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. Obama

    Is an IDIOT!!

    July 30, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  2. MMN-Milwaukee WI

    The Bush administration's ties to oil and gas are as deep as an offshore well.

    The Bush administration's ties to oil and gas are as deep as an offshore well. President George W. Bush's family has been running oil companies since 1950. Vice President Dick Cheney spent the late '90s as CEO of Halliburton, the world's largest oil services company. Secretary Of State Condoleezza Rice sat on the board of Chevron, which even naked one of their oil tanker after her name. Former Commerce Secretary Donald Evans in GWB’s 1st term was the CEO of Tom Brown Inc. - a natural gas company with fields in Texas, Colorado and Wyoming - for more than a decade.

    July 30, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  3. Obama 08

    McCain is just looking at any gimmick to win the election. It is easy to announce something and attack someone else who doesn;t agree with you. Bush won on fear and McCain is trying to win on pandering.

    His announcement lacks details, safeguards and guarantees on the oil companies. His campaign coffers will get larger, he may garner enough votes to win and the states who have to approve drilling will vote it down

    July 30, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  4. pa

    the only scheme here is obama
    for give him for he does not know for what he speak

    July 30, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  5. Terry, Butte, Mt

    It is a scheme. The oil companies hold leases on 68 million acres in the lower forty-eight states including thousands of off-shore acres they can already drill. They also hold hundreds of thousands of acres in Alaska where they can already drill.

    The media SHOULD be asking, "why are the oil companies not drilling in the millions of acres they have?"

    It is a scheme

    July 30, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  6. Joe Reg

    I am not surprised that this Administration is looking after the oil companies and other big businesses. No more repubs this year

    Obama 08/12.

    July 30, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  7. Former Republican

    I would like some one you that support drilling EXPLAIN to me WHY the oil company have not drilled 68 MILLION acres that they have leased!!!!! Has is ever occured to you that they're just going by supply vs demand, For the past few weeks demand and declined by 3%, and that's why gas prices has declined by $.15 . Oil is a global market product. The oil produced here is being used in other countries and vice versa. If the car companies increase the fuel efficiency to 30 MPG, how much would the demand go down? Imagine if we could cut demand by 10%? Boones is right, we cannot drill our way out of this. It's all about mentality, if you think drilling for more oil is key, then tell the oil company to drill the 68 MILLION acres they have untouched. OIL if finite, SOLAR & wind is INFINITE, which do you think would be good in the long run?

    July 30, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  8. Steve

    Call it like it is Barack!!! The oil companies now have thousands of leases on oil rich land they are not drilling in. They do not need more oil leases. This is a thinly-veiled attempt to get more leases and more control that they do not currently need. I've lived on the coast near "clean" oil wells. Oil and tarballs ruin the beach and the environment, poison the wildlife, and make people sick as the gunk gets into the food and water supplies. There will most definitely be a time when we may need to drill just off shore. That time is not now. Drill in the leased land you have, first, then tell me you've got problems after that land starts to go dry on you.

    What is actually going on here is that the oil companies use these leases as "money" with each other. Buying/selling/trading them for profits on future prices and availability of oil. All they want is more "chips" in the game. It's utter nonsense, and Bush and the rest of his nasty little oil men know that very well. What's the best thing we can get out of the White House? Bush.

    July 30, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  9. Randy


    Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates.............

    July 30, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  10. A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    Mike – Texas,
    I was talking with a friend of mine and he said you're an idiot.

    July 30, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  11. Jokar1030

    As an avid watcher of the A&E show Intrevention I wonder what will it take for us to realize that the oil industry has bottomed out and it's time for America to get clean. Just like a junk looking for another vein to inject a potentially lethal hit of dope we are searching for another whole in the earth on the hope that a windfall of new environmentally toxic oil will renew or faith in a fix. We are far more innovative as americans than that. Let's not bottom out after we loose valuable coastal lands and beach fronts, destroy our ecosystem and wildlife in pursuit of that next fix. The time to change is now it's truly time for an energy intrevention. At sometime the voice of the drug dealer needs to be silenced now is as good a time as any to go cold cold turkey.

    July 30, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  12. Alice in Florida

    I have no interest in what megalomaniac Obama has to say about anything. I am sick of the sound of his voice (thank God for the mute button!) My vote is going to McCain, and it will be the first time in my life that I will vote Republican. I'll go back to voting Democratic if Hillary runs in 2012.

    July 30, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  13. Patricia

    I agree SDunn. To Bob – I agree that we will someday need to drill offshore. But we need to try all of these other approaches first. It will cost FORTUNES to drill offshore, and the people benefiting the most for 10 years will be the oil companies. So let's give creative people a chance to invent alternatives and be the leaders who help reduce our dependence on foreign oil completely. Spread the money around instead of giving it all to oil companies.

    July 30, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  14. Chuck, Tennessee

    I am not aware of any legislation proposed by Obama or McCain to further the cause of altermative energy, increased fuel efficiency, or getting plug-in huybrids all across America. What makes you think they will do anything about those issues after they become president. Face it. These guys are a bunch of hot air!

    July 30, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  15. Linda

    A scheme would be releasing oil from the stratigic oil reserves. A very temporary price relief. Drilling may not produce oil for seven to ten years, but that is why we need to start NOW so thatin seven to ten years we will have the oil. Congress (all of them from both parties) need to cancel their upcoming vacation and deal with this issue. They haven't done the job while in session I think it is high time they do some work for the American people. McCain and Obama are still employed in the Senate and need to get in there and work as well.

    July 30, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  16. Lesley

    What's with the polls showing that a majority of Americans want off shore drilling but they're split on whether or not it will reduce gasoline prices. If they are looking for relief at the pump, then that doesn't make sense to me. If half the people don't think it will reduce prices, why are they in favor of drilling? Why not clamor for putting a lid on oil speculation? That would make a big difference right now and it wouldn't cost us a dime. It would cost the McCain campaign though, with their ties to big oil. Of course they're pushing for it.

    July 30, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  17. mijnos

    Can't believe that No-bama said that oil will be $12 a barrell in 10 years. That means as President he vows to triple the price of oil.

    Gosh! I wouldn't even DREAM of casting a vote for No-bama.

    July 30, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  18. clark

    Amazing, he takes a position holding the oil companies to the task of exploring offshore leases they ALREADY have, while seeking to develop alternative energy resources and raising the fuel efficiency of cars made and imported into this country.

    And you people still criticize him for having no plan. People this is not a complicated issue, the answers are presented by this man in very simple terms.

    THE PROBLEM is you! You want a quick fix which is exactly the mentality the republicans pander to. A quick fix isn't coming and, just like all the healthcare and social security problems, no one is going to pay attention to those issues either until $$$$ being paid out (or lack thereof) comes into play.

    This is a wake up call people, you McCainiacs need to wake up. Substitue "Medicare Cost" instead of gasoline in about 10 years and you'll be screaming just as loud, but the fix won't be quite so easy to take!

    July 30, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  19. Jodi

    What people do not realize is that the demand for oil is NOT decreasing, Instead it is increasing. Therefore, even if we drill for more oil and get the more oil the demand is just going to outdo the supply. This is because crude is a limited supply. Well you may say so what they are drilling for America. Well you are wrong. They are drilling in american waters but the oil they find will not be only for America. If it was you could be sure that oil prices would drop drastically for Americans in such a case. But NO, they are derilling to find oil for the chineese and the indians. Thre economies will quickly gobble up any new reserves found.

    July 30, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  20. not my vote

    Yep, Obama sure knows about schemes...his whole candidacy is a stinking sinking scheme.

    July 30, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  21. rightytighty

    Scam would be the word i would use, to describe Obama's media campaign that is...

    July 30, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  22. Kathryn

    So let me get this straight, if we chose not to drill for oil in, and around our country, other country's will drill any way (off our shores, and charge us to buy our own oil). So we buy oil from them, until we can come up with a National fuel alternative (which could take 20 years). So until then, we continue to depend on foriegn oil. Or, we can drill off the shores of our country (which will give us new fuel of our own within 3 years under US control) while continueing the research of alternative fuels.
    Obama keeps saying if we drill it will take 10 years before we have usable oil. What a lie! But he has no solid plan for fuel alternatives and never mentions how many years it will take to get the alternative source started. So until we have a nationally productive alternate fuel source, we continue to relly on other country's for their oil, and those other country's will continue to control us, and make all the profits.

    Yeah, makes perfect sense! Just like outsourceing American jobs, Lets Outsource American Oil until, God knows when we will actually have an Alternative!!! We need relief now, not in 20 years!

    July 30, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  23. redwhiteblue

    I, for one am getting angrier every day at the Rove ads for McCain. What are McCains policies? All he does is pick apart a man far superior to himself. You ask how far they can go? My niece got an e-mail saying terrible things about Obam. She said she is very afraid now if Obama gets in. The Swift Boaters have arrived. I pray that all this dirt will backfire.

    July 30, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  24. gary


    July 30, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    mike from TX your an idot wake up and smell the coffee.do you know why people are lossing there homes. let me spell it to you BUSH MCSAME

    July 30, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
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