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. CareFree

    I get what he's saying............why isn't anyone 1) insisting that we Americans need to conserve gasoline use? (we have been way more greedy than the now-expanding "3rd world" countries; 2) twisting the arms of American car makers to produce cars that get vastly increased mileage per gallon (they have the technology, but someone (our VP maybe) is quashing it)........... Then every American would "buy American" & save jobs and failing companies. Too simple???
    The fact that our use is way down just recently shows that we are capable of conserving when we are forced to do so.

    June 22, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  2. Phil, FL

    As soon as the oil men are out of DC, prices will come down.

    Mark my word.

    June 22, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  3. Rob indetroit


    June 22, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  4. claudia

    Drill away McCain. Why should we get all our oil elswhere? Those who oppose drilling can stick with the Arabs and today's high prices.

    June 22, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  5. Fletcher

    Umm... Actually, Bill Richardson was Secretary of the Department of Energy under Bill Clinton. The suggestion that he's suddenly become an expert NOW, in an election year, is painfully myopic. You may disagree with his record and his ideas, but pegging him as a know-nothing Johnny-come-lately to the energy arena is just plain failing to know your history.

    June 22, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  6. Rob indetroit


    June 22, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  7. Maureen

    Honestly...it's so obvious this drilling idea is terrible. I am always surprised by how many people in our country are so selfish and self-serving. Instead of spending the next 5 years hoping gas prices will go down and drilling more oil in protected areas (by the way, the US also doesn't have the refining capabilities for all this oil. We haven't had a new one built since the 70s), why don't we focus on electric and hybrid vehicles, more public transportation, and other ways of reducing our dependency on oil??

    I am amazed by folks who support the idea of drilling in our currently protected areas. Please take a look at yourself in the mirror, sit down and talk to your God, and then come back with a non-selfish reason for why you support it.

    June 22, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  8. Xavier

    Richardson is right. Lets stop doing band-aid solutions or quick fixes that dont last. I'd rather have a real solution that takes time, but last permanently. In the longrun that will go a long way further towards fixing a problem rather than getting a tax rebate. As for those who say we need help now, I say lets get real. This is a problem that took Bush eight years to make, it aint getting fixed overnight regardless of who you support, be it McCain or Obama. Lets stop duck-taping things together and hoping they hold!

    June 22, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  9. an ohio voter

    Who cares what you think, Bill Richardson?? Talk to the people of New Mexico and get them to vote for Obama...

    June 22, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  10. Alex

    Well he WAS Sec. of Energy a few years back. I THINK he knows his stuff, people...

    June 22, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  11. an ohio voter

    Richardson, Hoyer, Reid....Oh Brother!! Who listens to you guys?? Why don't you go out and campaign for Senator Obama and leave the microphones alone?

    June 22, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  12. Former Clinton Supporter

    We must allow new drilling as well as increase fuel efficiency for new cars and increase use of public transportation. Only doing one thing will not help much.

    June 22, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  13. Bella from Florida

    If we announced to the world tomorrow that we are going to start drilling in our country speculators would get scared and the prices of oil would go down .We have to start doing it now. Why are other oil producing countries afraid of drilling for oil? China and Cuba have started drilling why can not we do the same? Who on earth does Nancy Pelosi think she is to say no to drilling. Shame on her.

    June 22, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  14. Obama Plays Race Card Again

    What do you mean we can't drill our way out of the problem? More delusional campaign speak

    This is like telling a person in their early 40's that has not started saving for retirement yet that its too late and that they should just start buying scratch off lottery tickets instead as a way to provide for themselves.

    Absolutely the least logical argument I have ever heard whtn it comes to energy policy. And its becoming the DNC company line.

    PS: all folks are asking is to leave it up to each individual coastal state to decide for themselves.

    June 22, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  15. JIM...TX

    We will always, at least for the forseeable future need oil so we may as well start now an dig a hole! All the alteratives to that will take likewise many years to come to bear. We should do all we can now...today to wean ourselves from the foreign influence in our energy requirements. And YES it's NOT going to solve the problem but nothing else will either in say our lifetime if we don't get off our butts an do SOMETHING no matter how unpleasant to this group or that.......

    June 22, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  16. Charlotte

    I must comment on another blog..Kevin, on another post. Loved your post turtle story. May I borrow it? It fits Obama to a tee. I had never heard it before, and find it hillar-ious. I remember the Robin Williams movie where he accidently wins the election. Didn't have the foggest idea what to do. Obama fits that mold, also that movie is where Obama got the, "we are not red states, we are not blue states, we are the United States." I got to admit it has a nice ring to it. Obama, is a POST TURTLE! I will write Hillary Clinton on my ballot in November, watsted or not my conscience will be clear.

    June 22, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  17. Tyler in Raleigh

    I'm all for more drilling, but that will take 10+ years to help and is a drop in the barrel of the oil we need.

    High energy prices stink, but we are still cheap compared to the rest of the world ($8-10/gallon in Europe). Conservation is a big important step, in addition to cracking down on speculators (like what happened in housing and the internet), drilling for oil and pressuring OPEC.

    We have now learned that housing does not go up forever and that eventually you have to pay your debts. American's have begun to believe they have a "right" to cheap oil, cheap housing, endless products and credit card debt with no savings.

    Time to wake up!!

    June 22, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  18. AMW


    June 22, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  19. i think for myself

    i think we need to look at all possible solutions to get us out of this mess. we do need to drill more, but also decrease our dependency through increase alternatives. just once you wish the party's would get over being for one thing and not what the other party is for. we need to look at everything possible. we need to stop sending our wealth to other countries who have there own agendas.

    June 22, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  20. msgijoe

    Ron, Walt and Bill, the three dentists who love to drill.

    June 22, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  21. Joe from CA

    No more oil dependency, we need new and better energy source....unless we start to do something now, we will always have this problem~~

    June 22, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  22. Larry Buchas

    GOP stands for Gas – Oil – Petroleum.

    They are not interested in alternative energy sources. They are only interested in their oil friends. Drilling for oil does not do anything for the current market demand, especially with China and India included.

    We haven't changed our vehicle or fuel standards since this crisis started in the 1970's. It's not too late to invest in the future. Let's reward those for trading in their gas guzzling SUV's and large pickups for hybrids and other fuel efficient vehicles. Also, let's punish those who don't trade in these monsters with higher taxes.

    Everyone should start contributing their part.

    June 22, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  23. MaryAnn

    Who listens to Bill Richardson anymore...he lost my respect after what he did to the CLINTON's

    June 22, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  24. J-M

    He couldn't be more right. Anyone who poses as an energy expert by saying more drilling and nuclear power are our answers proves to be the true idiot. Those who favor more drilling are the ones who got us in this mess in the first place. And if you want to blame the other side, fine, but it was all of you who were a) too stupid to vote for these oil based politicians and b) funded the anti-energy anti-global warming lobbies. Hmmm...let's think, you knowingly voted in two former oil execs over the last eight years, yea, sure non-oil energy progress was really their top concern.

    June 22, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  25. dede-ol

    i can take to the bank what bill says he has been in the energy sector for a while. we need an over haul of our energy priorities,change dramatically to renewable resources,solar, wind,fuel efficient cars,time for real change.how about every home built have solar for heating for a start.

    June 22, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
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