July 14th, 2008
02:50 PM ET
15 years ago

McCain, Obama camp weigh in on off-shore drilling news

(CNN) - President Bush’s Monday announcement that he would be lifting the federal ban on off-shore oil drilling drew sharp criticism from Barack Obama’s campaign - and immediate praise from presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, who took aim at his Democratic counterpart’s opposition to the move.

The Obama campaign said the development was no fix for the nation’s energy woes. "If offshore drilling would provide short-term relief at the pump or a long-term strategy for energy independence, it would be worthy of our consideration, regardless of the risks,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton in a statement.

“But most experts, even within the Bush Administration, concede it would do neither. It would merely prolong the failed energy policies we have seen from Washington for thirty years. Senator Obama believes Americans need real short-term relief, which is why he has proposed a second round of stimulus with energy rebates for working families…” he said.

McCain himself told reporters that the president’s executive order was “a very important signal.”

“I know that Senator Obama is opposed to lifting the ban on offshore drilling. I believe the states should continue to decide,” McCain said, according to a pool report. “I hope that, as he has on several other issues, that Senator Obama will change his position and now support offshore oil drilling,” adding that an increase in the nation’s oil supply would reduce costs as the country made the transition to alternative energy sources.

“If we can show that we have significant oil reserves off our coasts, that will clearly affect the futures market and affect the price of oil. I urge Sen. Obama to change his position on this issue," he said.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (191 Responses)
  1. Makeshift

    Are you guys idiots? Just because you open up lands for drilling doesnt mean the oil companies will actually drill. Why should they? They are making millions as it is right now. They will buy the land and sit on it for 50 years.

    July 14, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  2. Richard W. Bolt

    Old Blitzer about lost his lunch during his exasperated interview of New Yorker Editor. Today. Watching Wolf these past few months, beating up Hillary, almost totally ignoring McCain, and nothing but praise for Obama. He might as well have OBAMA tatooed on his forehead, he's so obviously an extreme, left liberal who tries to make news rather than just report it!

    July 14, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  3. Joe Bloggs, Haiku, HI

    Typical right-wing ignoramus response. You can find every talking point in here w/o one single factual statement::
    July 14th, 2008 4:08 pm ET

    I think Dr. No is a fair way to describe Barack Hussein Obamas solution to this problem. Even if it takes 30 years to drill and get the first drop of oil I would still say drill immediately, not go around and say its just a gimmick. The drilling creates jobs, and oil and lowers the requiremnts of importing oil from the middle east. The pathetic democratic party will finds ways to stall and Barack will say it is just a gimmick. I think Barack is the gimmick of nothing more than a merchant of change. Yea, change of Dr. No on energy and Dr. Yes on taxes.

    Obama is certainly 'Dr. No' when it comes to destroying our environment for the hopes of dropping the price of gas by a few pennies in 7-10 years, but he is Dr. YES when it comes to taking care of our future by investing in alternative energy so that we are not dependent into the distant future on foreign oil. Investments in green energy will not only reduce our dependence on foreign oil and bring the cost of energy DOWN for all of us, but it will also create FAR MORE JOBS than drilling for offshore oil.
    You people should be ashamed of yourselves. 8 years of Bush Economics was based on an energy policy in secret consultation with Enron and other avaricious oil company execs. The result has been the disastrous economy which includes high oil prices. and now you morons want to reward these crooks by giving them our precious natural resoueces to destory so that we can put off investing in alternative energy for another few decades.

    THank G-d Obama willbe our next president in a LANDSLIDE. I can't wait to listen to Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity's show after the NOvember elections. THe dittohead sycophants will of course be very disappointed, but when the economy and optimism in the country picks up over the next few years with investments in education, health care and the environment, you guys will finally be forced th see the light. ANd when you do, we progressives will welcome you to the fold.
    Until then, unfortunately you wil remain in darkness as long as you are too lazy to think for yourselves.

    July 14, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  4. Scott L




    July 14, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  5. Joshua College Station Texas

    Amen to Jason, TX. More drilling is not the answer. It only prolongs our dependence on oil. Oil companies will not change until forced to. McCain and Bush are getting their talking points from the oil companies who see an opportunity to exploit Americans' fears, frustrations, and desires for independence in order to secure more cash in their pocketbooks. By finally getting access to Alaska and offshore sites, they can insure they will have cash flow for another 20 years and don't have to change the status quo. They just don't want to spend their profits to develop new technologies. Instead they prefer to continue living high on the hog. Oil people love oil money because it's big money. The powerful never want to relinquish money/power, regardless of what is in the larger best interest (the environment, which we need to last more than 20 years). Heaven forbid our economy should switch to solar or hydrogen, because the oil companies might have to eat a lot of the cost of phasing out the gasoline infrastructure and installing a new one, in order to stay relevant and competitive in the energy sector.

    July 14, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  6. Ken


    lets drill baby,

    get that Oil,

    where are we going to refine it. How are we going to refine.

    July 14, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  7. Concerned Citizen

    It would seem that the only way to actually affect the "Big Oil" strangle hold on our economy would be to take over the companies. At first, I was calling for "Nationalization" of the oil companies,,,, but that would be totally "socialistic."

    Maybe a better way to combat their stated position of "what is in the best interest of our SHAREHOLDERS," would to become "shareholders ourselves, as a government. I don't know if it would be legal,,,, but if the government bought on the open market, shares of these oil giants,,,enough to have an impact on the board decisions,,,,,,,,,, THEN and only then, would they listen to the "public" because as the biggest bloc of it's shareholders (the american public) THEY WOULD HAVE TO ACT, TRULY IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THEIR BIGGEST SHAREHOLDER,,,,,, the american public............ to the moderator....... this is just my opinion,,,, why do you persist in limiting my comments,,,,, when they actuall apply to the subject their posted to??????

    July 14, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  8. Concerned Citizen

    The only relief the public will get in the oil companies strangle hold on the economy,,,,,, would be for them to increase the refined product,,,,,, gasoline,,,,,,,,,,,, when enough of the product is available to the public,,,,,,,, demand will have the price drop because they (big oil) have produced what the consumer is in dire need of,,,,,,,,, REFINED GASOLINE..................... INCREASE THE REFINING CAPACITY OF –ALL- REFINERIES,,,,,,,,, TO PROCUCE A "GLUT" OF GASOLINE,,,,,,,,,, THEN THE PRICE WILL COME DOWN.........

    July 14, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  9. Phil Newton Murphy, Oregon

    Oh, good. We can have our own tar sands, just like Canada.

    Your albatross will be sauteed in 30 weight light crude, sir.

    July 14, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  10. Total Northern California Democrat for Obama

    Bush won't be happy until he completely destroys everything. All the experts say that we won't see immediate results after having destroyed our coasts. We won't see results for about 10 yrs. and then maybe a nickel difference. LEAVE our coasts alone. I am hoping and praying that Congress does not cave in on this one......fingers crossed.

    July 14, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  11. Rick FL

    Vig, Jeff Long & Ken–before you throw around the flip-flop label, you may want to check on McCain's shift on this very issue and many others to avoid appearing hypocritical.
    The oil companies and their Bush/McCain affiliates seem to be manipulating the public. If people are for drill, drill, drill, these oil companies need to use the 68 million acres of land they already have available and not using. It will still take 7-10 years to produce any oil and will only lower prices by as little as 4 or 5 cents.
    Obama is absolutely correct on this issue. We need long term solutions with investments into alternative fuels.

    Obama '08–Si se puede!

    July 14, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  12. Tim Stevens

    By the time a drop of gas is developed from this latest great idea,gas will be $10 a gallon.Where are the savings ? Dropping back to $9.00 ?

    We have natural gas in Canada.Our brothers here at home have tripled the cost on us in the last 5 years.

    Big Companies want big profits...

    Pure and Simple

    July 14, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |


    if there were no oil there... (as you refer to the leases that the oil companies hold, but aren't using)...

    why did they go throught the trouble of getting the leases??????????

    (at least we debating beyond calling each other idiotic names)..

    July 14, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  14. Lesley

    Oil companies are not drilling on already leased lands because it is not cost effective; they are waiting for the government to cave in and allow them to drill offshore, much easier for them to do. I say T. Boone Pickens is putting his money where his mouth is. Even an oilman knows it's time to stop priming the pump and start doing something about alternatives.

    July 14, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  15. Bill in California

    We are addicted to oil.

    The Republican solution is to drill for more.

    If we were addicted to heroin,

    would their solution be to plant more poppies?

    July 14, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  16. Joe Bob

    To the people who think McCain changed his position when gas went from $2/gal to $4– HARDLY.

    McCain was originally against off-shore drilling two months ago. Get a clue– GAS WAS STILL $4/GAL two months ago.

    McCain is a flipflopper. he does whatever is most popular. He's a true lady of the night and he will sell himself to whomever will put him in office.

    We won't see the fruits of any new drilling for at least 3-5 years, if at all. There is no point to this.

    July 14, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
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