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. obama-wright

    biff hussein- here's your response! check you political history before you open your mouth,the last 7 years dems had both mahjorities the last three, split house and senate the 4 before that, then they had clinton the 8 before that when they rep had the majority in both. maybe that's the problem, everyone thinks clinton did so good, he had republican congress, lets elect obama, mccain or the trash man, just make sure we get a rep congress back, if we want to get back to pre-bush that every says they want.

    July 14, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  2. Matt

    To Really?:

    The difference is that McCain was against drilling when it was trading at $60 a barrel: now that it's 2 and a half times that, I think "flip-flopping" might be a sign of intelligence...

    Obama, on the other hand, merely flip-flops when he can pick up a few votes, and although that is an intelligent move, it's hardly the sign of good leadership...

    July 14, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  3. James, Redlands, CA

    Are you drill happy people delusional?

    Have any of you noticed that you haven't heard any stipulations that the oil drilled in America or off of the coast of America be used exclusively for America to lower our prices and dependency on foriegn oil?

    You know why? Because the multinational oil companies (Bush and Cheney's golf and dinner buddies) will sell to the highest bidder and would refuse to only keep American oil for Americans.

    You should be questioning if the oil is drilled, will it even go for the American Market.

    Or are all of you so gullible that you will then parrot that the free market is king and allow the multinational oil companies to get richer while exporting our oil?

    July 14, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  4. Proud American

    McCain and Bush are idiots!!! No drilling and no McCain!!!! Lets find real solutions.

    July 14, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  5. Tom - Cary, NC

    Anyone who is against off-shore drilling, please mail me money for gas.

    July 14, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  6. john in ga.

    drill for god's sake! also, open up drilling in alaska too!

    July 14, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  7. Cracka lova

    last that I heard we are addicted to oil........so lets drill.......well to all you crack addicts if you let GWB tell he says smoke that pipe that will get rid of your cracks addiction........whatever you are addicted to keep doing it thats what our infamous president would do......Americans are selfish and that is why these played out good ole boys have run this country into a hole.....we need to unite and figure it out for ourselves instead of letting hired fools do it for us

    July 14, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  8. Paul

    The only difference between McCain and Obama is McCain is 25 years older and white.

    July 14, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  9. Loretta from California

    @ tony.....it takes one to know one. And fortunately for me....my Governor doesn't think so. So it would appear as though we Californians are safe.


    July 14, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  10. Jason, TX

    Um, drilling is stupid. People for drilling are just prolonging the oil dependence of this nation cuz Americans can't get a clue and force compainies to get off their duff and make gas free vehicles. Unless you hit most Americans in the pocket book, they do nothing.

    Obama 08!

    July 14, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  11. RRRrrrr

    Drilling won't do a thing to help ease the price at the pump, we can't refine that much oil, and if we do it will be sold on the world market and we still wont see a return.. oil companies are just putting the screws to us to find that "happy" spot, where we are happy to pay $5 a gallon to keep from having to pay more... why are the oil companies making record profits if things are sooo bad? we went to the freaking moon yet we can't come up with good enough solar cells or other cleaner fuels? but you want to pay the people who make all their money from OIL to come up with the alternatives!? and look whos running this country, all oil men... wake the **** up people... they will milk oil for as long as they can, and when it really does dry up, they'll have the next big thing the very next day... and get over oil shale, it takes way more energy to get oil out of it than it can possibly produce, its pretty much worthless, not to mention more polluting than oil alone is already... and do you want that nuclear power plant in YOUR back yard? how about the waste from it...?

    July 14, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  12. Texas Democrat for Life

    It doesn't matter if we everyone decided to drill (which want happen) we wont see the benefits in a very long time. That is not helping my pocketbook RIGHT NOW. Pandering will get you no where...

    Obama '08

    July 14, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  13. Mike

    Even the experts say that offshore drilling will reduce the cost of gasoline.

    In about ten years.

    By about a nickel.

    This is just a last minute gasp by the Bush administration to throw a wedge issue out there and cow-tow to Big Oil at the same time.

    If drilling is so important, why doesn't Big-Oil drill on the millions of acres they already own, but are doing nothing to?

    July 14, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  14. patricia

    Offshore drilling is not the solution and McSame knows it. THERE ISN'T ENOUGH OIL OFF OUR SHORES TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Bush and McSame are echoing the demands of Big Oil.

    July 14, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  15. M. Felder

    I say let find some alternative form of energy. Why should we continue to line the pocket of the nation's number one oilman, who has already robbed the nation's treasury. Bush suggesting oil drilling should be considered a conflict of interest. Additionally, if we want to give the Saudi's a psychological wake up call, they may give us a wake up call and decide to reduce the amount of oil that they are sending us now.

    July 14, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  16. Ken

    Has anyone been to the TX Coast, compared to the FL coast the water is murky, all kinds of garbage, you old foggies don't deserve to make this decision your gonna die what maybe 10 years after we see progress, nothing to help global Warming, or pollution or what my children will enjoy, If you love drilling move to midland TX

    July 14, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  17. Debby, NJ

    McShame Flip Flops Again

    July 14, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  18. maynard hopkins wi

    The do nothing congress and senate are responsible for this oil problem that they say exists.. no one is addressing the oil in alasaka,
    wy.or co. not to mention the oil wells that are capped with oil in the wells waiting to be pumped.
    I had a senator, state that there are full oil barrels at the refineries that can not be refined because the refineries are running full bore.
    If this is the case then why isn,t anyone addressing the possibility
    of building more refineries in the U.S.A.
    The only thing that I heard from elected officials is they plan on buying opecs oil until the oil field is out of oil then the U.S.A. with hold the purse strings to all the worlds oil.
    Obama or Macain can not do anything about this problem we have to FIRE ALL ELECTED OFFICIALS AND START OUT NEW. THEN SOMETHING WILL GET DONE.

    July 14, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  19. Joe Bob

    Evidently some people here are not aware that off-shore drilling will take at least 2-4 years to have any effect, if it has any effect at all.

    And yes, McCain has flip-flopped on this issue. McCain used to be against off-shore drilling and rightfully so. Now McCain is quoted as saying that he now supports it b/c of the emotion behind the issue, not the merit. Sorry but that's ridiculous.

    Although it may be a tough pill to swallow, gas prices are not going down. It's running out. Get over it.

    Gas is still highly subsidized, even more so than alternative energy. Yet, we're still going to pay $6/gal pretty soon.

    Unfortunately most Americans just don't get that it is not our God-given right to buy cheap gas. Talk about entitlement.

    And no, there is no solution. Gas will continue to go up and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

    July 14, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  20. The True IS!!!!!!

    McBush--“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. BUSH and McBush are just Grand Standing

    affect the futures market -in other words No way SOON

    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

    July 14, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  21. Chewbacca

    Al Gore was advocating $5/gal gasoline in his book that he was selling back in 2000.

    I don't see what all the fuss is about regarding the current price of gasoline, since it is less than the Global Warming Guru has been pitching for years.

    Of course todays gasoline prices are high if you only value them with Federal Reserve Notes, but if you use Constitutional money (gold and silver COIN as per Article 1, Section 8, US Constitution) then the gasoline price is only around $0.30/gal in pre-1965 silver coins.

    Constitutional gold and silver coinage holds its value unlike worthless fiat currency.

    July 14, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  22. Obamacan Waiting to See

    This Obamacan is thinking we have to drill AND work on alternative energy at the same time. Even IF we find a new fuel source, the actual distribution of this supposed NEW energy will take much longer than 10 years.

    Get over it tree huggers. We are NOT the only ones polluting the environment. BUT if we don't do more than chase alternative fules, there won't be anything left of our economy or any jobs we have to worry about commuting to or no grocery stores left open to sell overpriced food. We better do EVERYTHING we can to get all the oil we can produce UNTIL new alternatives are developed and infrastructures in place to handle them.

    I can just see all these electric cars plugging into failed power grids that cost 50X what electricity used to cost. Where is the trade off if we don't do both?

    July 14, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  23. Bushed!!!

    Good for Bush, if we had done this years ago we would not be in such
    mess with the gas prices today... IT will NOT HAPPEN OVER NIGHT!!!!
    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 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  24. aaron from minneapolis

    All you folks calling Obama a flip-flopper are full of crap. He changed his mind on the FISA bill because it was the right thing to do to keep America safe. That's the only thing he's changed his mind on. Gov Arnold the terminator was right when he said the term "flip-flopper" is way over used. Obama is not a flip flopper and anyone who says otherwise is a republican trying to spread lies.

    I can't wait for the 1st debate between Obama and McCain, the old man is going down.

    July 14, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  25. Ex-Republican for Obama

    Hey MDB....Don't be an idiot. We aren't talking about them not having oil/gas, we are saying they don't even know if they do or not. They are just SITTING there and nothing being done with them. They aren't even being 'explored' to find out. Don't state lies, the THOUSANDS of oil leases they have aren't even CLOSE to being explored and/or defined. They have just sat there for YEARS.

    Tell the oil companies to finish what's on their plates already before asking for a second helping. All other leases back for every new lease they get. I think it's fair, and I'll go with the fair compromise. But lets not give them more when they haven't finished what they already have.

    July 14, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
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