July 30th, 2008
12:30 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama calls offshore drilling a 'scheme'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/30/art.obamaoff.gi.jpg caption="Obama opposes offshore drilling."](CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama stood his ground Wednesday in opposing what he calls the "scheme" of offshore drilling, during a campaign event in Springfield, Missouri.

"The oil companies are shoving this thing down the throats of Congress, because they know everybody wants to try to pretend they're doing something about the energy crisis,” Obama said. “This is not real. I know it's tempting. The polls say its one of the ways that a majority of Americans think we're going to solve this problem, but it's not real."

"I understand how desperate folks are. If I thought that I could provide you some immediate relief on gas by drilling off the shores of California and New Jersey... I'd do it.”

But the Democratic presidential candidate added, "The soonest you would see any drop of oil from drilling off our shores would be 10 years from now....The most you would end up saving 10 years or 20 years from now would be a few cents on the gallon, although at that point, I figure oil might be $12 a gallon."

Citing the oil companies' record profits, Obama charged that they are, "making money hand-over fist, they're making out like bandits."

For more on the the latest political news, tune into Campbell Brown: Election Center tonight at 8 pm ET.

Obama then proposed his own answers: "First of all, let's make the oil companies drill where they're already got leases, let's increase supply by making them do what they're supposed to do."

Obama also said he wants to make sure speculators aren't manipulating the oil markets.

To a standing ovation, he said, "And let's get serious about alternative energy sources like solar and wind and bio-diesel. Let's raise fuel efficiency standards on cars. Let's get plug-in hybrids all across America. Let's finally free ourselves from dependence on foreign oil. That's the direction we need to go."

soundoff (603 Responses)
  1. Reality Check Richmond Virginia

    thank you for common sense. The GOP just wants to whip people into a frenzy and they are good at it.

    July 30, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  2. CM

    Thank you for charting a new direction for us. To those who just want more drilling so they could ride by themselves in their SUVs, please get a clue.

    Obama 08

    July 30, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  3. Fred

    Hes telling the truht. Expose the GOP for what they are. A bunch of Schemers.

    July 30, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  4. dave

    Great job! Standing up for the truth! Obama, keep on being real about this energy situation. We need reality not another way to pad oil wallets and increase risks to our fragile environment. Sense, finally.

    July 30, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  5. Tony Z- MD

    A good President makes the tough decisions which will be good for the country later. This is showing good judgement.

    July 30, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  6. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Barack, Seriously, you need to educated the sheeple who have been microchipped by Fox News to respond in a Pavlovian manner to Rovian talking points...

    Which reminds me, why isn't CNN reporting that Congress voted to cite the porcine Herr Rove for contempt?

    I know : "Your comment is awaiting moderation. "

    July 30, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  7. Oliver - MD

    Way to go Barack!!!

    The great visionaire!!

    Barack 08, 12

    July 30, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  8. A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    Obama is risky. He doesn't want us to drill for our own oil. That is no change we can believe in.

    If he has his way the only change you will get is the change in your pocket.

    Why do you think he has 95% of the blacks voting for him? Well he want to jump start the welfare system all over again. He wants the Welfare Queens back on the payroll.

    Give me a break. Go for McCain before it is too late.

    July 30, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  9. Pepou

    He is absolutely RIGHT ! Alternative energy sources are the answer, not drilling and destroying the environment to fill up SUVs and wasting energy. Obama as President will at last change this silliness.

    July 30, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  10. bob

    this guy is completely out of touch...does he realize we have to do it at some point! if clinton would have done it 8 yrs ago we would be seeing the effects already! obama wants to do nothing to fix anything ..just likes to hear and see himself

    July 30, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  11. Fred

    I also like the fact that he's getting more specific on his energy policy.

    July 30, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  12. Mary

    Senator Obama, Your are so smart.

    Thanks for being real with the American People.

    July 30, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  13. Fordy

    No Gimmick..Just the truth!!!

    July 30, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  14. Marcus E. Anderson all for Obama 08

    Alternative energy mainstreeamed is where we need to be. More drilling will not help Americans with the price of gas anytime soon. Get rid ov your Hummer and buy a ford escape hybrid or buy an old mercedes and have the engine converted to biodiesel. Sen Obama is right oil is our addiction its time we stop feeding our addiction.

    July 30, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  15. Bob

    Its time for the Obama campaign to put together an ad showing the aftermath of the Santa Barbara oil blowout/spill. There is a REASON that drilling off-shore there is a bad idea. The geologic situation there is such that you are asking for trouble to drill there. People sure do have a bad habit of forgetting the past. It was a huge mess!!!

    July 30, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  16. Susan

    Another TRUTH by Senator Obama. he odes not pander for votes, tells it like it is.1 He is more than ready to lead us out of the dark mire we are all lost in.

    July 30, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  17. Joel in Corona

    That's right, O... do nothing, that'll make the problem go away. Twiddle your thumbs, gas prices will go down...

    July 30, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  18. Bushwhacked in Eugene, OR

    This is part of what I like about this man - common sense and focusing on what will really work, not placebos. He is so right about the timetable - even using facts and figures put out by the oil companies and much of the right wing. There's a lot of groundwork, infrastructure, that has to take place before drilling could even begin. It's neither an immediate nor long-term answer to the problem.

    July 30, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  19. Arkansas Undertaker

    This man is truly ready to lead. He recognizes scams and schemes that the Republicans are trying to steal the election with ans he doesnt buy them and neither will the American People.

    Obama/Clinton 2008

    July 30, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  20. Jim Schimmer

    I agree. Why don't we start investing in renewables. We can do it America. We can do this as a nation. We have overcome hurdles.

    The oil rich loving powerful people don't want us to get off using oil. Lets use wind energy, solar enegy, geothermal to generate electricity and lets use natural gas and a mix or oil imports and powered/fuel cell batteries to power our vehicles.

    We can do this. Off-shore drilling is not the answer people. Even if we find oil off-shore, we can't lower prices. International makets determine prices. Prices all over the whole will drop. We don't have enough oil to see a drastic decrease in oil prices. Think about it.

    Don't let them politicians play you. Please – wake up.

    July 30, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  21. LaShanda

    A politician telling the truth! I can't believe it!


    July 30, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  22. Mila

    He didn't mention that:

    1) There already are 60 million acres of offshore area in which the oil companies already have permission to explore and drill, but they're not doing it.

    2) Even if they wanted to begin drilling today (you have to find the oil first), there are no drills available that aren't already in use, and not enough skilled people to operate them if they were available. Most of them have been shipped to Brazil.

    He's right. A majority of people might want to drill because it sounds good, but they don't have the facts.

    July 30, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  23. Mel



    July 30, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  24. Phil Texas

    For once I agree with Obama on something. This is the culmination of the Bush white house plans to raise the price of oil to such levels that it would presumably make the american public clammer for the government let the big oil companies drill anywhere they want for oil. The american people are smart enough to see through Bush and his greedy cronies for once.

    July 30, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  25. Mike, TX

    Obama is clueless on how the energy sector works. Anyone who believes his arguement is an idiot.

    July 30, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
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