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. Tejano

    BHO wants us to continue being controlled by Middle East countries and their monopoly on Oil. Drill , Drill, Drill until there is so much oil, the Arabs can't give it away.

    Si Se Puede, Hispanos Por Juan McCain. Viva McCain el Patriota.

    July 14, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  2. Peter

    I find this "debate" to be beyond bizarre, and to demonstrate why, I'll offer an analogous situation:

    A friend is addicted to cocaine. His habit is bankrupting him. Do you:
    a) perform some form of positive intervention (i.e. rehab)?
    b) help him set up his own greenhouse so he doesn't have to pay for cocaine anymore?

    Is it just me, or do we need a hardcore intervention rather that making more of the "drug."

    July 14, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  3. Kim, IL


    July 14, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  4. Loretta from California

    I am an oil man.....my name is George Bush......I must protect my interest.


    July 14, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  5. Anonymous in CO

    Why can't the oil companies drill on the entire idol drilling platforms all around the U.S.? There are several in OK, TX, KS and CO. Why do they need to go out into the ocean to just explore when they aren't even sure if there's any oil? Drill on the platforms we already have.

    If we had only listened to Carter in the late 70’s we probably wouldn’t be in this current situation. I’m old enough to remember him sitting in the White House wearing a sweater and asking all of us to conserve energy and to start looking for alternative fuel sources.

    To all the Republicans out there that keep blaming the environmentalists and the Democrats, it's time to refresh your American history...Bush Sr. was the one who signed into law the stopping of all off-shore drilling. I find it so interesting the GOP’s want to rewrite history and push the blame to someone else. It's time to stop the point of fingers and come together as Americans working TOGETHER for a solution! Over the last 7+ years we have become a nation greatly divided and full of intolerance.

    July 14, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  6. Gramma Faye /Idaho

    This should have been done yrs ago. No one seems to realize that oil is a VERY large part, if not the main part of our National Security.
    There are 6 states east of the Rockies that we could get to very fast for oil. They are pumping some but there is so much more it could keep the US going for hundreds of yrs. And it is easy and cheaper to get to. We have to start someplace and the quicker the better. The longer we wait the longer before we get any of our oil on the market.
    We also have the reserve up by ANWAR that was put aside during or just after WWII. Back then they new oil has to be part of our national security. Then we got the ecology people in action and they have been eroding this country and making us rely on other countries.
    I have thought for yrs that all this wild ecology crap that is trying to put this country back 200 yrs is an old communist plot to bring us down.
    Does anyone know about other countries drilling off the Gulf Coast taking what we should have had. A then Russia is getting ready or is already in the Arctic to start drilling. China also has a vast amount of oil.
    Every country needs oil for their national security. And being self sufficient is the answer.
    Who ever is ready to get busy and drill and put put people to work as well as look for the security of this country will most likely get my vote,
    Independent old grandma bets they won't post this either.

    July 14, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  7. aware

    Give it up Obama! 😦

    We should have been drilling long ago. It is imperative that we drill now!

    July 14, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  8. John Denver

    Serious questions are not being asked in this debate. What kind of oil will it be? Sweet, Sour, light, heavy, etc...this makes a HUGE difference on the cost. Plus, what's the API? Do they anticipate water cut? It's easy to just say drill or don't drill, but there are complex questions that need to be addressed before ANYTHING should be done. First off, they should ask why the oil companies aren't drilling on the already leased land they have and then go from there.

    July 14, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  9. JT

    Bush should be locked in the white house, and congress should prevent him from making any more dumb decisions. We have suffered enough from his stupidity already. Just lock him somewhere. We are tired of this stupid, nonsense games. He says we are fighting terrorism day and night, when he is the real terrorist. He is terrorising the U.S. economy. We went to Iraq for no reason.

    July 14, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  10. tony

    Lets face the real issue–
    Obama has come to the middle on a lot of things but the real reason he opposes it is because if ( I say if ) it works then he's done but if he gets elected and does it-it becomes a feather in his cap–
    It's all political-
    What we really need is to get all the Senators and Members of the House under a law that says –no more than 12 Years ( Term limits)
    Things would get done–
    Get rid of all of them-
    Bushs rating is at 32% Thats terrible but Congree approval is under 10%-
    Easy to see where the problem lies-
    Not in the President but in Congress–

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

    Bush waits 7 months before time for him to lift the ban! Why did he not do this years ago when he saw the price of gas increasing, why wait until it gets to over $4 gallon? He obviously is doing this to help Senator McCain push his agenda.

    July 14, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  12. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    We won't have to worry about California. Governor Arnold said NO and I believe him.

    Bush is doing all of this stuff hoping it will make him look better. America, he doesn't care about us.

    Bush and the rest of the republicans are laying the groundwork for Jeb to be VP and then they will oust mccain.

    July 14, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  13. Bayou Joe

    By the time Obama gets around to the reality that we need to start drilling now and building refineries, the election will be over. Oh, wait he can't be for drilling on our own lands, he mind offend the Sierra Club and Greenpeace. Don't worry Obama go ahead and take a position, you can always change it tomorrow and hope that your faithful followers were not listening.

    July 14, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  14. Just John

    This is a small but important step towards becoming energy independent. We need to show the oil producing countries that we are committed to being done with them. That means drilling, wind, nuclear, ethanol, natural gas, and everything else. The biggest threat to our nation in not physical terrorism, its economic terrorism. By continuing to send dollars to those who hate us, we give them more power to mess with our markets. The sooner we make these moves the better. I hope congress wakes up and realizes this. They seem to be too worried about making sure the republicans are wrong, instead of worrying about the country being right

    July 14, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  15. Al, NY NY

    If any of you "if we'd done this earlier....." people had read the article, you'd see that Duh-bya's father had supported the ban on offshore drilling so don't start with the blame game on the Democrats alone. Duh-bya's brother Jeb (hee-haw) had also been against drilling off the FL coast as a way to win his b-u-t-t into office

    July 14, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  16. Sue

    The democrats are wrong on this. We need to drill here, drill now! Let's get started on every method of improving our energy independence NOW!.

    July 14, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  17. M.S. Indiana

    Vig, McCain already flip flopped on this one, he have voted against it several times..

    By the time they get the oil up they will sell it to highest bidder anyways, so why even risk the nature on this ??

    July 14, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  18. Jim - Tucson

    If reducing our dependence on foreign oil is so important to our national security then why isn't President Bush asking people to conserve oil?

    July 14, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  19. tony

    Sean–In tne meantime gas goes to 10.00 a Barrell-
    What then–
    If there is a chance they woulfd lower prices because of the threat -then we should do it-
    Even out of Obama's mouth last week-he said by the YEAR 2030 we will only be 35% relying on foreign Oil–
    That's 22 Years from now

    July 14, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  20. DMAC in ID

    Hey Terri in Butte, you hit the nail on the head. But God willing all this pressure will bring about more refineries and not all on the Gulf Coast where transporting from MT or the DK's is to expensive and also where they are a sitting duck all together in one place so what ever hurricane or terrorist can take them out in one swoop.

    July 14, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  21. Fay Tx

    McSame--–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

    YOU be careful you old over the HILL ......you know the last time you said Obama didn't show up for a vote ...you were a no show as well.... you can barely keep up with yourself ......OLD HOG JAW!!!!

    July 14, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  22. Randy

    Hey Biff....

    They tried to do it...remember the Anwar bill that got defeated by the dems....and yes Mccaine was wrong on that one too! Get some facts before you speak Biff

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

    Sorry $10.00 a gallon-
    BTW–Loretta–your an idiot–!!

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

    So, when this thing with Iran escalates into a full-blown war and we're paying $10 per gallon for gas, I'll think back to when we should have begun drilling for oil in our own back yard.

    Democrates Untie!!!!

    July 14, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  25. William Courtland, Waterford, ON

    Geology and the techtonic sciences must meet archeological biology and primordial plate movements for tracking the prime oil reserves in the Pacific, as a majority will be coal or compessed to a natural gas.

    July 14, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
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