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. Jay

    Bush/McCain and RNC

    Iraq= oil
    Drilling = oil

    The oil men used our troop to get oil in Iraq and it did not work
    now they want to drill on our coast areas.

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

    i like this scheme very, very much! Drill now! Do nukes, do wind, do solar, do conservation, do alternate energy, do everything. problem BO will do nothing but talk.

    July 30, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  3. Not fooled by negative ads

    He's right. Thanks for tellin' it like it is and not tellin' us what we want to hear.

    Queue the Dr. No ads by the mccain camp.

    July 30, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  4. Beau, SC

    What Obama says about this makes the most sense. To say we are stupid for accepting his view of the energy sector is idiotic. 68 million acres is a lot of land. This whole crisis is engineered by the oil companies so they can wrestle all the land out of our hands. Let them finish what's on their plate before they ask for more–better yet, let them take a bite out of what's on their plate. Oil Companies are just trying to maintain the upper hand any way they can.

    July 30, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  5. tod jones

    Clinton said the same thing 10 years ago.....and now look where we're at with no help in sight. Forward thinking is necessary in a leader....obviously Obama's forward thinking is only necessary when it comes to his socialist agenda/values.

    July 30, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  6. Abby

    Joel in Corona, read the whole thing. He proposed a plan not nothing. Please read and stop lying. thanks.

    July 30, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  7. Delta

    I believe him, he has a record of telling us the truth. I stand with Barack.

    Obama 08

    July 30, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  8. Jeff Long

    A scheme!!! Its a solution you freaking idiot!

    July 30, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  9. JimBlanco

    M.S. Indiana July 30th, 2008 2:01 pm ET

    "The oil companies are already sitting on tons of land and oil, if they wanted to explore for it…"

    If there was oil in these leased areas that Obama and other libs are constantly referring to, the oil compaines would be drilling for it!!! They are in the business of making money.

    The fact of the matter is that it will take decades to wean ourselves from oil. Why should we wreck our economy and nation for these environmental wacko alarmists?

    And if you don't think Obama, Pelosi and Gore aren't getting MAJOR monetary kickbacks from their environmental lobbies, you are truly sheeple being herded to the slaughter.

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

    OBAMA=SENSE- and it's about time someone does!

    July 30, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  11. John from SC

    ding ding ding. America needs to realize that drilling is not going to work. Neither now nor in the future. We need new, renewable sorces of energy. We need to stop what we currently do. We currently deplete the earth of its resources while using those very resources to further destroy the earth. It is a sickening ploy by Big Oil and its GOP cronies.

    July 30, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  12. Oil does not equal gas

    I worked for an oil refinery. What most uneducated Americans don't realize is that oil does not necessarily equal to gas (even after the 10 years it would take to get it out of the ground). Our oil refineries are MAXED OUT! Obama is right. This is a SCAM by the Republicans. They are counting on the fact that most Americans don't understand the economic processes that our country is built on. What's sad is that they are right.

    As we have seen of late, the Republicans are in bed with the oil companies. We need a Democratic administration to fix this mess. Stop wasting your time with bitter, childish so called Hillary supporters. (I really wish you would stop using her good name to justify your selfish, purile actions). These people do not care about the issues or their country. All they ever do is trash Senator Obama.

    They cannot as "true Democrats" give a sound political reason for voting for a Republican who wants to make the Bush tax cuts permanent and privatize health care. Most Hillary supporters are sensible pragmatists like she is. Forget the petty fools. Go to the nearest post office and get some registration forms. Register 10 of your democratic leaning friends this week!

    July 30, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  13. mwm

    it is .and it's a dangerous one.global warming is accellerating,and we dont need more oil to fix it.not to mention the slight chance of a EARTHQUAKE or a HURRICANE?THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER IS BOTTLED UP IN ANOTHER OIL SPILL.AND THE GULF OF MEXICO IS DYING!MAYBE WE SHOULD JUST GO AHEAD AND DESTROY OUR PLANET,COMPLETELY.at least we'd be rid of stupid politicians,of course,but, we can forget about our children,too.

    July 30, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  14. Kevin,FL

    Yea, Obama if its a scheme, why do most Americans want it? good luck come election day

    July 30, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  15. Peggy - TX

    I have a great deal of respect for Obama, but in this case I believe he is wrong to take such a hard stance against off-shore drilling. If we start now opening up new areas to try and discover oil, then we will see results in as soon as 10 years – that is a good thing. We only have to increase our output a few percentage points to keep the cost of gas down enough to prevent economic collapse during the transition to new technologies that will take 20 to 30 years. We need to work on all fronts to keep the oil flowing and keep American economically strong. It is a waste to just leave these oil valuable resources in the ground and advances in oil drilling technology can make the harvesting operations safe.

    July 30, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  16. Silence Dogood

    As usual Obama is simply criticizing someone else's plan – with a grin.

    "Let's get plug-in hybrids all across America" is not a plan – what about the cost and millions of details. Has anyone ever heard a detail from this guy, besides critisizing others and the vague "Change"?

    Some people want "DRILL" because it sounds good.
    Some people want "CHANGE" because it sounds good.

    Just repeat "Paris, Brittany, American Idol, Obama" until you forget the real issues.

    July 30, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  17. One Word - Hybrid

    The best move I made personally and for the world's oil supply last year was purchase a Prius...45-50 mpg...nice performance...and, no, you don't have to plug it in (which a LOT of people ask me).

    We can effectively increase the oil supply by decreasing our consumption. The technology is there, so why don't we use it? There are small vehicle hybrids as well as large...in the long run (which is what the offshore and Alaskan oil drilling arguments have resorted to), we'll have less dependence on oil because we won't be using as much.

    Heck, with the ever-improving technology, we could probably hybrid our way to affordable alternative energy sources.

    So don't go out and buy a new car today...but when you're in the market, spend the extra couple thousand on a hybrid. First off, you'll save that on fuel consumption hands down; secondly, you'll wean us off of oil dependence.

    One Final Thought – Why has the administration (and McCain) that bangs the drum for more oil provided tax relief for small businesses that purchase SUVs? And why, at the same time, did the tax relief for purchasing hybrids (well, the prius break anyway) go away in the fourth quarter 2008? Kinda makes you go HMMM...

    July 30, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  18. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA

    IT'S THE SAME SCHEME THE GAS TAX WAS.

    IT GIVES NO ONE RELIEF BUT THE OIL COMPANIES.

    July 30, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  19. D.Johnson

    Great point Obama keep up the fight.

    July 30, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  20. adam

    Just like addicts Americans are just looking for their next fix instead of admitting they have a problem and looking for treatment.

    July 30, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  21. Allene Gossman

    I believe it is naiveté at its worst for Obama to state that in a decade or more a barrel of oil "might be $12.00."

    July 30, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  22. Gina - Lancaster, PA

    ATTN: Mike , TX –

    If Obama is so clueless and those of us who believe him are idiots, then obviously you must have the solution.

    Please enlighten us as to what that is.

    July 30, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  23. Nom Deplume

    and calling for the release of oil from the SPR isn't a scheme???

    July 30, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  24. Mark VA

    Yes, you are right Obama. Let's stay depend on foreign oil. Listen, in the long run we need to look at new technologies. In the medium run we need to look at self sustaining ourselves on oil as much as possible. In the short run let's flood the market with our reserves. Once the price goes down from us releasing the reserves we can then buy back at a lower cost to refill our reserves. McCain is the man with the plan.

    July 30, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  25. TJ Johnson

    Obama is dead wrong. If we start drilling now where we know the oil is, our supply can be augmented within two years.

    Will the government, under BOs direction, bankrupt the oil corporations (and stockholders) just to make a point? The oil companies would be drilling big time if they knew where there is oil in their leases. Why doesn't the government step in and point out to them just where the oil is on those leases rather than expect the companies to drill thousands of dry holes?

    July 30, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
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