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. Obama Supporter from FL

    Agreed! And have the proponents of drilling for oil off CA and FL ever thought about what it will do to tourism? People come to CA and FL from all over the world and spend a lot of money. I doubt they would be as excited with oil rigs on the horizon, or maybe a petroleum film on the water . . .

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

    I wish Obama would at least provide an alternative to increasing the supply of oil by drilling offshore. he has not given one legit plan to use alternative energy sources and completely ignores the fact that switching to alternatives sources would in fact take a similiar amount of time to implement. Most of you democrats are spending so much time falling in love with this man's prepared speeches that you forget that he has no real plan. Obama is complaining that oil companies make too much money, and indeed his response to that is to raise taxes on them, which if you are educated at all you know that the reason that petro in Europe is so expensive is due to taxes. So Obama really wants to make gas prices higher. Get Real People.

    July 30, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  3. Shane

    I think we can all see a pattern. He was the only one to oppose the gas tax scheme, which was a bad idea in the first place. Both Hillary and McCain jumped on idea thinking they were going to get votes. They basically lied to the American people so they can get a few more votes from the uninformed. If you do some research the oil companies don't drill on the land they are supposed to. The oil companies are in the pockets of speculators and vice versa.

    July 30, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  4. Greg in Annapolis

    Yeah, let's please destroy the rest of our coastlines with oil platforms and hazardous activities. What is wrong with people? Oil is a FINITE resource! It is time, NOW, to move beyond fossil fuels and towards a renewable, sustainable society. It can and will work with the help of all of us. Offshore drilling IS a scam. Thank you, Barack Obama, for having the marbles to say the unpopular thing; the thing that just might save this country, and therefore the world, from further environmental disasters. It is time for REAL progress! This should have happened 30 years ago.

    July 30, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  5. Dave C - NJ

    All of the conservatives on here are amazing....

    READ THE FACTS!

    70 million acres! Use what you've got, fools!

    Pollution! (I swim in the ocean so F you if you think we will allow it to be polluted. Check out all the recent spills with "today's technology")

    Open Market! The oil will be sold world wide, Big Oil won't keep it here.

    I'll gladly pay 5 bucks a gallon to keep Big Oil out of my backyard.

    July 30, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  6. TerryDo--PumaPac-40+

    No Obama, you are the biggest scheme, with Axelrod's elaborate and

    systematic plan of action to get you elected)

    You were created and developed by Axelrod, Plouffe and the other

    partners in Axelrod's company AKP&D Message and Media.

    July 30, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  7. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    Obama is right on the money on this issue! Even long time oilman T. Boone Pickens has said we CANNOT drill our way out of our oil problem, and that we must shift to other fuels, and do it QUICK, or we will go bankrupt! As in 99.999999% of all other issues, Bush is DEAD WRONG on this one too. I CAN'T WAIT FOR JANUARY 20, 2009 SO WE CAN RID OURSELVES OF THAT TERRIBLE MAN!!!!

    July 30, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  8. VB Lincoln Park NJ

    Senator Obama,

    Thanks for telling the truth!!!

    July 30, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  9. James

    Demand has been falling for the past few months which has already dropped the price in oil. McCain is not only about oil if, close minded Obamaniacs did any research they'd realize this.

    If demand continues to drop and we begin our offshore drilling now our foreign dependence on oil in 10-20 years will be minimal. We will be able to be near self sufficient in terms of energy if we continue our innovation. And a big way to reduce our oil usage is to substitute heating homes with oil to safe nuclear (which McCain has been pushing) and natural gas which we have an abundance of that can be drilled (also pushed by McCain). What oil we may need in the future we may not even have to seek out overseas.

    McCain's energy policy is clearly superior and more thought out, especially in terms of this country's future.

    July 30, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  10. ex-Republican for Obama

    Why won't the oil companies drill on the enormous amount of land where they've already got leases if they want to drill for more oil?

    Why is McCain supporting them in their greediness instead of protecting the American people and telling the truth about the scam of offshore drilling?

    July 30, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  11. Tammy - KCMO

    "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."

    This is why the Republicans won't win this year. The Democrats have picked someone that uses good judgement and knows what it will take to fix the mess the Republicans have us in.

    Isn't it nice to have a candidate around that speaks about issues and doesn't attack the competition?

    Obama '08 – NEVER voting for a republican again!

    July 30, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  12. Heather

    Instead of continuing to destroy our environment by drilling for oil off our coasts, why can't we invest in renewable energy? It would immediately create American jobs that cannot be outsourced to China and eventually eliminate our dependence on the Middle East. Why are we so far behind European countries who get much of their energy from wind and solar resources? I don't know what the people in this country are thinking. I enjoy living on the coast and want to continue to enjoy it 50 years from now!

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

    If Barack told all the libs to jump in the lake, they would be falling all over eachother trying to be the first in line. No Obama!!

    July 30, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  14. donna4hillary

    we send 700 billion dollors a year over to saudi arabia and other oil rich countries because we need something that they have, something that fuels our economy, something that would mean our destruction of our country as we know it if we were denied it. oil. common sense dictates that if we, AMERCIA, can get our own, then why shouldnt we? who cares if it takes years! the fact is that if we dont start drilling now, we will always be dependent on the middle east. this means that THEY have control over whether we (AMERICA) survive. in the meantime we can look to clean coal, nuclear power etc. we can actually put AMERCIAN people to work building refineries and nuclear plants. how can that NOT be good for this country? went to scotland once, fell in liove with this ladies rasberry preserves...so much so that i begged for the recipe (she wouldnt give it up) and ended up buying 4 jars to bring home. dont have any more, enjoyed it while it lasted and now wish i had more. do i go back to scotland and buy more or do i just make my own? big difference between oil and preserves but why must we be dependent on others when we CAN be independent? those that want us to continue to rely on the middle east are, in fact, giving over this country to people (nations) that would, oif they could, wipe us off the face of the map. "never give up so much of yourself that you could not get it back if you wanted too" (selling america and all that it means to be AMERICA).

    July 30, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  15. Monica

    How refreshing it is to hear a Politician be honest. I'm sure the reality didn't make anybody smile, but I'm grateful for the truth.

    Go Obama !!!!!

    July 30, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  16. Irishspacemonk

    The majority of American's are lemmings and will follow whatever trend appeals to their lower IQ. Remember when the majority of American's were for the war in Iraq? That's why a president can't just follow a majority poll on every policy. Great leadership Barack, and perhaps once your in office we can spend some money on education.

    July 30, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  17. Bubba

    Heck, I don't know, and you all don't either. We saved the spots for a rainy day, and it's thundering like heck right now, but will we kick ourselves later? Only the experts have a 'real' opinion, and they aren't economists. Most times I know what to do, but not today, and neither of the candidates know, and the prez is just doing what Mr Cheney says like always.

    July 30, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  18. Andy J, NY

    Nancy from San Jose

    whats wrong with a pick up truck? Can i haul my garbage to the dump in a little hybrid piece of crap plastic car? Can i put the limbs from the trees i cut down into that piece of crap hybrid?

    You do what is good for you, Mike from TX, me, and the people like us will continue to own pick up truck and do things for ourselves, not relying on the government for hand outs.

    People don't like liberals like you because you are so snide and elitist. God forbid some one owns a pick up truck and works hard. Maybe we should all live in california and be elitist morons who think they know how to live better lives than everyone else. Shut your pie hole, lady.

    July 30, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  19. Lynn in NM

    I don't agree. If the American people were not screaming about the oil prices, the oil companies would not be doing a thing, in my opinion. All these years, they have been allowed to pocket their profits, and let the refineries break down and not replace them. They have not built a new refinery in decades. The oil companies are not shoving this down the throats of the Congress, the American people are! Of course, the Congress wants no part of this. They need to raise taxes first, so they can bask in the glory of all the money taken from their consituents. Here's a thought though, if people are saving gas, then there will be less sales tax, and oil tax collected. Has anyone in Congress thought of that little tidbit? Someone needs a good dose of common sense.

    July 30, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  20. McCain rocks Platform Flip-Flops

    I think the RNC is being paid off from the US Oil Industry, and this may'be been one item they want on their checklist. Notice how McCain stands weekly in front of an American Oil industry image. It's like he's doing commercials. We don't need our precious coastline ruined for big industry profits.

    July 30, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  21. 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 donated to his campaign from oil companies!!! That alone shows you where McCrazy's loyalities lie.

    Bush all his big oil cronnies/bandits will benefit from offshore drilling. This is not a resolution.

    July 30, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  22. a southern bell for OBAMA

    LADIES & GENTLEMEN MCSENILE HAS BEEN

    BOUGHT & PAYED FORE BY THE SAME GOOD PEOPLE

    THAT GAVE YOU BUSH,THE CHANEY OIL MACHINE,

    FOR THE GOOD SUM OF $1,100.000.

    EVERYTHING THAT IS COMING OUT OF MCMORON'S

    MOUTH IS A LIE. SAME LIES THAT WERE USED TO LAUNCH

    THE IRAQ WAR, AT THE EXPENSE OF OUR ECONOMY & BLOOD.

    July 30, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  23. Old McGovern Democrat

    Why hasn't anyone pointed out that McCain's maternal side of the family was in Oklahoma oil? Doesn't that make anyone suspicious of his attempt to get more profits for big oil?

    July 30, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  24. Boise Idaho

    Maybe we could get some non-politically affiliated petroleum engineers and geologists to discuss this issue instead of politicians who no nothing about oil reserves or extraction.
    Another note: The republican lie machine is trying to trick the "average american" into making a connection between offshore drilling and "energy independence" so that come November they can blame Democrats for not allowing us to become independent and blame them for high gas prices. Based on the numbers I've seen, even a best case scenario would only provide about 6-7% of annual US oil consumption. This ploy should not be confused with energy independence.

    July 30, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  25. judge huck

    the "math" behind more drilling:

    Less () profit for oil companies

    THIS IS BUSH LEGACY (FOR BIG OIL)

    July 30, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
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