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. CM

    Someone should ask Mike from TX if he understands how demand and supply works.

    A texan that is for drilling for oil. Now there's a concept.

    July 30, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. Adam

    You Obama maniacs are pathetic. Anything that empty suit says you will follow

    July 30, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  3. Pat Long Island NY

    Obama is 100% right! Plus, I am sure if most Americans lived near the water in a coastal state, they'ld feel the same way.

    Obama needs to get on the ball here, and put out ADs counter pointing McCain's lies...simply making speeches to groups who already support you, and putting out press releases doesn't hit the beer drinking NASCAR red necks who need to hear his message!

    July 30, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  4. Nova from NV

    The man truly shows that he is naive and does not have a long-term plan. Off-shore drilling is a long-term plan for the future. Imagine gas prices ten years from now without it! Solar and wind is expensive and does not provide all the energy we need. I think we should give Obama a solar-powered car and see if he can pack his 300+ advisors in it.

    July 30, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  5. Obamalism

    I'm still waiting for the libs to explain where they're getting this 10 year mark from... pure lies.

    We've already proven that we can get oil in less than 2 years once given the green light.

    It's basic economics that if the future is showing signs of greater supply, then the 'futures' market will respond almost immediately.

    I don't want to live on oil, but I think it's quite retarded that the dems and al goretards want to totally eliminate a proven energy source instead of using ALL available sources.

    REGARDLESS OF PRICE, LETS QUITE GIVING THE MIDDLE EAST 700 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR and create some business inside our borders for a change.

    July 30, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  6. Adrian Veidt

    He's absolutely right. Drilling only LOOKS like the answer. It won't do anything to solve the real problem.

    July 30, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  7. Ms. RDS

    Finally, somebody telling the truth, not just what they think will get them elected. McCain is running around like he is the great hope for our energy crisis but his Senate voting record contradicts his stance. Since he's been in the Senate he has voted constantly against measures to increase alternative fuels. When you have oil men like T. Boone Pickens saying we can't drill our way out, then you should know what McCain is saying is a cheap ploy. If the republicans were so worried about energy prices why didn't they vote for off shore drilling WHILE both the Congress and President were republican led! Funny how as soon as McCain says he's for offshore drilling the oil company donations flow in by the millions. Country first....yeah right!

    July 30, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  8. ben

    I feel sorry for McCain. He is old-so am I. He has phisical problems -so do I. He is a good man – so am I (more or less).
    His campaign is taking the wrong tactics exactly what caused Hillary to go down in flames.
    Would he be a good president? Maybe so, but Obama would be much better!!!!!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  9. Dude

    In response to Mike from TX: "Obama is clueless on how the energy sector works. Anyone who believes his arguement is an idiot."

    What a schock! A texan spouting off, acting belligerent and calling other bloggers idiots (I know, not all texans are that way, but there seems to be a pattern). Here's a thought, maybe Obama is NOT clueless on how the energy sector works... maybe he knows exactly how it works and wishes to change it for the better.

    July 30, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  10. Mike

    I figured it out. The GOP's plan is to cut school funding so that more Americans can grow up uneducated. Do you know what uneducated people do? They believe a multi millionaire when he says a guy who just paid off his school loans is an elitist. They believe the people that make billions off of oil when they are told that drilling for more oil is the answer. In short, they believe everything the Republicans tell them. It's brilliant, dumber voters translate to more votes for the Republican Party. Keep calling Obama arrogant, keep saying he is all talk, and go with the guy that has all the experience you choose not to look at. We KNOW McCain won't do a good job, but you aren't convinced of Obama. This is the dumbest argument I have ever seen and 40% of Americans make that argument.

    July 30, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  11. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    The Rethuglicans and the Bush Crime Family want to destroy the oceans, Alaska and the environment with pushing more use of fossil fuels. All you have to do is go to any large city in the US and everyone is gagging from all the air pollution. Just look at all the dirty air we breathe everyday. The brown dirty air is worse then 2nd hand cigarette smoke.

    The oil companies have a strangle hold on the government and its environmental polices. I choose clean air over lower gas prices any day of the week.

    Obama/Biden 08/12

    July 30, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  12. Steve

    Mike from TX,

    Do you care to actually back up your argument or are you just another Republican parrot?

    July 30, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  13. Obamalism

    Scheme my butt, there might be 68 MILLION ACRES on lease, but do you think they're not drilling because there is NO OIL on those leases?

    July 30, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  14. Abby

    Excellent leadership, Senator. Thank you for holding your ground even though it would be easy not to fight the lies. Thank you for the truth,

    July 30, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  15. Clinton/McCain

    Maybe Obama considers saving $0.18/gallon of gas is 'a scheme', but to people who can barely afford gas, it's better than nothing! An elitist, out of touch person wouldn't know this.

    July 30, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  16. Oops

    Mike,

    Why don't you expain it to us then, instead of calling everyone an idiot? Poor agrument my friend.

    July 30, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  17. Another Republican for Obama

    The Republican Party 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 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  18. Esther

    Wise Americans, wake up! Listen to Obama. You can trust his insight and foresight and judgement and that he has done his research thoroughly unlike McSame and McBush who are only rash in their steps. Like the timetable in Iraq, you'll see that later on they'll come around in agreeing with Obama.

    This a very wise statement from Barack Obama, admit it:
    "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."

    July 30, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  19. Nelson, Knoxville, Tenn

    American media are the worst. They talk about patriotism but they are not patritotic.

    For God sake what does it cost the media to do a thorough investigative journalism about these whole drilling stuff and report the truth to the nation? What does it cost to bring experts on the networks to educate the american people? Please give me a break. It is shameful that our media are allowing the poticians and the oil companies push us around with gimmicks. American became what she is today because some people stood out and dare to stand by the truth but what we are seeing today is media that is beeing used by corporate bodies as tools for their propaganda – Posterity will leave to judge everyone's contibution to the American Project.

    July 30, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  20. proud army and navy mom

    Ok Genius......Explain why when Bush lifted the ban prices fell $17 a barrell that week. I am sure all you osama followers will say that is a coincidence.

    I dont really care personally higher gas prices mean fewer broke liberals on the road. Thats worth the extra 2 bucks a gallon in it it's self

    July 30, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  21. Paul Dobro

    One side has a man willing to state the truth even though 60% of AMericans support it. We have one man willing to stand with the experts and oppose the gas tax holiday even though 65% of AMericans want it.

    On the other side is a man who took $1.1 million from big oil in JUne, 5 times what they gave in May. How can McAttack say we can do Gore's goal of energy indepence in 10 years and then support drilling that will not produce a drop of oil for 7-10 years?

    We cannot drill our way out of this issue. We need alterative engergy now.
    This oil does not become property of the US, it goes on the international market. They only benfit is to the oil company, not the USA.

    Obama'08

    July 30, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  22. Obama all the way

    -It is important to some voters to remember that Senator Obama has good judgement.

    -The republicans tend to want to go into action without thinking of the consquences and then regret later just like they did when they went to Iraq for no reason now they are stuck and now they are starting to support Obama's 16 months time table after opposing it.

    -So you ask your selves does John Mccain know what he is talking about. I don't think so.
    Good Judgement matters alot.

    July 30, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  23. FactCheck

    > That's right, O… do nothing, that'll make the problem go away.
    > Twiddle your thumbs, gas prices will go down

    Are you naive or just plain stupid? Obama has been responsible for some of the most comprehensive alternative fuels proposals that are currently in effect. In about the same length of time that it would require offshore drilling to produce even an iota of new oil, we could be completely free of the dependence of fossil fuels. I am in the alternative fuels business so I know a little something about this.

    July 30, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  24. Randy

    So Obama'slan is to make gas $12.00 a gallon???????????????????????????????????????????

    Woww...brilliant leadership!

    July 30, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  25. Concerned in Alabama

    Obama is right..........remember when McMaggot, I mean McBush, and Senator Clinton tried to push the "Gas Tax Holiday?" Well this is no different. McBush wants the American people to think that this will do the trick-but it won't-not in the short term. They just can't go digging and produce oil. It takes time.

    McBush is trying to pander to the American people by making it seems like Obama is against what will help us.

    McMaggot, I mean McBush, the American people are not stupid. You are tying to play on our emotions. Some of us are stupid like the uneducated in Virginia, PA.etc.....you know where I'm going.

    The educated people will not fall to your pandering. It didn't work in the primaries and it's not working now.

    July 30, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
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