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. L

    The thing is obama cant go back on his word, even if its the right thing to do. Drilling on US soil may not sort prices out straight away, but it is going to make the speculators look elsewhere and foreign suppliers might drop prices – thats in the short term. Long term it will def. reduce prices as the reserves are built up around the world.

    Remember McCain just doesnt want off-shore drilling, he wants this as well as looking at other ways of renewable energy.

    Unfortunatly for the Dems the republicans are right on the ball here and are in line with most Americans .

    July 14, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  2. Car

    Isn't it only going to give 10 years of oil? That's alot of money to spend for that. We need to focus on more renewable sources of energy.

    July 14, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  3. I have McCain's missing Military Records in a Shoebox outside of Toledo

    This ain't going to work...There is not enough oil to put a dent into anything and by the time it's able to be used, My 2 year old will be going to 2nd or 3rd grade.

    In the meantime, More $$$$$$$ for the oil guys.

    July 14, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  4. Tony

    This is a no-brainer!

    McCain (McBush) all for destroying the environment, Obama (says) he is not!


    July 14, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  5. Marc PDX


    July 14, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  6. xddy4u

    This off shore drill is a political hoax to help Mccain. We all should know by now that the price of gas/diesel is not going to drop one penny because of this announcement. Look American people, the price of oil is not going up because of our dependancy oil foriegn, as the economists are leading us to believe. Just think for a moment, it's just the opposite, the price of oil is going up because of us NOT depending oil as our energy source. If we would stop buying foriegn oil tomorrow, Wall street would crash. Large Institutions and Pension programs would go belly up. Why? Because those intities are buying oil reserves as a hedge. If our Government was so keen on our dependency, why aren't they looking into this proto-type auto that runs off solar energy as was shown on CNN? All you need is a sunny day and you are riding free. This whole energy thing is a high-tech sham.

    July 14, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  7. Michigan for Obama

    good thing that when Obama wins, you won't have to worry about McLame keeping the same ole politics in Washington that we've had the last 8 years, I am sick of it, no off shore drilling!! STAY AWAY FROM OIL PEOPLE! and Obama has not changed positions that much compared to McSame, the guy that jabbed Obama for something he did too and didn't even realize it, he is a joke!

    July 14, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  8. Bendo

    Attention all Repubs: ya'all dont have the *alls to admit your man is a feleonious flip flopper that you cant admit it...go ahead I dare ya, double dog dare ya...just making half brained nasty declarations on his behalf....ya'all know he is going down in Nov, it only takes a EC vote to 270 to win and as of right now, Mclame isnt even close!

    July 14, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  9. Barack would be a major mistake

    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.

    July 14, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  10. Sean

    Those of you who are for this: Do you not realize that – even companies starting moving forward on this today – we would not see any of that oil make its way to consumers for 8 – 10 years.

    8 – 10 YEARS!

    If we are going to waste 10 years and millions of taxpayer dollars on helping the energy crisis, I would prefer it be to make alternative sources viable, not pumping out more oil.

    July 14, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |


    The Republicans had control of all branches of government for 6 of the last 7 and 1/2 years. WHY DIDN'T THEY DO THIS IN "THAT" TIME?

    The oil companies current hold the leases to millions of acres where there is proven oil....THAT THEY ARE NOT, AND HAVE NOT drilled on..

    WHY...... AND ....... WHY?

    Answer A: because their masters in the oil lobby did not tell them to. (BECAUSE THEY DON'T "WANT" TO).

    Answer B: because it is NOT cost effective for them to do so, it is NOT in the best interest of their company's bottom line and there are no other means to refine or ship (which are at capacity).. (Why invest money in new refineries or barges that will only serve to LOWER THE PRICE of a barrel of oil.... DUH)

    offer a rational explanation of these FACTS without resorting to name calling. (if you can).

    July 14, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  12. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Why not run a magizne cover with screaming and flesh burning women and children with Mcwar singing in his jet, dropping Napalm. He could be singing bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran. This would be an outrage to the GOP right wing rethuglicans.

    July 14, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  13. Bulls Eye

    Just another target for TERROISM......

    July 14, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  14. Lucieann

    What about the 65 million acres that has already been released for drilling that hasn't been touched yet~!!! I think this is still another one of those artificial quick fixes, that will amount to nothing but a temporary bandage if that....it will amount to nothing~ Bush could always release some of the emergency strategic oil reserves, as Bill Clinton once did as president to ease peoples' hardship. Bush is a stubborn, arrogant oil man, who really isnt interested in helping the public....he is only interested in increasing energy profits......McCain is just another enabler in that concern~

    July 14, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  15. Roger from CA

    First of all, I want to hang the moron in 2004 who popularized the term "flip flop". Life was so much better before the inane Bushy concept that changing one's tactical approach to an issue or allowing any nuance was somehow a sin and a weakness.

    Obama is absolutely right; drilling will do nothing for decades and will damage the economy every time there is a leak or spill (I am sick of this false idea that there is a conflict between protecting the environment and the economy).

    The problem is that, like Kerry and Gore and Dukakis and other Dems before him, he tends to use more words when fewer will do. He (and his team) should get to the point, and then (if necessary) elaborate. His response should have been precisely as follows: "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.... BUT IT WON'T WORK!" After that, he could elaborate. The way he and his team talk, the key point gets missed.

    Like it or not, this is a world of soundbites.

    By the way, there are millions of acres offshore and on-land that have already been leased to the oil companies for drilling, but haven't been touched. Why?

    July 14, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  16. Chris

    Utter stupidity.

    #1. Nice shot at Obama, maybe you should stop pandering long enough to look in the mirror. Didnt you shift to 'whichever way the wind blows', on this very issue?

    #2. Really? Are people that dumb to think that if this ban was removed we would start seeing oil in the market right away. 3-5 YEARS before we would see a single barrel. 10 years for full production! I would think we would be able to ramp up alternatives well before then, if our government was truly interested in it.

    And that doesn't even speak to how they would regulate it. Do you think the oil producers would just mark all of that oil for the US only? No, it would go into the global market, and would not make as big of a dent as they are acting like it would.


    July 14, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  17. Tim from Buffalo

    America doesn't set the price of oil becuase of high demand in asia. We can drill all we want, since overseas demand is going nowhere but up we'll never successfully lower the price.

    July 14, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  18. Terry, Butte, Mt

    drill, drill, drill, that is all we here from the right wing.

    Our refineries are at capacity, which means we could have all the oil in the world but it wont do any good until we build more refineries.

    Build more refineries to increase supply and lower costs.. then we can talk about more drilling.

    drill, drill, drill = pander, pander, pander ... but does us no good.

    July 14, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  19. Helene

    Let's destroy the environment for the sake of the SUVs, Hummers and other abomination. Great world (or what's left of it) for our children and grandchildren.

    July 14, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  20. Randy

    For all those accusing Mccaine of flip flopping....yes he did!!! But does anybody here find our energy crisis in the same condition as it was when he took his original stand. Thinking people change their minds when they can use logical thought to justify it! If we start drilling now then gas will remain 4.50 a gallon....if we don't say hello to 10.00 per gallon.

    Oh wait and plus the percentage of profits Obama wants to take from the oil companies because we know that will be added into the price.....yeah that's a brilliant plan Barack! Thanks for thinking so hard!

    July 14, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  21. H-ROD


    July 14, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  22. RC

    I am all for drilling as long as we equally or more develop new means of energy at the same time. Just drilling is very narrow minded.

    July 14, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  23. RC

    Yes, it is a red hering isnt it.

    July 14, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  24. Pat Riot

    Whether or not off-shore drilling will lower the price of gas is irrelevant. What is important about this decision is that we limit this wildly socialist central government and start returning power back to the states. Corporate bailouts, interest rate manipulation, heavy regulation, oversight, government take over of production only prolongs the inevitable. Trust in the free market and the invisible hand of capitalism will guide us back to prosperity.

    July 14, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  25. Jeff Long

    Obama has flip-flopped again!!!

    Substance over Hype!!! McCain '08

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