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. Do it yourself

    This guy is a tool...

    Ten years ago there was legislation... stating we are going to have a problem by 2010... here we are and saying the same things.

    Alternatives are great... sadly I can't afford a 100K electic car.

    So lets wait ten more year... pay 12 per gallon... and say drilling will take ten years to fix.

    The profits by the way are because of 140 dollar barrels of oil... where the companies sell what they find.... and this guy is the great thinker? Supply and demand... you drill and the futures go down... MORON!

    July 30, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  2. Vote Nader

    If off-shore drilling will do nothing to the price of oil, then why has it dropped 15% since Pres. Bush lifted the executive ban?

    I still haven't heard a good arguement as to why the Congressional ban should continue. Every liberal screams about a different time before the oil will hit the market. You guys might want to get together and pick the same number. And, just because there is land (leased) does not mean there is oil.

    Oil is and will be the major source of energy for many, many years. Nobody is arguing against alternative fuel sources. Some of us are just realistic about it's possibilities now and in the near future.

    July 30, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  3. Randy

    Biff....perhaps re reading the article 14 or 15 times will help you understand what I meant.

    If you would like I can highlight it for you

    July 30, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  4. Doris,Memphis,TN

    I don't know about you guys, but I am following Obama.
    I do not trust anything the republicans do or say.
    Bush+McCain+Cheney+Gramm+Carly+Tucker = Stupid

    July 30, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  5. Not sleeping at the switch


    See how people talk who are not OWNED by big Oil?

    Didn't big oil give McCain HUGE Money??hmmmmmmmmmmm

    July 30, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  6. Willow, from Iowa

    Oil that comes out of offshore drilling has to go into the international market. We then get to bid on our own oil bidding against China. Oil companies (such as the Bush family owns) receive incentive money just for holding on to the oil leases. They don't even have to drill and they get money from the government. So why drill? There have been no new orders for drilling rigs, nobody is doing anything in the areas that we have leases in.

    We need a President with a good solid energy policy. Obama is that person. We need alternatives such as solar, wind, safe nuclear, plug in cars, CNG and LPG cars, and wind power to run all the electric companies in the US. I live in NW Iowa, about 30 miles from the most beautiful site in the world– a whole bunch of wind towers spinning slowly making electricity for my electric company. If a little company in Iowa can do that, why can't all of them do so.

    Obama 08/12

    July 30, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  7. Shilpi from TX

    A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square: You took the words right out of my mouth.. thank you.

    And Nancy in San Jose: I both laugh at and kind of take offense to the truck comment, being from Texas myself. 🙂

    Randy: Is your terrible misinterpretation purposeful? Of course that's not his plan, it's a prediction of what will happen if we do not invest in alternative fuels immediately as well as hold oil companies´ feet to the fire.

    July 30, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  8. J. Huck

    CNN, why keep filtering my messages???

    doesn't have any offensive, inappropriate words in it.

    Is Monica Goodling working for CNN now?

    July 30, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  9. Puck

    Andy J:

    We all know we can't just abandon oil as a duel source tomorrow.
    We're not as stupid as you would like to believe. But, answer me
    this: why should we open up MORE areas for offshore drilling when
    there's already MILLIONS of acres of leased area for drilling that
    currently isn't being used? It just doesn't make sense. It IS a scheme.

    Its pandering to the people. "Oh, if we tell them we're opening up
    more areas for offshore drilling, maybe they'll THINK that gas prices
    will go down!" That's the mentality of the GOP – tell them what we
    think they want to hear. It just doesn't make sense. And your
    commentary about how we need oil so we might as well drill is
    foolish. Knowing we HAVE to drill does NOT mean we have to
    open up NEW areas off coast to do so.

    And what about out 400 billion barrell reserve of oil? What's that
    waiting around for? The apocalypse? If we're SO intent on not
    buying oil from foreign countries, why not tap into that well?!

    And drilling in the ANWR shouldn't even be an option.

    So, to summarize: new leases for offshore drilling are unneccesary.
    Investing in new souces of energy is definitely necessary. If we had
    been doing THAT for the last I don't even know how many years,
    we might not be in this pickle.

    And, I'm willing to bet we have PLENTY of knowledge and
    technology when it comes to other sources of power and
    fuel that our money hungry government has kept hidden
    so that they could get rich by way of Big Oil and the Middle East.

    Your argument is extremely one-dimensional.

    July 30, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  10. Cincinnati girl

    This is so right! Offshore drilling is not the answer. Consumption will continue to increase as more of the world's population increases their use of oil for fuel and energy. Offshore drilling is the bandaid easy approach because it just pushes it back a few years. Doesn't resolve anything, just puts the problem on the shoulders of the next generation. What we need to do is make fundamental changes in our behaviors. We should be exploring the ability to find and mainstream the use of alternative forms of energy and save offshore drilling as a last resort. Recycle, become more energy effienct, do more walking/biking, use public transportation, increase mileage standards....if we can continue to make phones and computers smaller and more powerful, we can surely do this.

    July 30, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  11. Dennise

    I'm totally against offshore drilling. We will not see the fruitions for years to come. Let alone look at the oil spills that we've had over the years that have killed off the wildlife. Does anyone care about the detrimental effects to our marine life?

    I think on the long haul we need to really start expanding our options in energy. Eventually the natural resources do come to an end. When that happens, what's the game plan?

    July 30, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  12. Tim

    Anyone who agrees with drilling offshore is not paying attention. The fact is the oil companies already have millions of acres of land and off shore sites inwhich they can already drill. The question should be to them why aren't they using them why are they asking for more when they aren't using what they already have. Sure more drilling could help ten or twenty years down the road but the thing is they could already be drilling in leased lands to them. Funny enough they want to drill in protected lands in Alaska when in reality they already have the rights to drill in lands just outside those areas and they aren't doing it, Use it or lose it

    July 30, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  13. JA Cook

    Even oilman T Boone Pickens is saying "We can't drill our way out of this mess."

    July 30, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  14. Bryan San Ramon

    OBAMA you are full of yourself. So no to drilling, but you don't have a better idea. Here's a idea, why not drill and do other stuff, something is more than doing nothing. God forbid if your president you will be the biggest do nothing president ever.

    Former Democrat

    July 30, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  15. M.S. Indiana

    STILL FOR HILL and every one said it would have done nothing, neither Hillary or McCain have even tried to make it into a bill, so they were /are just pandering.... Federal are cutting 8 billions to our bridges, so why would we even consider taking the rest of the money away ?? (the gas tax is for repairing roads and bridges)

    July 30, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  16. Stephen

    There is a comment above from "Joel" that accuses Obama of doing "Nothing." This seems to say a lot more about Joel seeing what he wants to see than anything about Obama. When I read the article, Obama cited a half dozen very specific things that we need to do. It's just that drilling isn't one of them.

    July 30, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  17. Larry

    Obama says it like it is ... as always

    NO NO NO to additional offshore drilling

    BP,s profits [ profit !!!! ] was 6.4 billion this past quarter

    And thats just BP

    Do you want to know the real reason for high gas prices

    It's about profits ... period

    Which equal Greed and Selfishness

    July 30, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  18. Darryl

    Campaign contributions from oil industry executives to Sen. John McCain rose dramatically in the last half of June, after the senator from Arizona made a high-profile split with environmentalists and reversed his opposition to the federal ban on offshore drilling.

    Oil and gas industry executives and employees donated $1.1 million to McCain last month - three-quarters of which came after his June 16 speech calling for an end to the ban - compared with $116,000 in March, $283,000 in April and $208,000 in May.

    This is why Senator John McCain is getting "PAID" and he fooling some of us to think he truly cares....

    July 30, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  19. Ron Ft. Myers

    You never know who is telling the truth. The only clear fact is, your beliefs are contingent upon your party affiliation. Is off shore drilling just about price or also dependency? Obama says off shore drilling will take 10 years to see any results. Some say 5 years. Who do you believe? Regardless of the time frame, what happens if we do not act; drilling in conjunction with other forms of energy. For those that remark about all those people with their big SUV's, although I do not own one, there are many people that do, that would love to dump them, but cannot, as their value has dropped. If you feel that they should suffer and are at fault for purchasing gas guzzlers, then as a modest proposal, I suggest you take the same position with welfare, disability and all the other forms of expenditures, which more often than not, are the result of people making bad decisions, just like buying SUV's when gas is rising.

    July 30, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  20. Dlayman

    At this point I am still trying to figure out who to vote for. Just a thought, at this time we are spending approximately $700 billion dollars a year on oil. Lets say it does take us 10 years to see some sort of return on our investment and see oil. Couldn't we take that oil and sale it to the rest of the world as we focus on renewable energy. For cars it would be and electric engine that runs the car then the gas engine only kicks in to charge the battery and keep the car running. Then we could take the oil that we now don't need and sell that to the rest of the world. We should be about reducing our reliance on foreign oil while in the same process creating additional income to put towards the economy and our childrens future. I believe it is very short sited to say we won't have use of the oil for 10 years so we shouldn't begin. It takes a real leader to look at the present and not plan for our tomorrow but to plan for the next generation. The oil companies have millions of acres that they can drill upon and the question is who is holding up the drilling, is it the regulatory process that congress subjects them to or is it the oil companies. We can continue to bash the oil companies and not look towards the future or we can find a way to reduce our reliance on oil altogether.

    July 30, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  21. Steve

    John, you might have just had the most intelligent comment ever posted on these CNN ticker boards. From these moronic Obamabots, to some of the far right-wing posters...its amazing how much hate and bile is exchanged. It is almost a given that these politicians crave the support of these deranged and ignorant folks who have no respect for anyone with a different view. I support John McCain (although I don't think he is a great candidate) over Barrack Obama because of the issues and I support drilling and am educated on the issue. I respect that there are other people with different views on the issues and don't have a problem with those people. My only problem is with idiots who denigrate anyone who differs with them in opinion. This includes the morons who think their MISSPELLED, ALL CAPS POSTS WILL MAKE THEM STAND OUT MORE. Or the fools calling the candidates McLame or Barrack Osama. However, my ultimate disdain is for people who believe that anybody who doesn't share their political values is necessarily "ignorant" or a "dupe" or "voting against their own interests." These degenerates are a true cancer to the political process and to quote a famous phrase, should "kill selves" Support who you want, but don't get personal JUST BECAUSE you disagree.

    July 30, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  22. DEBBY, NJ

    Why is it that the TROLLS (A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square, Randy, Canuck, BHO Not my candidate, Annoy the Media, say NO to Obama) cannot pick up a book, go to the internet to educate themselves....the Republicans have done nothing for 7 1/2 years do you really think that McShame is going to do something about offshore drilling now.? None of the above mentioned ever have facts, guess that is why they are McShame supporters(LIARS)...the FACTLESS CANDIDATE .

    July 30, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  23. Puck


    If you want the $13 that the "Gas Tax Holiday" would have saved
    you over time, give me your address and I'll mail you a money
    order. Then, in turn, you can donate that to Hillary's debt and you
    can be right back where you started.

    No one is saying we aren't going to need oil. Gosh, some of
    you people are SO narrow minded. Look at the big picture:
    things AREN'T going to happen overnight, but we have to start
    NOW so that LATER we're not completely EFT.

    I think you might be lacking the sanme common sense you
    accuse Obama of not having. Yet, I'd venture to guess he's
    MUCH more educated than you.

    July 30, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  24. It Be Me

    Still for hill....

    OLYMPIA - The gas tax holiday proposed by Sens. John McCain and Hillary Clinton would save the typical Washington driver $28 this year but cost the state about $126 million in lost highway money and more than 4,300 highway-related jobs, according to a recent report.

    maybe you should ask the people that could have lost their jobs, how they feel about the 'holiday'.....

    Every little bit doesn't always help everybody.....

    July 30, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  25. bill

    Seems that Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Venezula are making money hand over fist too.

    July 30, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
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