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. Bitter - New Orleans, LA

    Oil spill are vastly more likely to occur when transporting oil from foreign nations. Domestic drilling has the best record by far of industries.

    Can someone please tell me what alternative energy source we have that can be used in the next 2-3 years to effectively replace oil? We don't have ANY that are cost affective right now and it will be a while before they are.

    But oil causes CO2...boo hoo. But you're ok with a hydrogen fuel thats only by product is water vapor. Yeah, do you know that water vapor is 10x the green house gas that CO2 is?

    July 14, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. Ken

    If you think offshore drilling will provide relief to the current gas prices you are just another right-wing koolaide drinker. Those with some knowledge in these areas (scientists and engineers) have already told us that concerted efforts at conservation and development of currently feasible alternative energy sources will far outweigh any oil reserves in our waters. But of course the facist right wants to prop up its corporate puppet masters at any price. And scientists who give their best analysis for public policy are hounded from within the current pathetic administration.

    The current move for drilling is just another in a long series of sad distractions which have kept us from pursuing a long-term energy strategy. For those on the right who bemoan the lack of the existence of such a longterm strategy to now whole heartedly support another shortterm distraction is exceptionally hypocritic. Putting [R]s in control of our energy future is like putting a monkey at the controls of a nuclear reactor - there is no better proof than the last 6-7 years, much of it governed mono-politically by the [R]ight.

    July 14, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  3. Caycee

    This is part of the Bush/Cheney agenda to secure more revenues for the oil financiers that control the world. The mission to grab Iraq's oil fields was accomplished, so now it's on to the oil reserves in the US and along the coastline before the Bush/Cheney thing leaves the oil slick it's created. McCain is the next designated flag bearer to stick it to the US so naturally he has to promote and continue the Bush/Cheney agenda which is to stay in Iraq, then plant the drill into the heart of the US. Obama's positions have changed so often to counter the Bush/Cheney/McCain trail of fears that he'll likely change his position here too. "Father forgive them, they know not what they do."

    July 14, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  4. caron

    Mark PDX - chill out. The debate will occur after the conventions are held and Barack becomes the actual candidate instead of the nominee. But be careful what you ask for – it might not do the good for your candidate that you seem to think 🙂

    July 14, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  5. WB, PSL

    Pat Riot, Anthony, Dallas, TX is 100% correct. 'WE AS A NATION IS TOTALLY STUPID." Even the Zimbawean vote on issues and american vote for OLD prune!!

    July 14, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  6. Hispanic For McCain


    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.

    Tejano I am with you all the Way John McCain is for the Latinos people. Hispanic for McCain!!!! yes drill drill drill OBAMA is such a BOZO!!!!

    Hispanic for McCain

    July 14, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  7. phil

    leases are not leases when you are not allowed to drill on that lease.
    and the effct on tourism is showing up now .. no one can afford to go on vacation . that has an effect on all sorts of different things . and for those that dont want old growth trees cut down , new trees produce more oxygen than old trees another + plus to do what should have been done years ago.

    July 14, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  8. Pat Riot

    Patrick, I do agree with you. I do not believe he will change his mind. It isn't so much that Obama is against drilling but that he is for bloated central power. Barack Obama has a visible socialist streak. He believes that the nations resources and means of production are better managed by the federal government.

    July 14, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  9. Ken

    Julie 22 sure isn't the sharpest tack in the bag. Just sounds like more mealy-mouthed right-wing whinning to me.

    I'm not aware that there are any anti-american democrats; maybe she can name names. McCarthyism live and well...but if you really want to pursue it......a better case for anti-american behavior can certainly be made for the admistration she elected to office (TWICE!).

    July 14, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  10. MMN-Milwaukee WI

    Here is a cheap analogy for this whole offshore drilling that the GOP is pandering with.

    I don’t know where my next meal will come from but you can give me an onion, I will peel it and chop it and tears will run down my chicks while I wait to flavor my next meal with it that I don’t know where it’ll come from.

    July 14, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  11. obama-wright

    atleast mccain has enough sense to know when gas goes from 2 to 4 a gallon, maybe it's time to rethink your position. flip-flop or not, sounds like common sense and looking out for americans.

    July 14, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  12. Rose

    Good for Bush, if we had done this years ago we would not be in such a mess with the gas prices today. If we don't start somewhere we will never finish. Sure, it is not an immediate fix but maybe the younger generation can reap the benefits. I don't like making the Arab countries rich and richer.

    July 14, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  13. David in Illinois

    For all you Republicans who think "flip-flopping" is so horrible, you should listen to what Gov. Schwarzenegger said on Sunday:
    "Flip-flopping gets a bad rap..." It's the mark of a true leader, somebody willing to change his mind as circumstances change, Gov. Arnold told viewers. And true leaders are willing to defend their moves and take the heat for it. And the changes should be based on policy grounds and sound judgment, all of which applies to Sen. Obama.
    Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of McCain. He too has changed his mind, most offensively on tax cuts for the rich. But that has absolutely nothing to do with a change of circumstances for Americans. It's just to satisfy the Republican Party regulars.
    So, let's stop saying candidates are flip-floppers. Who cares? The real question when somebody changes his mind: What's the thinking behind that change? Obama is a thinking-man and thinking-woman's candidate for president. It's change you can believe in!

    July 14, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  14. MDB


    The answer to your question is easy. When we were pumping and processing our OWN oil and it was selling on the open market for 1.50 a gallon there was no need to drill more wells. Now that we are importing 72% of our oil compared to 30% in 1992 (thanks to Bill Clinton) we need to go back to what was working before. It was not necessary before, but it sure is now. As for those thousands of oil leases that we are not drilling on, THERE'S NO OIL THERE dittoheads. You can't just drill a hole in the ground anywhere and expect there to be oil there. Does anyone really believe that any good, corrupt profiteering oil company would leave oil in the ground if it was just there for the taking and legal. Use your heads morons.

    July 14, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  15. obama-wright

    einsteins! apparently you missed it! you listen to politicians, bias news. when they ask the oil developers that drill, not the CEO's, how long it takes. they said shail rock 1-3 years, OCS that is 50 miles out 1-3 years, 200 miles out 5-7, ANWR 4-5 yrs, inland 3-5. they said there is no oil out there that would take 8 years. refineries 3-5 years. i'll take my advice from the people that do it everyday before any politician that is going to say what ever favors him and his party.

    July 14, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  16. USAF Ret

    If we started drilling tomorrow, and were able to have it ready for consumer consumption by the end of this week, we would still be paying over $4.00 for a gallon of gas. The only way gas is going to go down is if we show them that we have alternatives. As long as oil has no competition, we will be at their mercer.

    July 14, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  17. KM

    For all of those who thinks that this is a good idea let me give you a little insight and let's use some common sense. Forget the environmental issues, we're just going to focus on the price at the pump. No matter how much oil is pump in or around the U.S., it DOES NOT mean that we can get oil for a cheaper price. All the world's oil goes into the same world market and at whatever price it is sold at, that is how much WE will buy it back at. Let me say that again, if I find oil in my backyard today doesn't mean that I get to pay a reduced price for gas, that oil still put into the world's supply and sold at the price of trading for that day.

    Offshore drilling does not automatically equal cheaper gas, we don't have that much oil to impact the supply and demand on a global level.

    July 14, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  18. Franchise, MS

    Yet another temporary fix with political implications. Why weren't they (McBush Sr. and Jr. ) pushing this issue 7 years ago? Now all of a sudden it's the answer to all of our problems? C'mon people, you're smarter than that! Even if I were able to save ten cents a gallon next week as a result of this plan, I would still be vehemently opposed to it because of the potential impact on our environment. And guess what, 5 years from now we'll be having this same discussion. We are and have been entirely too dependent on foreign oil for years now. Maybe a tax refund isn't the solution but drilling off-shores certainly isn't the answer. And please, let's agree to disagree and stop with all the name calling. Just how "united" do we appear in the United States of America. We're far from from it and getting farther and farther away...

    July 14, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  19. obama-wright

    annonymous, your almost right, but i was around during carter sitting in gas lines for hours or being rationed out. and yes, daddy bush signed the legislation, but two differences, better technology that is environmentally safe and gas was 1.50 a gollan. 20 dollars a barrel, which it has to be atleast 55 a barrel for oil companies to break even. that's why they got subsidized. but a fact is, democrat congress has blocked it for 35 years, and when repubs did get the majority, it was vetoed by a dem president, clinton.

    July 14, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  20. Griff

    He??? Mr Obama does not agree with this Off Shore oil.. He does not agree with NAFT and free trade? Where does he expect to get he's 'Oil' from....

    July 14, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  21. NObama

    Hello Obamabots:

    He doesn't favor nuclear power.
    He doesn't favor off-shore drilling.
    He doesn't favor coal.
    He doesn't favor anything that America has in abundance.

    He does favor "alternative" energy (ie. heavily subsidized by the taxpayer) that has very little economic rationale (Boone Pickens not withstanding).

    Obama's ignorance is overwhelming.

    July 14, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  22. shannon

    Looks like Obama is about to flip on off shore drilling....
    stay tuned folks...another Obama flip flop in the making!

    July 14, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  23. mytake

    I am an independant leaning toward Barack... However he is on what I believe is the wrong side.

    If you youtubed lindsey williams and watched the eight ten minute vids you would might agree that we have the oil on the north slope and there is enough to change our economy. Why would we not drill?

    For anyone to claim it's for pollution, wake up!!!!!!!!

    The world is going to burn oil, we should at least burn our own.

    Do we need to find a clean way to burn it YES! But let us Americans try and solve that one with out giving the United States Of America away.

    July 14, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  24. Doesn't like Kool-aid

    Mother nature puts more oil into the waters than do oil tankers and rigs.
    I hear a lot of whining and no solutions, great job! I can't wait till 2030 to reap the benefits of BO's plan. You people want to jump start the economy and not be held hostage by other countries, then start drilling and build up our refineries. Think about all the jobs that will be created from workers, truck drivers, shopping marts, etc.
    We are all to blame for this! Quit pointing fingers and wishing people get destroyed "ProundToBeDemocrat." (check your spelling)

    July 14, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  25. obama-wright

    h-rod, yea oil companies want to make money for their stock holders, that's why they work out the leases and royalties with the government or states. and they may not care, just like any other company (gm, ford, etc) they are there to make money. but democrat congress is who don't care, they will let you suffer and wreck the economy so they can change everything GREEN, which is OK, in 2025. And if you people out there are as ill informed as you write in these blogs, you deserve the prices your going to pay and jobs loss after november election.

    July 14, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
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