August 4th, 2008
09:06 AM ET
10 years ago

Obama calls for tapping of strategic petroleum reserves

Obama will call for SPR release Monday, say aides.

Obama will call for SPR release Monday, say aides.

(CNN) - In an apparent policy shift, Barack Obama will call for the tapping of the strategic petroleum reserves Monday, backing a position taken by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders.

"What he will be calling for in his speech today is swapping out the light crude with the heavy crude, the heavy crude would replaced in the reserve at a later date so that we can get oil into the market. In the past when we’ve done this we’ve seen its demonstrated ability to help bring costs down and obviously consumers are suffering today. So he’ll be calling for that swap,” said the campaign’s energy policy director, Heather Zichal, in a conference call with reporters.

“Sen. Obama has looked at this issue, he recognizes that Americans are suffering, that we have a unique situation with rising gas prices and this is one occasion where we need to look at this strategically and he made the decision that we need to tap the strategic petroleum reserves.”

Obama last month said he did not think the country should use the strategic oil reserves "at this point."

"I have said and in fact supported a congressional resolution that said we should suspend putting more oil into the strategic oil reserve but the strategic oil reserve I think has to be reserved for a genuine emergency," he said on July 7.

The McCain campaign said Obama's move was strictly political, not sound policy. “Tapping the strategic oil reserve is not a substitute for a real plan to increase supply through additional drilling and nuclear power. The strategic oil reserve exists for America's national security strategy - not Barack Obama’s election strategy," said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds.

"The last release of oil from the strategic reserve came in response to Hurricane Katrina, but the only crisis that has developed since Barack Obama last rejected this idea 28 days ago is a slide in his poll numbers.”

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (226 Responses)
  1. Flippy McFlopperson

    Everyday a new flip flop... This guys is a joke.

    August 4, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  2. Helene

    Obama is a realist who adapts his policies to the situation. He is not dogmatic and this is why I support his candidacy strongly.

    August 4, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  3. Abby

    Well, he's trying to do everything possible to help get us get some relief from the stranglehold of the oil prices and not resorting to gimmicks. Hopefully, those blinded with hate can see this objectively. May the truth set as all free!

    OBAMA 08!!!

    August 4, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  4. Ron democrat turned independent

    does this man (obama) never get tired of showing his contempt for american intelligence . he is forever quoting the obvious like it is something he just thought of, like the need to jump start the economy to create jobs, to lower our dependence on foreign oil ect. but the only solutions he comes close to offering us is piggy-backing on someone else's ideas. like a surge in Afghanistan give us a break the UN as been lobbied from the start to have the allies supply more troops that's a no-brainer. an new energy plan. yeah right, another variation on what McCain as been proposing for months. a stimulus package guess who brought it out the first time. it justs goes on and on now he is calling for Michigan and Florida's delegates to have a full is getting harder and harder to find any credibility in this person. bring back Hillary

    August 4, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  5. Austin

    Now let's see if McCain complains about Obama not willing to bring down gas prices.

    August 4, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  6. Life is a Joke

    Dear America,

    This elections is HUGE and Very HUGE and it will have effects unlike anything I could imagine. I am 24 years old and based on the images and my research on the 1968 year and elections. It's of that magnatitue. Regardless of what you think OBAMA is the only choice that will skyrocket america back to the top. You may not like him or his policies but if you want to keep america from being a third world country you need to vote OBAMA.

    If you disagree look at everything they voted for, they stand for and you will realize that ObAMA is the hands down most logical choice. On top of our image overseas. We don't need more wars and McCain is flat out to OLD. I am sorry but he is, his mind can't handle the stress of the world leader its apparent he makes a gaffe everyday that goes unnoticed and his thoughts and his campaign are on two paths.

    AMERICA wake up and give us a chance. BLACK people that is. We are the most loyal people and we think in a wide mind set. We were your slaves, we were the people who peformed the 1st open heart surgey, we were your inventors and entertainers. Now let us show u we can lead and do a Great Job!!!

    Do the right thing and vote. OBAMA may not be perfect but he is a lot better than McCain. Look at the voting records and that will tell you all u need to know.

    God Bless you and America!!!

    August 4, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |





    August 4, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  8. Terry

    Such a flip-flopper. Don't vote for the Koolaidman..

    August 4, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  9. jOhN McCain

    My friends....
    I have informed the Oil company executives that if their donations to my campaign reach $100M ......
    .......and I become President, I'll sign an Executive Order .... Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP & Chevron permission to drill at the Rose Garden and any other Federal locations of their choice, including the Capitol and Pentagon.

    That, my friends is how we get out of the energy crisis.

    I'm John McCain, and I approved this message!

    August 4, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  10. Geoff

    I think that tapping the reserves is a short term gain. I agree that we need to think long term about alternate fuel sources. The world is definately moving towards the "bottom of the barrel" and it's time we as a people move on to something else. Otherwise, just look at the economy. Planes stop moving, prices skyrocket, and said economy goes all to pieces. Personally, I would not like that to happen, do you?

    August 4, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  11. bulldog

    Tapping the strategic reserves would immediately lower oil and gas prices as it has every other time we've done it. Furthermore, the strategic oil reserve has more oil in that ever before in history. Tapping 70 million barrels would still keep the reserves at historical highs. Bush doesn't want to see the gas prices go down as well as most of his Republican allies. They are buddies with the big oil companies and are trying to get them more land before Bush leaves town.

    Don't believe the Republican liars. They will lie straight to your face without blinking an eye in order to help out their buddies.

    August 4, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  12. AL

    CNN, how is that a policy shift when he was not against releasing oil from the strategic reserve to begin with? Wait he needed to tell you that last year, right. Well since he did not do so, that is a shift right?

    Well, McCain's plan to drill drill drill is not even a new move, right? I will bet my last four bucks you're not different thant FIX NEWS (that was not a typo). Are you getting talking points from the McClueless campaign too? Let us know because I don't get it.

    August 4, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  13. Super delegate NJ

    Anyone who thinks Obama has an energy solution in as naive as the candidate himself. What he is proposing right now is what Clinton did. Why has he abandoned his original plan? We do not need the government to spoon feed us; we need the government to find solutions to our problems. Democrats are not serious on this issue and if they are/were, then they should have had the guts to stay in session and vote on the energy bill. We know where the problems are and trust me they will be fixed this time around. These rebates he talks about are carrots that he is dangling in front of us...we are not fools. It’s amazing how democrats always want a system of government where the citizens always have their hands out for goodies.

    August 4, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  14. Lyle

    As with every issue, we need only wait a few days and Mr. Obama will flip-flop (I mean “revise” his position). Mr. Obama has become a complete joke and has changed positions so many times on so many issues, not even he knows where he stands.

    August 4, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  15. Flippy McFlopperson

    Is it possible for him to change stances more?
    This guy can't make his mind up, and you people want him to lead our country?
    He should select a coin for his VP, so he can flip it, to make decisions for him.

    August 4, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  16. Donna in ID

    How do they plan on restocking what is turned loose on the market. How much would it bring gas down??
    That has to be replaced with our tax dollars. And what if we use it and Iran gets all nuts like their leaders are and disrupts the straights and shipping then we are in trouble along with the rest of the world.
    We will NEVER be out of the need for oil. Cut back on the amt. with alturnitives but we will still be needing it.

    August 4, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  17. Tjstelten

    Obama is brillant. I say this because issues are never simply resolved with a for or against. Compromise is the key to moving forward. Life itself is a give and take. I respect Obama's willingness to look and listen to both sides of the issues. Being hard-nosed as McCain is on many issues will keep us at a stale-mate. Having a good idea is not enough to get things done. Any wise person knows only by compromising can we come together for a common goal.

    August 4, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  18. Kongtooth

    Oh to FLIP or to FLOP.... that is the question.

    I thought all we had to do was check our tire pressure... oh yea... somebody must have told the Dalai Bama how stupid that statement was!

    August 4, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  19. proud army and navy mom

    It's an excellent idea. It's not a shift, it's called think on your feet with all the facts considered.

    August 4, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  20. NC Man

    Sounds as if Obama is becoming Pelosi Puppet

    August 4, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  21. Caribbean for obama

    A good president is expected to shift his position if it is to the betterment of his country.lets all support obama for president.

    August 4, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  22. Another grumpy old white woman for Obama

    By the way, Sen Obama has said he would only vote for LIMITED off shore drilling it if it is included in a bill that favors alternative energy plans.
    If refusing to compromise to get something done is your idea of good policy , then get ready for 4 more years of Anarchy and Gridlock if McCain is elected.
    Gas ,surge=diarrhea of the mouth.

    August 4, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  23. Barack for President :)

    If you look at some polls, his energy plans are more accepted than McCain's are.
    And guys, come on. Not every mind change is part of a flip-flop...
    I know many of you Americans don't know what that means, but there are also people, who LEARN something as time goes by and things changes... Come on, give him a chance to be a great president, and forget about that supid experience-Issue...
    GWB also had "experience" and a former president as his father...but what did he do with that "experience"? Aye, nothing...

    Well while the VP-issue is still on the line, how about a Obama+Schwarzenegger ticket?
    THAT would really be BIG surprise. I mean we know, Obama wants to work together with Bloomberg, Schwarzenegger and other "liberal" republicans, so why not this way? 🙂

    Think about it, guys

    August 4, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  24. Louis

    What an inexperienced idea. Lose the strategic oil reserves while the whole middle east is unstable? All Iran has to do after that is start a war there and the entire US economy will topple from lack of energy.

    August 4, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  25. Jason

    Remember – Clinton had this strategy of tapping into the Strategic Reserve for oil. Just like the primary season, Obama is now stealing her ideas and using them as his own. And the funny thing is – here is the guy that attacked Clinton for some of these same ideas.

    Obama is a joke.

    August 4, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
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