July 14th, 2008
02:50 PM ET
12 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. Marc PDX

    DRILL!!! For crying out loud!

    DEBATE! Find Obama and bring him to the table!

    July 14, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  2. Obama 08: Female, 60, white

    Perhaps when McCain jabs Obama's so called chnage in positions, he should list all of his changes INCLUDING THIS ISSUE!!!

    July 14, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. Griff

    If you don't waste Energy, Mr Obama. You won't need it....

    July 14, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  4. Matt, Manchester, CT

    So is it Obama's position that off-shore drilling will not increase the supply at all? You can go on and on about the need for "energy independence" and green alternatives, but the need for a nearer-term solution is here now. There's too much carping going on in Congress and on the campaign trail and no action on a solution to the problem at all.

    July 14, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  5. Vig

    Wait a few days and Obama will flip-flop on this issue. The Democrats have presented the country with a flip-flopping farce.

    July 14, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  6. Candidate of change?

    Not to worry. Next month Obama will supporting offshore drilling.
    And stating that he was always in favor of it.

    July 14, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  7. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    McWar dropping Napalm on the enviornment

    July 14, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  8. Marc PDX

    Sheesh! The Dependant-Crat party just doesn't get it. What more evidence do you need to see that it's time to start taking energy matters into our own hands using ALL available means. (ALL means ALL!!!)


    July 14, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  9. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Big Oils already holds more leases to land than it drills. How much is enough?

    July 14, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  10. Roy Arellano (San Antonio)

    So even if this does nothing for us for the next 4 years (best case scenario, since even the highest qualified engineers/scientist, not idiots like Hannity, O'Reilly, Dobbs, Beck, and so on, say 7 years) all you right wing extremists would still endanger world we live in even more?! What about the THOUSANDS of leases open and available to BIG OIL not being explored?

    July 14, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  11. Harvey

    Obama has no energy plan. He does have a plan to increase gas taxes $1-$2 per gallon to cover 'carbon emissions'.

    Obama thinks a stimulus check is going to solve our energy problems?

    Gawd, go back to your mansion in Chicago and let the working people of this country figure this out!

    July 14, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. Mike, Syracuse NY

    If we had done this 10 years ago, the oil would be on line now. The environmentalists have stopped drilling, stopped the construction of nuclear plants, and done just about their best to make sure we ended up where we are now. Obama is part of the problem , not the solution.

    July 14, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  13. Bob Stephens

    According to the idiot McSame, I guess the price of gas will drop to $2 a gallon by next week, now that off shore drilling can start,,,

    July 14, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  14. Texas Trail Dog

    This is the ignorance of OBAMA and his desire to keep the American people in a pinch for oil. The continued high prices for gasoline that also has driven the food prices up. This fits his plan along with what all the terrorist and our enemies want to do to America. If they can't destroy us externally they will internally. VOTE THIS JACKAL DOWN IN NOVEMBER. McCAIN )8

    July 14, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  15. yay

    This is about slowing down alternative momentum. Relief for a year can null that spark in alternative energies for generations. Its exhausting watching them battle back and forth for something that is going away.

    July 14, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  16. Cynthia - Arkansas

    Seeing how the refineries are already operating at 95 to 100%, what are they planning to do with it. It's just another grab by big oil and Americans are being fooled AGAIN.

    July 14, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  17. P. Morrison

    Are there enough refineries in this country to do anything with oil if it is actually drilled ?? Someone who knows what they're talking about, please answer this.


    July 14, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  18. P, CA

    Watch your back, Obama. When McCain's done drilling every last ounce of oil from the Earth, he's gonna drill Uranus.

    Oh, and to all McCain/Hillary people who said that the New Yorker cover is simply laying bare the truth... you're also laying bare your plain racism. Period.

    I understand your fear of Obama, but didn't the horrors of the Bush Administration teach you that that same fear could be warranted from your own kind? Obama's a politician, yes, but on the politician's trust scale, I think he's ten times more trustworthy than Hillary or McCain, both of whom could get an Economist to trust them if their lives depended on it.

    July 14, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  19. not important

    Didn"t McCain flip flop on off-shore drilling? Mcflipflop is a liar.

    July 14, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  20. Mike

    Obama is the one of hope and change. Do nothing and HOPE things get better? Then CHANGE his mind?

    July 14, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  21. Ben - Portland

    What would the benefit be, exactly? Will gas go back to $2 a gallon? Will my heating bill go down? Or will Exxon top $75 billion in profits this year while I have to figure out what's going to give- daycare, groceries, health insurance, or gas? Then, when its all said and done, we'll have the same problem at the end of '09 and '10 and '11 and on and on until we make a real commitment to alternative energy sources. Really, folks, this isn't the answer. You should think further out than your arms can reach.

    July 14, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  22. CNN = Jerry Springer of news

    Why is Bush Jr. undoing all the work his father did in office? When is Bush Sr. going to switch sides and come out and endorse Obama?

    “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," (McCain). Well, first McCain acknowledged much of the gain in drilling off shore would be 'psychological' but now he wants to claim it could reduce gas prices with the stipulation we need to show we have significant oil reserves. This plan better produce a lot of oil to make up for the price of gas once we invade Iran like McCain wants to...

    July 14, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  23. ANGIE

    why cant we tap into our reserves they are there for emergency im not against drilling but wont that take years for an effect what about refineries????? i think its time for the republicans and democrats to put aside their diffrences an come to some kind of agreement drilling now is not going to lower the price at the pump

    July 14, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  24. Mr. Wilson

    It will take 10 years for the U.S. to see a major effect from drilling. Hopefully by then we'll have alternative energy sources

    July 14, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  25. Ex-Republican for Obama

    Yet another confirmation that McCain and Bush are united in their goal to systematically destroy America's Economy, Military, Reputation and now Environment. But that is nothing new, what we forget is:

    The republicans have had at their disposal MORE open territory to explore/drill in then this move to lift the ban will actually free up. They have failed to tap into what is available, let alone produce any results. Using the argument of "7 years, start now" how about "it's been 8 and you've had more land then you are currently freeing up...what have you done with it?".

    If the republicans, McCain and Bush had chosen to do something productive then, we wouldn't be in this mess. Lifting this ban is nothing more then 'Psychological' (which is a valid point that I will give to McCain), because it will yield nothing so long as the republicans are at the helm. It is a psychological political tool, falsely using it as a charge of action when in truth it is HIDING their inability to take action long ago when it should have been taken.

    Don't be fooled, go find out how much territory is already available and how LITTLE has been done with it. And then ask yourselves "Why do they need more, when they have done absolutely nothing with all that they already have".

    These people are pulling the wool over your eyes. Don't be fooled. The best answer is to get them out of office so they can no longer sit around doing nothing with what they got other then crying about needing more to do nothing with.

    Obama '08

    July 14, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
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