August 4th, 2008
09:06 AM ET
6 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.

UPDATE:
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. C!

    I HEART OBAMA!!!

    OBAMA `08!!

    August 4, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  2. Obama supporter: Bipartisan Intelligence in Gov't

    Think about every healthy avtive person you know between the ages of 72-76. They may be alert and involved but theeir ability and energy levels diminsh as does their abilites to multitask.

    Most who are employed and in leadership activities are reducing their work weeks and acting as advisors. McCain, though the MSM is not reporting on it, displays the characteristics of forgetfulness, muddled speech and being out of touch with the world (e.g. wanting to kick Russia out of the G8

    Is this really what America needs in a leader?

    August 4, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  3. josh

    Are those flip-flops he's wearing?

    August 4, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  4. Ellie, MD

    I think as President, you have to be very "savvy and intelligent" on the issues as they come up. AND we Americans know full well ISSUES CHANGE with our ever changing economy. Sen. Obama's stance is EXACTLY what I want in my President. A President who is NOT about "himself" but about doing what is necessary to better our devastating economy. WHAT may have worked months ago, does NOT necessarily work as our economic conditions change.

    WAKE UP America, not everything is written in stone. As President you have to revisit a LOT os issues on a month to month basis in order to make sound and just decisions. FOR those Obama "haters" to spew otherwise is just STUPID on their part. It's easy for anyone to say what Sen. Obama should DO when YOU are not the one in his position. I honestly feel that Sen. Obama is BRILLIANT beyond measures to "study" each and every issue as they present themselves and he's not afraid to change his stance if it's proven that it will help resolve an issue or problem facing this country.

    So you "haters" continue hating if that's ALL you're about. But until YOU are walking in the man's shoes, shut the hell up. I don't see YOU running as President. Yeah, I thought so. Everyone claims to be an authority while sitting on the sidelines barking orders and doing nothing but "hating and complaining". Go vote for John McBush and see what that gets you!!

    August 4, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  5. joann

    Hey Cynthia who says she likes Obama's idea and not Mccains; seems to me you like any idea that Obama steal from others. You are one of those Koolaiders who doesn't care how much Obama has lied to you and flip flopped. You just don't care. Admit it. Drilling is not his idea – Mccain said a month ago that the people have been polled and they want drilling whether it helps us today, tomorrow or in 5 years – we will need it at some point. Now Obama needs your vote so he's jumping in like another old politician. Nobama, Nobama.

    August 4, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  6. Joe Kiloz

    Tap the strategic reserve: NO that won't have an immediate impact. Another Washington gimmick. Not part of an overall plan to achieve independence. Was he for this before he was against it ? $64,000 question: Is there any issue in which Mr. Obama is pro and against a position which he can fine tune according to the latest polls ?
    With the polls tightening you can see how Senator Gumby bends. Today it's offshore drilling, tomorrow it's OK for a nuclear power plant in every corner, after all that will bring immediate relief to our condition. WHAT A JOKE !

    August 4, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  7. John for Obama

    Flip-flop my arse.

    It's called being reactive to the public's needs.

    Right now, we need to stop spending so much money on gas.

    It's just a means to an end.

    After that, we'll be one step closer to renewable energy and energy independence.

    August 4, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  8. king

    why are americans being so ignorant??? everyone wants to drill for oil ! and where does the oil go?? into the reserves! does this make sense.man i wish obama was livin in canada.

    August 4, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  9. Texas Trail Dog!

    THIS IDEAL IS BARBARIC. WE NEED THAT RESERVE FOR SECURITY PURPOSES. IF ATTACKED WE MUST HAVE FUEL. HERE WE GO AGAIN WITH A PERSON WHO KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT THE SECURITY OF THIS NATION. WITHOUT FUEL THE MILITARY IS USELESS.

    August 4, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  10. Don in CA

    This guys 'shifts' more than Muhammed Ali !!! Floats like a butterfly....don't know about the sting.

    August 4, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  11. FL4Obama

    Smart policy. It will provide immediate relief for Americans struggling with the high price of gasoline. Obama '08

    August 4, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  12. JW

    Actually, McCain also changed his position on offshore drilling as well. He used to oppose it; now he supports it. Oh, well.

    August 4, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  13. JED

    His emergency is the drop in poll numbers. We must keep the reserves in case of a shutdown in supply by Iran or others.

    August 4, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  14. Ramon Santiago

    Since it's already apparent that the Republican "leadership" is entirely in the pocket of Big Oil, let's put this idea to a test.

    If there's a real shortage of oil, then releasing 2 million gallons a day for a month from the SPR will definitely bring prices down. It would also leave approximately 630 million gallons in the reserve for future emergencies.

    More drilling, however, won't bring a drop more of oil onto the market for 5 years, and would turn our remaining resources over to a bunch of multi-nationals that don't have our best interest at heart.

    We can't force them to drill on the leases they have now, so what makes you think that they'll do any more drilling when they've got all the leases wrapped up?

    And what, exactly, is Grandpa McCain's plan to stop energy speculation? Sorry, I forgot. All we have to do is look at Bush's plan, and we've got McCain's.

    August 4, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  15. Mac>Obama

    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.”

    HITTING THE NAIL ON THE HEAD...

    August 4, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  16. Lorna, NY

    Tomorrow, this will become part of McCains energy plan. He has no ideas of his own. After Obama said he is willing to compromise on the gang of ten bill, here comes mcCain a day later saying he will compromise as well. MCCAIN HAS NO PLANS ONLY WAR FOR THIS COUNTRY.

    August 4, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  17. Seth

    To Super delegate NJ :

    Do you really think your party deserves another chance at this? Do you really think that this time around it will be better? Wake up and smell the pollution. Obama will embrace renewable energy and lead us into the hydrogen age. McCain will sell us out to the oil companies and drill until there is no more energy to run their machines. The majority has decided that invading counties for oil is un-american, so McCain will need a new plan. It's time for all you republics to do a little home work, please research and understand electrolysis and fuel cells. Any questions ?

    August 4, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  18. Don Sutton

    I like Obama and am a democrat. But I totally disagree with him and the party on this issue. We need to do more offshore drilling!! Leave the Petroleum Reserves alone. Technology on drilling now is so much different than it was in 1981. Oil drilling now has measures in place to protect the environment. I am now consdering a different leader for our nation. Our country should not be depending on others to provide for it! We need to get it together.

    August 4, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  19. Jatovi, NC

    No one focuses on the fact that McCain fought for no drilling until he got money from the oil companies. I agree we do need to tap these. I also agree that these oil companies need to use the land they already have before they get more. I like the fact that they know that there is so much where they can't drill but nothing where they can, and they haven't drilled in either. I guess they've called the psychic hot line or got the answer from a fortune cookie.

    August 4, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  20. Mike - Texas

    Obama in an IDIOT !!

    He wants to exposed this country and its people to a potential catastrophy, and that is exactly what the strategic oil reserve is supposed to help stop.

    The Strategic Oil Reserve is a BUFFER to only be used when things get real bad.

    August 4, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  21. Helen, NY

    Barack has no policy, He will say anything. he wants to make our nation bankrupt. Radial socialist Barack should go away.He is a disgrace.

    August 4, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  22. El Kababa

    1. All of you who are quick to yell "flip-flopper" whenever someone changes the tense of a verb or explains his thoughts more clearly need to start thinking a little. It wasn't cute in 2004 when Republicans trained voters to yell "flip-flopper" as if changing your plans in view of changing conditions is treason. If, for example, I tell my wife that we are going to take Interstate 10 to Tucson but I change my mind because road construction forces me to detour to the frontage road for a couple of miles, she will be adding nothing positive to the situation by yelling "flip-flopper" about 2000 times. The rule is, "think first, then talk." Changing your mind, eploring alternatives, trying a variety of solutions is not treason, insanity, or betrayal of trust.

    2. Releasing petroleum from the strategic reserves is a rational short term maneuver as long as it is solidly linked to a long-term plan, like switching to natural gas, solar, wind, lower speed limits, more efficient engines, or some combination thereof.

    3. Our ancestors, some of them, walked 1000 miles beside a team of oxen to settle this nation. We, their wussy, pudgy, gutless descendants, are not willing to lower speed limits to help save the nation. A new source of energy would be to tap in to the graves of American pioneers, to tap the energy of their spinning coffins.

    August 4, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  23. Xango

    oh those billary adn mcbush people blah blah another flip flop
    please can you not think for yourselves??

    compromise is better than your cowboys ways of impossing things..
    like mcbush , bush and mcclinton do

    no matter what he will be our president

    anyone but MCBUSH and MCCLINTON no more dynasties

    August 4, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  24. tidho

    this is moronic.

    I voted for him over Hillary because she played the idiotic gas tax holiday card and he stood above it. Now he's doing the same thing.

    That reserve was not set aside just in case gas got too expensive. It was set aside in case we are attached our foreign politics significantly cuts off our oil supply.

    This is not apropriate and should not be tolerated by the American people. Its just like the first time we started using the Social Security money to fund other things....slippery slope of bad government.

    August 4, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  25. NotFallingInLine.org

    GO FOR IT NR. PRESIDENT!!!

    OBAMA 2008

    August 4, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
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