June 22nd, 2008
02:30 PM ET
13 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. David in Illinois

    If we started drilling today, the oil from those wells MIGHT be available in 10 years. All the experts agree on that. But why not start TODAY, to get TRULY SERIOUS on alternative energy such as biofuels, hydrogen power, wind, solar, electric ... This country desperately needs to literally flip the switch on its energy direction. As Americans steer away from gas-guzzlers and go hybrid, electric, biodiesel with their transportation, watch fossil fuel prices PLUMMET. Who will need it in such vast quanties that we need them today? Supply and demand will address the problem. Of course we'll always need oil and natural gas, but it'll be just a fraction of what's used today. And we should get our international partners to join in on this frenzy of technological innovation.
    JFK made it a national priority to land a men on the moon and return them safely. Let's all send cards, letters, telephone calls to Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain imploring them to make energy freedom, if not energy independence, the nation's goal by 2018. McCain doesn't seem to be able to stretch his imagination beyond drilling, but maybe we can change his mind. Obama seems to be going in this direction already since he doesn't think we can drill our way out of this mess and still have a clean world to live in.
    My fellow Americans, Dems and GOPers, even oilman President Bush admits we're addicted to foreign oil. Let's kick the habit altogether .... AND DO IT TOGETHER!!

    June 22, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  2. David Goldman for OBAMA







    June 22, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  3. denaro

    pls tell them, obama has won this election!

    June 22, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  4. linda from South Dakota

    lol, its no doubt ,, like i said before,, mccai fli-flops by the hour,, anything that works for him as far as votes,,, how can one trust oen like that? he stastes: he has always supported a state’s right to choose what happens in its coastal waters., well whtever happens isnt good enough mccain,, you need better standards than that for me( and im sure alot of americans will agree).. maybe his memory is "slippin"..ummm

    June 22, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  5. Willy

    Tyoical left wing parroting George Soros answer. Don't any so called democrats have a spine or does george Soros have them all lock up? If you hero Bill Clinto had not vetoed that bill in 95 there would no be a problem today. But no George Soros had control of the left.

    June 22, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  6. Rob indetroit

    John Mccain is so old that sometimes he thinks Bin laden is his friend

    June 22, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  7. Vic

    I wonder where Bill Richardson thinks the price of gasoline will be 10 years from now if we don't drill. That was the thinking during the Bill Clinton administration when Richardson was his Energy Secretary. Somehow I can't see Barack Obama sweeping into the House House carrying on his arm the $10/gallon price tag on gasoline.

    June 22, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  8. Roger

    Don't forget democrats are criticizing Obama for flip-flopping on NAFTA and financing his campaign.

    June 22, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  9. Marc PDX

    I agree that alternative sources of energy need to be developed (or further refined), including wind, solar and nuclear. Also clean burning coal (if that can be achieved). But wind and solar technology will take years to develop to the point of making an appreciable contribution to the country's energy needs (compare this to the criticism of drilling for oil and how long that would take to come online). Also wind power, using current wind mill technology kills birds. In Oregon, where we have wind mills, animal rights advocates have a big problem with continuing to use windmills. And I suspect that will be a problem in other states as this technology is propogated. The fact is we need a multiple sources of energy in the future and that will include oil – for years to come. Sure, you can mandate 50mph cars but that will also take years to be realized. The most efficient cars in the world today (and they are tiny cars) achieve under 50mph. Merely waving a magic wand to mandate this is a fantasy – at least in the short run. In fact there is NO SHORT TERM SOLUTION. There just isn't. And we better darn well start planning for the future now and not leave this problem for the next generation – when it will surely be worse. BTW, the bill Bush is pushing now is to allow drilling on the OUTER contintental shelf. To those who don't know for sure – you can't see that from Miami Beach. And ANWR in Alaska is the size of Dulles airport in Virginia. ANWR is at the top of a state that is approximately half the size of the lower 48 states. Dulles airport compared to half the lower 48 states. Richardson, in the same CNN interview mentioned above, supported drilling in the Rocky Mountains over drilling in ANWR. How is the impact on the Rocky Mountains ok if drilling a small area at the top of Alaska – or a hundred miles offshore for that matter. THINK! It is your responsibility. The democratic plan is backwards and will hurt Americans. Like paying $4 a gallon? If we follow the democratic plan you'll soon wish you were only paying $4 because it is going up every week people. Think about it some! Do their ideas sound like they'll really address this?

    NObama N'08

    June 22, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  10. S. Boatman Warrensburg Mo.

    The Only Thing Mccain Is Drilling Is A Deeper Hole For Himself To Climb Out Of!

    June 22, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  11. Vito

    What Mccain and Bush fail to mention about drilling in Alaska is that America owns leases to thousands and thousands of acres of land for oil drilling, which has yet to be drilled. This political Joke, this political trick by the Bush administration is yet another attempt to get what they want through deception. Oil from Alaska wouldn't reach our gas pumps until 2030, experts say. And what about the endless acres that they haven't even touched yet? Didn't they purchase that oil rich land for a reason?

    Don't be deceived. Wake up America!

    June 22, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  12. S. Boatman Warrensburg Mo.

    How Can Mccain Claim So Much Experience But Show So Little Intelligence?

    June 22, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  13. The Clear Thinking Indepedent

    A plan is not a list of ideas that purport to result in an outcome.

    A plan is a discrete collection of resources, actions, scheduled milestones that are tailored to achieve something. You don't have a plan if you don't have a schedule by which to measure progress.

    None of these politicians should dare use the words ... "I have a plan".

    Plans require accountatibility that get people fired when the plan does not work. Presidential candidates, tell me how you are going to insure accountability

    June 22, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  14. GARY

    I wonder if the position that we find ourselfs in has anything to do with the secret meetings that Cheney and the oil exec's were involved in?

    June 22, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  15. Ed L

    "We can't drill..." is how we got into the problem. Energy sufficiency has been available to us. Environmentalists and a congress captive to many and conflicting "special interests," none of which are the health and welfare of the United States and its citizens, have prevented the development over the last 20 years of the resources which would have avoided the present problems. Yes, it is true we cannot solve today's problem by today's action, but attending to resource development in a realistic way may well prevent even worse situations in the future. Obama and McCain are both wrong about drilling for oil within the US. Neither is addressing the need to develop nuclear power. Congress is totally ineffective in practically every area of real concern to our lives, so we can't expect anything good to come from them. Where can we find leaders with brains and courage?

    June 22, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  16. Annette, Washington

    You know, this is a joke. It's ridiculous that we are depending on the Saudis for relief on gas. Did we not learn from the 70s crisis and here we are today 20 years later, same ole issue. It's the truth, we can't keep drilling all over the place. The day will come when drilling is not enough, I really believe that day is just about approaching. We need long term solutions, for a long term problem.

    June 22, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  17. Lisa

    I am so tired of the Repblicans destroying America. The closing of our thriving military bases, firing air traffic controllers, corporations moving lucrative jobs overseas, closing mental hospitals, regular hospitals, VA hospitals, companies laying off and firing thousands of employee while companies are continuing to outsources jobs, rent and real estate price gauging, not to mention the illegal oil prices, automobile industry jobs shutting down, warehouse jobs shutting down, over crowding schools that were supposed to be funded by the lottery, the freaking rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, continuing to spend trillions of dollars in Iraq that should be spent here. This country is becoming a third world country under the selfish Republican rule and this has to be neutralized now. Now you want to destroy our country even more by drilling for this oil at this time. Could you be anymore destructive. Enough is enough. D....n

    June 22, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  18. gary


    June 22, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  19. Down with Obama

    You can lie yourself out of anything...can't you Richardson???

    Joined the racist cult of Obama...hope all you go down together!!!

    June 22, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  20. j

    I agree – offshore oil drilling is not the answer. Instead of diverting resources to a dead end pursuit, invest in developing innovative, clean, & renewable alternatives. Take a hint from Brazil. They saw this coming 30 years ago and invested in alternatives which has now made them energy independent from foreign oil. I can't believe America is less innovative than Brazil. The oil companies need to realize that they are ENERGY companies and find clean, renewable alternatives.

    June 22, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  21. Ivan, Chicago, Illinois

    Since the first oil embargo what have either the Democrats or Republican done about solving our dependence on foriegn sources for oil, and finding a path to energy independence? Nothing, zilch, nada, only ranting and raving at each other. With the underlining manta, "My way or no way."
    So far it's been "No Way."
    A pox on both your houses.
    The Republicans, held captive by corporations.
    The Democrats, held captive by the enviomentalist.
    The solution is not as hard as politicians want you to think it is. It's takes hard work and money, we been there and done that before, but always under the gun, let's take care of this problem before it is a full blown crisis.
    That means Democrats and Republicans working together for the good of all the American People not just certain segments of the population.

    June 22, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  22. Down with Obama

    You can lie yourself out of anything...can't you Richardson???

    Joined the racist cult of Obama...hope all you go down together!!!

    June 22, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  23. Venus

    Way to go Gov! Give them hell!

    This is great! We need to step it up on the GOP!

    June 22, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  24. JK Ashburn, VA

    The Lefties like high gas prices - no surprise. Pressure the Saudi's to produce more? And create even greater dependency? More nuclear power? Nah, too dangerous. More bio-fuels? Nah, they raise the tariffs on cheap Brazilian based ethanol so the US can't import it. And forget about shale oil out west.

    They reject every other option, too. Always hiding behind the mantle of "comprehensive energy policy". Well, they control Congress - where the heck is it? More subsidies for corn-based ethanol. That gives us high gas AND high food prices. The Lefties just haven't got the guts to say "we support high gas prices because it's what our benefactors, the environmental extremists want."

    June 22, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  25. Ridgeway

    Well, here's a guy who knows his stuff. How's the economy in NM there gov? Lord, he's a bigger boob than car doors head Obama.

    June 22, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
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