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. judyc

    If we drill for oil and find it–it will be added to the world supply and sold on the world market. We would not "own" it–the oil companies would.

    Tell me how that helps?

    July 30, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  2. Phil Texas

    If I had millions of acres of oil lease and oil at $140 a barrel I think I would be drilling!!!!! no matter where it was. The thing that we need to do is push for other types of fuel that way we could tell the oil producers that they can have their oil. Lets make it here for americans by americans.

    July 30, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  3. Donald

    Mike from Texas you are the idiot. Americans will take our country back inspite of you. We'll drag you along kicking and screaming if we have to, but so be it.

    Obama 08

    July 30, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  4. SW

    We drill now and we might reduce gas a little in a few years, but by that time, hybrid cars would be so advanced that it wouldnt matter.

    July 30, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  5. pumpkin

    Why is no one bring up the fact that the oil companies have millions in acres and permits for drilling in land they already own?

    Why do they want to drill in a protected area for oil that will not keep us a float for more then a year!?

    July 30, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  6. Moe

    Hey Mike in TX,
    You either work for an oil company or it is you that is clueless..

    July 30, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  7. shaun

    hey mike, tx in that case why don't you enlighten us on how the energy sector does work......since we're all idiots

    July 30, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  8. Shasta

    Thanks for having the guts to say what people don't want to hear, Obama!

    July 30, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  9. Rgl

    I feel that domestic drilling combined with an aggressive alternate energy program is essential if the US economy is going to recover, and I do not care what your political belief is. We have become a service economy servicing ourselves while the rest of the world has become the producer. If our leaders continue to play their power games the only guarantee is, we will quickly become a bit player in the global economy.

    July 30, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  10. DEX

    I often have to tell my children that what they want and why they want it will not really satisfy thier impulsive needs. I tell them this truth that maybe unpopular because I love them. It is refeshing to see that we finally have someone willing to tell us the truth regardless of how popular it maybe. Drilling for oil at this juncture is not the answer. The repubs are just doing what they have always done Of course our collective knee jerk response to an oil crisis would be to drill but take a moment and think about it my friends<

    July 30, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  11. Peggy - TX

    Yes, the republicans are schemers and much of what they say is a lie. Yes, oil men are arrogant and greedy. But the hard stance against drilling is foolish and naïve as reflected by these comment that have outdated and incorrect information. The price of not maximizing all our God given resources could be seriously bad economic times during the transition to alternative sources of energy. The price of the hard stance that is not aligned with the American people could just be a loss in the presidential election.

    July 30, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  12. Jamaal kansas

    Obama is the man. offshore drilling is a ploy by the Republicans to try and win an election we need to invest in wind Biofuels and Clean Coal if Not we are going to be worst off on of Global warming when the famine arrives and drought If we don't do somethinig now If we continue to try to find new oil we will never get ourself off of oil which is the main reason for global warming. DRILL= More Storms And Famine

    July 30, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  13. Glad to be an Independent

    It is a scheme. Oilman Pickens is right. You can not drill your way off of our energy problems. We need to develop alternative sources of energy. Oil companies can drill for oil now offshore. Before we let them drill even more let them prove that they can drill responsibly without having oil spills all over the place. If they do have any environmental disasters, make them pay for it and not the taspayers. The U.S. can not produce enough oil domestically to put any serious dent in the price of oil. We need to conserve energy and come up with new sources of energy.

    July 30, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  14. Stephen

    10 years away? Would have been nice to have someone working on these issues 10 years ago. I thought that sort of long term planning was the whole point of effective government. Ignoring a problem because it's more than two presidential terms away is not what I look for in a leader.

    And conservation efforts aside, I bet we're still burning at least some amount of fossil fuels in 10 years. And whatever the amount, I suspect it's better to produce it domestically than to borrow money from China so we can buy it from to the middle east.

    July 30, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  15. Raoul

    Truth and facts are wonderful things and it's nice to be treated as an adult by a presidential candidate.

    Why don't the oil companies drill on the millions of acres they already own leases to? This drilling proposal is nothing more than another attempt at a corporate money grab before the well (literally) runs dry.

    July 30, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  16. not an obamabot, thank GOD

    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."

    that is bullsh!t, we can have oil wells on line in less then one year, thus increasing the supply, and lowering the costs, while we develope new technologies which are 10-20 yrs away from effectivly replacing fossil fuels. YES OBAMA IS "JUST WORDS AND SPEECHES"

    July 30, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  17. TOM

    it just bush setting up life after his term

    July 30, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  18. Don't Be Like Mike from TX

    NO BLOOD FOR OIL, and Mike from Texas is an idiot.

    July 30, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  19. Will

    He needs an energy plan before he can criticize others, go Green is not an energy policy, just pandering to the contributing environmentalists that contribute millions to him. The answer is go Green AND drill, AND build more nuclear power. The Democrats don't understand basic economics, increase supply for fulfill the needs of increasing demand.

    July 30, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  20. karen-phoenix

    PS: Even if the oil companies could drill all over the US, anywhere they want, they will sell to the highest bidder. Only 17% of the oil being drilled in Alaska is coming to the US. WHY? Because they are selling it to Japan for a much bigger profit!!! We have become completely controled by big oil and the only way out is alternative fuels. Any oil drilled here will go into the profit pockets of big oil companies–NOT the US!!!

    July 30, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  21. Bryan

    A politician telling us the hard truth!?

    Wow.

    Never thought I'd see the day.

    July 30, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  22. Darryl

    How many times has Senator Obama shown his judgement to be correct over senator John McCain...

    Iran
    North Korea
    IRAQ
    TAX
    DEBT
    Loss of Lives in a needless war

    July 30, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  23. offshore thrilling

    owns a pickup truck?

    mike from tx MARRIED a pickup truck (thought he would get hummers every night!)

    July 30, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  24. Mike/Independent in Fairfax

    Let's think about this for a minute. Bush announces that he will push for offshore drilling and for releasing some of the oil reserve. The day he announces this, oil shares drop by $14 and the price goes down at my local station. Cause and effect? According to a lot of Democrats, "No!", it just miraculously happened and the White House had nothing to do with it. Back in the 70's people were pushing for more drilling here at home. The Democrats said "NO! We won't see any results from that for 10 to 20 years! It's just a scheme!" Hmmm... seems like that was about thirty years ago... I sure wish they'd gone ahead and played that "scheme" out. We might not be in the mess we're in now if they had. But, I guess in about 2038, we can go through all of this again. Why not! It's what we do...

    July 30, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  25. Salina, Washington, DC

    Obama is right. The bandits are the oil companies, McCain, Bush and Cheney. They are the ONLY ones that will benefit from offshore drilling. Obama is the only one that is telling the truth about this. McCain received a whopping $1.1 MILLION DOLLARS

    July 30, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
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