June 22nd, 2008
02:30 PM ET
14 years ago

Richardson: 'You can't drill your way out of the problem'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/22/art.richardson.ap.jpg caption="New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson."]
(CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama supporter Gov. Bill Richardson, D-New Mexico, attacked Sen. John McCain’s stance on offshore drilling on Sunday, calling the Arizona senator’s plan “cosmetic steps.”

“The point is that we have got to have a bipartisan comprehensive strategy and this administration, it seems Senator McCain, all they want to do is drill, drill, drill,” the former Democratic candidate told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “You can't drill your way out of the problem.”

Democrats have criticized the presumptive Republican nominee for his apparent “flip-flop” on the issue of offshore drilling. The McCain camp denies that he’s changed his position, arguing that he has always supported a state’s right to choose what happens in its coastal waters. Aides said recently that the senator voted to uphold the federal ban on ocean drilling in 2000 as a way of supporting states’ rights.

Throughout his appearance on Late Edition, Richardson frequently linked McCain’s proposal to the plan put forth by President Bush.

“The Bush administration has waited eight years to pressure OPEC and their great friends, the Saudis. When President Bush came in, he said he was going to jawbone OPEC to increase production,” the governor stated. “What is needed is not what the president and John McCain want to do, which is drill offshore. What is needed is a comprehensive strategy of fuel efficiency, 50 miles-per-gallon vehicles… mass transit. What is needed is investments in renewable energy and solar and wind,” he said.

Richardson is the latest in a string of Democrats to slam McCain’s solution for lowering gas prices. On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada called it a “cynical campaign ploy” and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, said: “It is so hard to tell what Sen. McCain’s positions are because they change so rapidly… [This] is certainly not the position he had just six months ago.”

soundoff (170 Responses)
  1. allen

    Bill Richardson was the secretary of energy. Do your homework, Ron #1 & Bill #3

    June 22, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  2. J-M

    Fmr. Clinton Supporter: You're right in that doing one thing is not enough. The first problem is indeed consumption. But step two isn't drilling more. Drilling for more oil won't affect us for years. If gas prices climb as they have over the last two years, by the time the output of this new drilling takes effect, your gas prices will be $9+ a gallon. And how much will it save? A few cents. So, while we all sit back and wait for more oil while destroying the coasts, we'll be paying 8.95 a gallon instead of 9.00 in the year 2015.

    Hmmm, anyone else here see that the bigger problem is continuing to use oil? It's not just more fuel efficient cars folks. 30mpg combustible engines ain't going to do it.. Peak oil (read up on it) has come and gone! So, stop looking at oil as the answer.

    June 22, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  3. tell the truth

    People do not want to hear the truth. McCain will tell you what you want to hear and Obama tells you the truth. Think about that

    EX: pro choice or pro life
    EX: for drilling or against drilling
    EX: for bush taxes cut or against bush taxes cuts

    this is a few example but there are many more

    June 22, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  4. Jimmy, Northern VA

    Rather than spout preconceived partisan rhetoric (Ron, Walt, & Bill), perhaps becoming informed on this important issue might be a bit more helpful. This would include willing to read, listen, and understand facts that may not be in line with your party positions. There are a lot of elements that have brought us to this point (limited supply, global consumption rates, refinery capacity, etc). To get a true understanding of the situation will also require some understanding of math.

    If you're interested in being truly informed, here is a place to start:


    If not, stay ignorant.

    June 22, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  5. >>>Solvent

    The drilling is a short-sighted solution that does nothing to meter the oil crisis at hand. Drilling in Alaska would reroute the caribou migration path causing millions of the native people to starve. Drilling on the shore could damage the eco-system we all depend on for survival. And for what? Ten more years of oil, and then we still run out anyway. Alternative fuels are out there, but they aren't being pursued aggressively enough. Solar power is unlimited, and for those selfish people who complain about the lack of pickup this energy might have in their trucks, they can have their oil and let the world suffer for it. Try Fuel Cells, no byproduct but water, a nearly infinite supply of energy, and soon to be affordable if the oil companies would butt out. Not likely.

    June 22, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  6. Never Obama - Anti Obama movements gaining ground

    Richardson is campaining for the VP spot nothing else – Judas, nuff Said.

    June 22, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  7. M.S. Indiana

    Funny how even Republics says it wont lover the prices on gas prices...
    For all i know, it may not even go to the American market but maybe china...

    If we don't start working towards getting out of oil dependency we will be hurting even more for each year going by... Not like China and other countries are going to use less oil over the next 30 years they will be asking for 10 times more oil, then they are now...

    And why drill offshore when you can drill on land ??, don't think people are going to pay to vissit oil rigs in FL or other places

    June 22, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  8. gail

    dont' agree with Richardson on much but here he's right. Drilling offshore wouldn't in entirety wouldn't even give the nation more than a four month supply on current usage.

    PS _ I believe when Richardson was secretary of energy oil was about 25 bucks a barrel so I'd say he did ok.

    June 22, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  9. Democratic

    Please think and vote "Democratic" – We are spending billions of dollars on a war. - We own other countries trillions of dollars. -

    We are losing jobs, losing homes... gas is sky high and because of that war we are losing lives.

    Since Bush, we are losing a lot...– now with the floods, which will cost billions. Now food will go up.

    This is not about whom you like or dislike - this is about the Democrats winning... Save the USA or we will be the new 3rd world.
    Please do not vote McSame.

    June 22, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  10. DT

    New drilling would be a good idea...

    That is, if we would see oil from it sooner than about ten years from now, and if it didn't negatively impact our environment. The truths politicians who are pro-drilling neglect to tell us is the time it will take for oil from this drilling to be available, and the lack of oil refineries to support the additional capacity. Political promises sound good, but they neglect a lot of the negatives, because it wouldn't help their campaigns.

    What we need most is to diversify our energy plan. Think of a state who is primarily supported by one type of economy (i.e., manufacturing). When manufacturing jobs go away, suddenly that state economy tanks –diversifying the economy would have reduced that impact. We need to do the same with energy sources

    We need to use every viable option in our arsenal –solar, wind, electrical power, natural gas, and hydrogen, and research them all, and make our power available from multiple sources. If we as a nation also looked at biodiesel as a short-term alternative (diesel needs less refining than gasoline, so you get more diesel out of a barrel of oil, plus the bio component that further lessens the use of crude oil) we'd be far better off. We need to be flexible with where we get our energy from –and as much as possible, we need renewable sources.

    Finally, let's not tax windfall oil profits –rather, lets remove oil subsidies. Some of these subsidies were to encourage an increase in refining capacity, which oil companies have not done. Others are no longer needed –the oil companies have record profits, why are we subsidizing them? Take these subsidies, and move them to R&D for renewable energy sources.

    June 22, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  11. susie

    Drilling should have took place 30 years ago when we had a gas shortage. Where was Richardson then?

    June 22, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  12. Kevin, AL

    First of all, Bill Richardson USED to be the U.S. Secretary of Energy...in case all of you forgot...

    Second of all...10-20 years ago we weren't exactly in the midst of an energy crisis...

    Finally...he's right. Drilling for oil doesn't solve the problem it makes it worse. This country is addicted. You don't solve a crisis by putting a bandaid over a gaping wound. If we started drilling now, the results wouldn't be seen for at least another 10 years or so. The ultimate answer to the energy crisis is reducing and eventually eliminating this country's dependence on oil. Do I think the ban on offshore drilling is a little rediculous? Absolutely. But the problem is much bigger than "We need more oil," at this point. It really is just a stunt, which makes me sad. I have a lot of respect for Sen. McCain, and it's sad to see him align himself more and more with the failed policies of George W. Bush.

    June 22, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  13. Obama 08: Female, 60, white

    Bill: Why didn't voters scream for something to be done? Why has America been able to have less than 10 per cent of the population yet use 25% of the world's resources. Time for us all to look in the mirror and quit whining about the politicians we continue to vote for because they pander and tell us what we want to hear and criticize those who tell us what we NEED to hear.

    June 22, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  14. Adam, Menlo Park, CA

    Yes, Bill Richardson is an energy expert. He served as secretary of energy under Clinton. I think that makes him pretty qualified to offer an opinion on this subject matter.

    June 22, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  15. Mark F. Arena

    It will not be long before we have spent so much money for foreign oil that our own sovereignty becomes fragile, and perhaps disappears.

    The uber rich understand this, that is why the money grab has gotten more brazen of late.

    Just as we brought the former Soviet Union to its knees by outspending it on a stupid arms race, so to will the USA fall. The real tragedy will be that it was foreseeable and preventable-yet we stood by and watched it all happen.

    I am 59 years old, and expect to both collect social security and watch the endgame from my nursing home bed.

    June 22, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  16. john mccain for president

    Please every one, allow Judas, i mean Gov. Richardson speak.

    June 22, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  17. Patriot


    We need to stare down our energy problem and solve it once and for all times!

    1. Drilling now will not bring new oil to the market for a decade!

    2. The oil execs already have 30 million acres UN-DRILLED space offshore!
    Why aren't the oil execs drilling those acres in inventory?

    3. The oil men administration are looking to increase their offshore inventory. Another gimmick, like the so-called gas tax holiday.

    4. In ten years, we can find the alternative and NECESSARY solution to our energy problem; because fossil fuel is FINITE! And fossil fuel is also destroying the environment!

    Ask the oil companies DO THE PATRIOTIC THING & ROLL BACK fuel prices in this time of great national need!

    June 22, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  18. Susan, NY

    Bill Richardson needs to stop whining and start thinking positively.
    This is a complex problem, and we need a multi faceted solution. Let individual states decide if off shore drilling negatively impacts their tourism agenda to the extent that they don't want it. However let's invest in ways and means to harvest our own energy supplies: solar, nuclear, wind, and yes, oil. And if a state is willing to go along with off shore drilling, then let's get started on it, so that some day down the road we will have a better handle on self-sufficiency.
    This doesn't negate the effort we all need to make to reduce consumption. I just don't understand this attitude of Richardson and Obama where you can't try everything possible to achieve a positive result.

    June 22, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  19. R

    Additional drill whether is onshore or off shore will not prove beneficial until 10-20 years from now. Plus, if offshore driling was to take place the oil companies will put more effort into securing the lease on a site than actually drilling. They WILL NOT drill when we are still paying the soaring price of gas. But guess what, when time comes to drill we will pay the price because they are sitting on newly aquired leases for 10-15 years.I'd say let's listen to the Economists who are the experts on these matters.

    June 22, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  20. G Edwards

    “The point is that we have got to have a bipartisan comprehensive strategy and this administration, it seems Senator McCain, all they want to do is drill, drill, drill,”

    Ummm, what about Sen. McCain's gas tax freedom idea (that Clinton also supported), his insistence on energy independence, etc. Yup, ALL Sen. McCain wants to do is drill. And of course he HAS to tie it into the Bush administration somehow.

    Making these type of misleading statements sure leads to bipartisanship. Interesting that the Dems have to invent things; they must be really worried about the election.

    June 22, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
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