platforms or oil workers sitting idle? The answer is NO.

    The oil drilling companies have a 5 year backlog of work. That's why they are making Billions of dollars.

    McCain is pushing drilling because it sounds good, and he's hoping that people are stupid enough to buy into it.

    Unfortunately, it might work

    July 30, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  12. Earl Retherford

    I wish people could understand if we still need that oil in 10 years when we'd get it ,we would be in terrible trouble with global warming.
    I am not a scientist , I am a retired electronic engineer but I've had enough scientific training to know bunko science from real science and global warming is REAL!!! and its terrifing and its becoming a sippery slope. Al Gore is right and Obama knows it.

    July 30, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  13. Terry

    I call Obama trying to get people to vote for him by filling their heads by talking CHANGE over and over nothing but a scheme to get elected. In reality it's a farce when it comes to meaninging he would be an effective President. Don't drink the Koolaid! NOBAMA!!!

    July 30, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  14. kwesi

    It's like this...advocates of off shore drilling... you can't be on crack while in rehab. Drilling for oil while seeking alternatives sounds like a great idea only on the surface...we have to experience drawbacks to achieve energy independence...especially after over decades of our addiction to this "crack". Judgement '08.

    July 30, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. Doug from Allentown

    Everyone keeps saying that drilling will not have any impact on prices for eight to ten years. I certainly believe this.

    How long do you think it will take for alternative energy sources to have an euql impact? Probably eight to ten years.

    We have to do it ALL. Drill in OUR OWN country, invest in alternatives, and conserve. To ignore one solution and totally write it off is unrealistic. It is idealism and not practicality.

    One thing I can tell all of you Sierra club, tree huggers... Someone is going to drill there eventyally. My suspicion is that China will park an oil rig a mile outside and angle their drills in there. I would rather have it be us, but mark my words. Someone is going to drill it. If not now, then later when oil is $200 a barrel... $300 even.

    Money makes things happen... Not pie in the sky ideas.

    July 30, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. BHO Not my candidate

    Oh! The Irony: Oil goes into a world bank. In other words, oil produced here wouldn't necessarily stay here. Either way it would do little to help our situation. The problem isn't creating more oil, the problemis our oil dependence.

    Oil doesent goto a world bank, I suggest educating yourself on how oil is distributed and priced, as well as our Oil Futures Market. We will probally continue to use Oil in some form for the next hundred years, but we do need to begin to rely on other forms of energy... the problem is how long is it before we can do that, and why are we importing oil when we have it here...its killing our trade deficit and really discounting our dollar.

    July 30, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  17. Bravo

    Yeah lets invest in "Alternative" and "Renewable" energy that doesn't exist, while we keep using our kids college tuition to fill up our cars. I guess we can keep doing that until our beloved "Alternative" fuel source arrives.

    July 30, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  18. Brian

    Arrrrrrrghhh! This guy infuriates me! Who does he think he is to say that offshore drilling wouldn't bring prices down? Apparently, he thinks the 70% of us that support offshore drilling are beneath him. Heck, oil prices fell when Bush merely lifted the presidential ban on drilling. I can see the McCain ad now – "Obama said that if he thought he could provide you some immediate relief on gas by drilling off the shores of California and New Jersey he'd do it. McCain knows he can provide you some relief by drilling and he will do it. Don't just hope for lower gas prices, vote for them!” And the saddest think of all is that this comment won't even get published because CNN is in the tank for Obama.

    July 30, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  19. aaa

    yes! it is a scheme Mcwar/MCshame/McBush his the one that put us in this hole now he wants to dig more with Bush. obama 08!!!!

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

    What baloney! Pelosi screams we need to cut into our reserves to lower prices and Obama screams gettting more oil by drilling won't affect prices. They are not on the same page economically. Listen: where will we be in 10 years – broke from giving all our money for oil to people who despise us. What is the democrats plan – conserve? Can't we do that too? Why would we not want to drill for our own oil? We don't complain about other countries drilling for oil. Why the hypocrisy? Lets drill for our own oil.

    July 30, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  21. valerie

    THANKS OBAMA FOR TELLING US THE TRUTH

    July 30, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  22. al

    ***************************************

    NO DECEPTION HERE. IT IS NOT IN HIS BEST INTEREST TO BE AGAINST OFFSHORE DRILLING. HES NOT GOING TO MAKE MONEY OFF OF THIS STAND.

    ON THE OTHER HAND, THIS ADMINISTRATION GOES TO SHOW THEY ONLY IN THIS FOR ONE THING AND THAT IS OIL.

    MONEY....OIL......MONEY ......OIL.

    STOP THE MADNESS. VOTE OBAMA.

    July 30, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  23. Phil

    The last I checked, we were a capitalistic society. Why is it then that the Dems always want to punish those who have been successful? Why don't you go ahead and redistribute the wealth while you are at it as well. If big oil profitted, good for them...that is afterall, the American dream. Dems always want a handout. God forbid you work and make your own lot in life instead of always trying to get some freebies from the state or fed goverment. I'm not a wealthy person, but I don't blame rich people and expect them to chunk out a larger percentage of their well earned money simply for the fact they make more. Give me a break...Dems want to railroad anything that might work and make them look bad.

    July 30, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  24. linda hemmingsen canada

    Obama is not getting it.You have to have off shore oil and new clean energy also. Canada is rich in oil in alberta. In newfoundland they were loosing the people to the down turn in the fisheries and now they have off shore oil and it is booming, now saskatcewan is getting oil and they are rich in potash so their crumbling economy is booming and they are asking peole to come move their as they have new houses and stores growing faster than ever and they need workers.you also critize hillary for the tax relief at the pump idea like macain also wanted to help the people temporary but obama was against it well how come he did it for his own people in chicago?I guess it is all about who you favor so you can get ahead.

    July 30, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  25. billylee8

    "Alice in Florida"... well, I suppose that name alone explains why you'd be voting for someone with the EXACT OPPOSITE AGENDA as Hillary.

    I'm sure you paid off some of her debt, though... right?

    July 30, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
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