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)

    Even billionaire Oil Tycoon Pickens says that drilling for oil will not solve our problem. McCain is simply playing into the GOP rule book of creating one problem to cover another, and then leaving someone else to clean up the mess.

    July 14, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  2. Michael in Seattle

    We need to start pumping oil out of the pumps we already have drilled....not drill new ones...that would help bring down oil and gas prices

    July 14, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. rice, bryan

    if the rich oil guys are complaining about not having enough money to build new refineries, and the billions in profits isn't what it looks like. deep oil drilling should be a struggle for them. why not break away from oil, and starve these people out. mcbush would back any plan to put more money into criminal bush's pockets. when some of your biggest backers are big oil, i guess i would have to back their plan also. remember people, come november when we still paying 4.00 a gal for gas, who to vote for. you can't vote for the party that the president who owns an oil company, is gauging you every week when you buy gas.

    July 14, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |

    RANDY... NICE TRY...


    no filibusters, and no procedural maneuvers worked...

    whatever the republicans wanted.. they got...

    perhaps it is YOU who should do a bit more homework...

    (thanks for playing...)

    July 14, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  5. Sean

    Oh yeah....and how can all these conservatives be calling Obama a flip-flopper on this issue when he's remained consistent in his position while MCCAIN ACTUALLY FLIP-FLOPPED on it! Until recent weeks, McCain opposed offshore drilling! And yet he has the gall to say that maybe Obama will flip flop on it too? Are people really dumb enough to buy into this bs?

    July 14, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  6. Republican who loves OBAMA

    Seems mighty funny how today a cover depicting the Obama's as radical, and an interview with Cindy McCain TRYING to look like the all American girl appear on the same day. She is even trying to emulate Michelle talking about raising her children, and not living in Washington, blah, blah, blah!
    Who's the elitist?

    Go Obama all the way to the White House!
    OBAMA ;08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 14, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  7. Mike - Texas

    Obama is an idiot on the subject of energy!!!

    If Obama and all of those who think that only wind, solar, biofuels, and conservation are going to get us out of the predicament , it proves that he is CLUELESS !!!!

    If we had acted during the Clinton administration we would not even be having this conversation. We would have oil and this would not be an issue.

    Obama and the Democrats have painted themselves into a corner.

    They will not help the American people because of their radical environmentalist stance.

    They don't even believe in nuclear energy.

    They believe "solely" in alternative energy.

    What happens when there is no WIND to turn the wind generators??

    It happened this year in Texas. Almost all of them stopped turning, and that area of Texas sufferred for "black outs" and "brown outs".

    What happens to SOLAR energy when it is a cloudy day??

    Again LITTLE or NO energy is produced.

    McCain has the right idea.

    And he also wants to persue alternative energy. McCain is not tieing our hands by using only alternative fuels but also by using what we currently have access to, and also by adding nuclear energy into the equation.

    It is going to take a COMBINED effort of OIL and ALTERNATIVE fuels to get us out of the delima that this country currently faces.

    And the Democrats have ruled out the easiest fix.

    Get ready to pay $10 / gallon for gas it the democrats have their way!!

    July 14, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  8. Canadian black man for Obama.

    There are a lot of Obama haters here, they don't hate him because he lack issues, but because they just hate him.

    The Obama haters will forgo their values and believes just to vote for Mccain who doesn't have anything incommon with them.

    It could be either they are racist or they are stupid loyal Republicans.

    Some Democrats said they will also vote for Mccain because they also hate blacks and they can't stand to believe America are equal.

    I can belt with you Obama will win the general election by the grace of God. Those racist from Europ can't stop him. I said this because those who live and growup together understood togetherness, but those immigrant from Europ and elsewhere are racist.

    Yes I said that, just watch the first generation of immigrant they are very racist, they act as if they own the country. Go home if you can't stand black man as president, because we are created equaly by God.
    Call yourself a Christian and discriminate against your fellow Christian God will not give you your wishes.

    God sees your heart eventhough you deny the truth folks. Criticized these candidates on what they do, not false rumour against Obama.
    God will purnish anyone that course his son. Amen.

    Obama has no record? Are you guys just saying things just to upset yourself or others? Please visit fact check about the candidate if you can't visit Obama web.

    July 14, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  9. Energy Policy

    Why can't we have additional drilling to increase supplies of oil in the US in addition to other types of policies, such as conservation, alternative energy, etc.?

    Obama states that drilling alone won't solve the problem of high gas prices. Of course, that is correct. But, why not allow it to be one part of a multi-part approach to solving the problem? He has not put forth a single reason as to why increased drilling would be negative.

    Drilling is certainly more likely to help with America's goal of energy independance than a gas rebate check.

    July 14, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  10. Ryan, Denver

    What keeps the oil companies from turning around and EXPORTING any of the domestic oil that this may produce?

    Furthermore, one economist said it best when he said allowing offshore drilling as a solution to America's energy needs is like trying to find change inside the couch cushions when you're two months behind on the mortgage.

    July 14, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  11. Republican who loves OBAMA

    Bush, Cheney, and big oil companies, we the American people are smarter than you think!! We know this is a gimmick to make the DEMS look like they are against drilling. If this method works, then why in the world did it take you 8 years to do something about it!! Move out of the way for OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Vote OBAMA '08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 14, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  12. lizfor hillary clinton

    see mccain talking about issues that are relevant to the US not like obama bla bla bla

    July 14, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  13. Vote Nader

    have McCain's missing Military Records in a Shoebox outside of Toledo July 14th, 2008 4:03 pm ET

    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.


    How do you know how much oil is available? And, how would the "oil guys" be making more money? Do you not realize that it costs a lot of money to drill, especially offshore? They wouldn't see a return for years.

    By the way, their profits are due to volume, not markup. The profit margin on oil is small compared to the latte you're sipping now. How come you're not asking the Government to crack down on Starbucks?

    ** Nader/Gonzalez 2008 **

    July 14, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    The gentleman who noted that oil companies hold leases on more land than they drill on says it all – this is not about more but about economics. Granting more land will be a band aid and not a solution that solves our issues. This is not about Barack flip flopping or McCain showing his ineptitude but about simple economics. The answer is to come up with alternative energy solution – which are far more developed than we care to believe but our lobbyist won't support because it would disintermediate the oil industry. A billion that we piss away in Iraq – which funnily has resulted in oil at $150 per barrel – for those ignorant writers – and SADLY the death of brave but poor soldiers who died in figthing for security – and for the clowns above who are crying about oil being too expensive – could be deployed to subsidize or fund alternative energy development.

    July 14, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  15. Matt in Cali

    The only real viable solution for our energy concerns is turning to nuclear. Wind, solar, geothermal and stuff like corn ethanol are too inefficent at this point to becaome alternates.

    Conservation would be great, but comon, it won't happen. Turning to nuclear would help lighten our oil / coal dependance, help with greenhouse emissions all at the cost of tiny ammounts of nuclear waste that can be safely stored and contained for now and easily destroyed in the future.

    People are scared of nuclear because of ignorance. The worst disaster in American history was at 3 mile island and no one died!

    Screw offshore drilling and open up nuclear power plants.

    July 14, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  16. LT in Cali

    Matt, Manchester, CT July 14th, 2008 3:47 pm ET
    "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."


    Obama's stance on off shore drilling is that it will not provide relief within the next few years. It is not going to affect the price of gas today, next year or the year after. Off shore drilling will not only be a blight on for our local beaches, the potential for accidents that would kill off millions and millions of marine life is far too great.

    As for action, these candidates are campaigning and until we get a new president, you will not see any new action. President Bush says that he has been pushing for off shore drilling for years yet he waits until today to decide to lift the executive order. If it were really that serious to him, why did he not push harder for this and lift the order years ago? Suddenly, he is doing things that he should have done years and years ago as he prepares to leave office. Such a crock.

    July 14, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  17. Julie 22


    July 14, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  18. WB, PSL

    The republicans know how to play American voters!!! Every four year the same crop. Drilling will not help us tomorrow or even 10 years down the line. We need to start looking at alternatives. Republicans can play all the tricks they want with the few unread & ignorant voters who wants to place the blame at Obama's feet.

    I cannot tell anyone who to vote for, but a vote for McCain is a vote for George Bush. THE SAME OLD CROP!!! I said it in 2000 & 2004, a vote for George Bush will only creat problem economically. I'm hear witnessing it TODAY!!!

    July 14, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  19. Ryan

    McCains response is another reason I do not like him. He offers no solutions to anything and instead just calls Obama a flip-flopper.. and McCain has switched on SO many more positions than Obama it is ridiculous.

    July 14, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  20. Bitter - New Orleans, LA

    McCain said "...If we can show that we have significant oil reserves off our coasts, that will clearly affect the futures market."
    ~ BINGO!!! We have a winner! ~

    Obama wants to offer another stimulus package...that only some of us will receive and does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to fix the problem.

    Alternative fuels are great...when we get them and can transition to them (10-20 years realistically). But lets face it, it's going to take a LONG time to convert every piece of machinery that uses oil based fuels into whatever the new source is.

    Why would we not keep using a resource that we already have access to? Regardless, reducing imports from hostile nations is the biggest benefit of domestic drilling.

    Lets not forget that congress has to allow more refineries to be built or this isl for nothing.

    July 14, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  21. jason

    the oil guys have been telling us for years that "it isn't the availibility of oil, it is the refinement process that makes gas increasingly difficult to come by."

    so.. where is all of this oil going to be refined?

    July 14, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  22. Really?

    For those saying wait a few days and Obama will flip flop on the issue, MCCAIN already has. he was against it and now he's for it. read the facts.

    July 14, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  23. Roger from CA

    Wow!! It's 2008 and there are still folks out there carping about "socialism" and "communism." Next thing, they'll be arguing that the Bible promises them the right to fill up their "horseless carriages" with "ethyl."

    Got news for ya': Even if the most radical ideas fantasized up by the Right for Obama were real, the U.S. would be light-years from anything that looks like communism or even vague socialism.

    July 14, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  24. jason

    Yeah. McCain urges obama to change his position now, but if Obama did, he would accuse him of "flip-flopping."

    convenient, eh?

    July 14, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  25. LT in Cali

    “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.

    It seems to me that if I am in the futures market, I would know that even if he shows that there are significant oil reserves off our coast, I will also know that it will be anywhere from 8-10 years before these reserves are drilled and refined. That would mean that I would do all I can to maximize my profitability by driving up prices even more in anticipation of these domestic reserves. Just me thinking like the greedy oil companies.

    July 14, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
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