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. brenda

    was for the dems but am now for the repubs?. why? because they are serious about this country becoming energy independent and the dems are not or will never be.

    August 4, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. Cotton Picker 1808

    I just realized that Hillary PUMA and her more ardent supporters are Republicans and evrybody knows it. Is it any wonder they have not help her retire her debt, it is funny they give her so much money during the Primary battle but won't help her retire her debt. It is the biggest factually evidence that they are "wolves in sheep clothing", the GOOD oLE pOLITICIAN "ole boys club of the south" cancocted this media spectacle and the MSMS buys into it. PUMA=GOP= McCain Loyalist trying to create a mess of the letorate. Fear will not work this time, the conciousness is awakened!

    August 4, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  3. Johnson

    WHAT IS HE DOING??? Up until this point I've been a strong supporter of Obama. But, c'mon!!

    This will actually HURT the consumer. If prices drop, people will use more. I'm starting to think Obama and McCain are one in the same.

    August 4, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |






    August 4, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  5. Ted van Tol

    Obama is right on so many issues and when he shifts
    it meens that he is open for concensus. Thats not flip flopping.
    America must be proud of a leader thats listens and is flexible.
    The McCaincamp is out of touch on the most issues.
    In Europe we saw Mccain sing Bomb, bomb Iran. How stupid
    can a Presidental candidate be?
    When he gets a tough question from a reporter he just dont answer or even walk away. We all can see that on Dutch televison.

    Stil I fear the election of McCain as the new President because
    it is obvius that the most Americans are a-politic, dum or wont
    pick a blackman as President out of fear.
    And what a shame it wil be for the USA to elect the wrong "leader"

    When Barack would come to The Netherlands where I live we will
    double the Berlinsupporters easely.

    So, America, wake up, the empty suit fits Mccaine more than Barack.
    Barack Hussein Obama wll be the most respected President in history.

    With love from the Netherlands.

    August 4, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  6. therealist

    Evidently the Rev. Wright was correct. Barack Hussein Obama can double talks like the best of politicians..

    August 4, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  7. Intelligence is ruling the world and ignorance is bearing the burden

    Some American's need to wake up. Do you trust big oil? You probably belive in Santa Claus too. Here's something for you to think about, if oil companies are permiited to drill where ever they want do you believe that oil prices will drop? I believe that they will stay around the same levels that they are today.

    The reason being is that the cost of drilling, refining and any other cost that can be conceived will be past along to the consumer. If this was not true why hasn't the oil companies drilled in other areas where they are permitted to drill?

    They can't make money unless it's exported and they can care less if you are suffering. The haves don't care about the have nots. Their thinking is that you should be working harder, pull yourself up by your boot straps!

    Obama is not playing politics he fully understand what is going on. He knows that we will be played by the oil companies so he is willing to compromise to get a alternative energy and to lower gas prices immediately. Big business don't want any of this because they will lose money in the end.

    Vote Obama 08

    August 4, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  8. David

    yeah, what a plan. oppose drilling but use up reserves. go back to IL. neither candidate of this bogus two-party system is worth a flip.

    August 4, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  9. Kurt C.

    Do nothing Obama won't be happy until we have $10/gallon gas.

    August 4, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  10. Ted Stevens

    Yeah, let's drill. Those Chinese SUVs are thirsty.

    August 4, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. NoMccain

    Obama is trying to win votes from Republicans who want to tap into ANWR.
    Obama is NOT going to tap into ANWR. Relax people. He knows that he is not going to do it. He is just trying to win the election to be suited to follow through with his agenda, which does not invlove tapping into ANWR. Just like any other president, once he gets in to power, he will do whatever he wants to do. WE THE PEOPLE just have to remember to keep those people in check and to live up to their responsibilities this time. To question go it alone policies, and stand up for what we believe in. I am sick and tired of COMPLACENCY!

    August 4, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. Phillip from CA

    It's call Strategic Reserve for a reason. Leave it alone. It's like spending all your savings and then loosing your job.
    Typical, just spend money you don't have and then cry that you can't make mortgage payment, and demand government help.

    August 4, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |



    WHAT A PHONY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 4, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  14. brenda

    would you depend on your neighbor to feed you, clothe you and give you an education or a job? why would you when you can do it yourself? why would we depend on other nations for our very survival when we can care for ourselves? its all about instant gratification. the dems wont drill cause they say it takes too long. well we cant have everything we want and need at the snap of the fingers. everything in life takes time to obtain, an education, a family, a home, a career dependence. it doesnt come knocking on your door, you have to work for it! we need to start drilling now before the middle east takes more and more control over our lives!

    August 4, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  15. Former Repub

    It's a shame to see the McCain camp take our intelligence lightly. We don't need to do something drastic to reduce our short-term demand. Our demand has already decreased by 3-4% last couple of months....If half of America (OBAMA supporters) should all inflate our tires to proper levels, we would be saving millions of barrels of oil a day.....increasing the MPG requirements on cars also will dramatically reduce our demand for oil. I don't understand why this is so funny. He also said he would commit $15billion a year on energy-renewable energy, I don't think it's phony at all, I think this is the real deal. I have not heard specifics on McCain's plan except to award $300 million prize to someone that can fix our car battery problems.
    the more McCain laughs off the american people, the more OBAMA motivates us.

    August 4, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  16. Tyrone

    Where is John McCain Speech to White People????

    I heard Obama address the NAACP he stated that the black family must be more responsible. It has been about three days and I'm yet to heard John McCain speech to the white community. About the problem in his and their community! Why is it one sided? And why is the white community not shouting out for fairness? Is the white community without problem? Or do John McCain care? Like abortion 67% of all are white in the country! John McCain should address this fact. Or being poor and white in America, why does this issue seem to be tossed aside. As if being white is privalge enough? John McCain where are you on this issue nearly 60% of Americans poor are WHITE! With all the special treatment and discrimination against non-whites. How can it be possible? 43 white male only President a mostly all white government and year and year of black hatred and discrimination. And there is still more white poor then non-whites! 67% of welfare is white and about 33% of the 67% are ( GET THIS) WHITE MALES.

    August 4, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  17. Tyrone

    I AM so SICK of McCain...McCain ….McCain
    The man is a narcissist–so full of himself he’s all puffed up and about to explode. Talk about a swelled head! That one of the reasons McCain left his first wife after she got fat after a accident! HE IS SO FULL OF SELF!
    The man is a megalomaniac–that’s a psychiatric term for somebody who has visions of grandeur and delusions of absolute power.
    As I watch the continuing circus of McCain's campaign–these terms really, truly seem to fit. Always talking about . HE WAS CAPTURE!
    I can’t wait for that grandiose overseas trip of Obama with all the fawning media in attendance to get over. I fear for our country went Obama not here to watch these fools!. The propaganda tactics being used while Obama is gone is NOTHING like I’ve ever seen before in our country. IT HAS HAPPENED BEFORE–LIKE WITH MUSSOLINI AND HITLER. The media and Mccain are trying to look for the negetive in Obama's trip. THERE IS NONE!
    I pray that our citizens will not be fooled by this sham. I ask that at least enough of our patriots (enough to overcome the McCainbots) will get out and vote for Obama . When November arrives, I want to see McCain crash and burn as a landslide happens for Obama.
    GO OBAMA!!!!

    August 4, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  18. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz





    August 4, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |

    No matter how much these haters from the republican party and various other organizations try to bash and put down our next president (Barack Obama) it will never change my mind who to vote for. Yes at first he didn't agree but what do we need him for if he wont adjust when asked by the people??????? He says naah and we say yaah, then he should adjust his position to do what we want because after all isn't that what being for the people by the people is all about????????? There will be times he will have to ignore the general public's request because he might be privey to more indebt information on a perticular situation, but this wasn't one of those times.

    OBAMA 08!!!!!!

    August 4, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  20. fella from Chicago

    Senator McCain is correct. The strategic oil reserves were set up as an option in case of a national emergency were our normal sources were compromised, not to control the costs affecting supply and demand of the American consumer. Once again Obama has no idea of the subject matter he speaks.

    August 4, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  21. Tyrone

    Islam is one of the fastest-growing religions in the United States today. According to one recent survey, there are 1,209 mosques in America, well over half founded in the last 20 years. Between 17 and 30 percent of American Muslims are converts to the faith.
    At the center of both traditional American life and the lives of the generally more recent Muslim immigrants is the family. As Shahed Amanullah, an engineer who lives in San Franciso, California, puts it, " American values are, by and large, very consistent with Islamic values, with a focus on family, faith, hard work, and an obligation to better self and troops. Fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan, society."The real shame comes at the foot of American Muslim only to be called names of evil. By mostly white Americans that blame all Muslim and all evil all over the world om them. Evil is evil dead is dead Timothy James McVeigh was behind the Oklahoma City bombing a domestic terrorist attack on April 19, 1995 186 Americans lost the lifes. He and his partner where white yet whites don't hate all whites. The Christian in America can go toe to toe in hate crime against human beings. Muslim could not come close to hate and murder and disrespect of GOD's people in the name of GOD & CHRISTIAN!

    August 4, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  22. dee

    happy birthday Obama

    August 4, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  23. Tyrone

    Why are we so willing to allow the church to be a separate entity? White church, Black church are the words we use to describe our differing embodiments of the "Church of Jesus Christ." How can we call ourselves the church if we are willing to allow this type of language to be used in our self-identification? I have experienced both Black church and White church. Neither one has a monopoly on righteousness. Neither one has the one and only version of truth. In fact both are built upon a lie. A lie that we have been preaching since this country began. Since the slaves were introduced to White Christianity in their bondage we have accepted something that is contrary to the very God we worship. How can our God-who is love-be willing to allow us to usurp his vision for the church? Jesus never made any statement that would preclude race as an identifying mark for any church. White church is unable to see the truth because it is too painful to admit its complicity to the lie that has perpetuated for centuries. Black church is unwilling to let go of its ownership of the pain and suffering it has endured at the hands of a greedy and self indulgent White church. Both are to blame for the lie that has been used to build "our" church.

    August 4, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  24. AL

    A teacher once told me, "Not everyone is blessed to have all their marbles at birth. Some of us are so not blessed, they're born with a few marbles missing; then lose some more as they get older."

    This rings true for many of you here and here it is:

    McCain proposes an 18 cents break for 4 months and that equates to about $80 at best. Oh, and that money would come from the money that funds your roads and bridges. Don't forget with that money going to that fund we still have roads with potholes and bridges on brink of collapsing. Obama propose taking that money from the oil companies and actually hand you $1000 and that is a bad idea, because? Oh wait, because 11.7 billions dollars in 3 months is not a lot of money. That's why McCain wants to give them another 4 Billions at the end of the year.

    McCain wants to drilll drill drill, before he was against it. Yet he is no flip-flopper. Obama says drilling should be part of a larger picture, after he was against drilling like the other guy, and that makes him a flip-flopper. Do you see how missing a few marbles can cloud your judgment.

    McCain says surge surge surge, that's how we win. Obama says had you followed my plans in 2002, we wouldn't have al'qaida in Iraq because there was no al'qaida in Iraq to begin with. That makes him unpatriotic. If sending 4000+ men and women to their deaths makes you patriotic then why blames the islamo facist for sending their young to blow themselves up. It's the way to show you're a patriot, right?

    Come imbeciles, educate yourselves and stop the freaking spin. If you want spin then on a merry go-around.

    August 4, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  25. Unshrub

    Joe Average

    Maybe it should be Joe Below-average.

    August 4, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
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