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. Tricia

    Hey Mike, hate is not a family value. Great comment with no substance.

    July 30, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  2. Andy, ATL

    Obama claims that we will not see any near term benefits at the pump . Question.....since oil futures are traded on the commodities exchange, I would imagine prices would fall with news that the US is opening up its supply which would have an impact at the pump. TRUE? or FALSE?

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

    I think it's pretty clear that there are enough acres of land leased for drilling already, the problem is that it is too expensive to reach the oil on the land already leased, so the oil companies just want a cheaper solution to keep their margins up. They need to explore and drill what they already have leased before we should even consider opening up any offshore drilling opportunities. This is simple greed at the expense of the environment and the American consumer.
    Obama clearly stated that if he saw offshore drilling as a long term solution to our energy problems he would support it. However, it seems that in the long term we need to develop alternative energy sources that will be renewable and more environmentally friendly. Guess what folks? New technology in energy will be expensive for a while also as it is developed and mainstreamed over decades. Get used to paying more for the forseeable future no matter what direction we go in. The simple solution? Reduce demand. Use less. Economics 101. We can pull that off if people wake up to reality a little bit and stop whining about the high prices. ADAPT, folks!

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

    Obama does not understand the value of your money. With a show like in Europe, arriving with his huge plane when we are in energy crisis, don't expect much out of him. He is all talk, no action. And by no means a MODEST man.

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

    @ Still for Hill.....GET OVER It!!! Your anger is showing. Just out of curiosity, why is Obama arrogant?

    July 30, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  6. Phineas J. Whoopie, you're the greatest! Come along, Chumly.

    Oh, you mean a scheme like wealth and private property confiscation and redistribution? You mean like that sort of a scheme?

    Drilling is capitalism and the basic law of supply and demand at work. Propping up the dusty failed bones of socialism for another "go-round" is a scheme.

    But hey, socialism has only killed 100 million people... let's give it another shot!

    July 30, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  7. Former Republican

    Who, going against the crowd to tell it like it is. Seems like Obama is the Maverick now. That's why he gets my vote.

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

    Obama is nothing but an arrogant, elitist, selfish socialist who has a short-sighted view without any ability to grasp the concept of consequences and accountability. It's because of tools like him that we aren't ALREADY drilling offshore. Ten years ago they said "well, we won't be able to get to the oil for ten years", and now it's ten years later and we need that oil. Do stupid politicians like him expect us to fall for that again?

    July 30, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  9. E. Scott

    The democrats will say anything, promise anything, to get elected. And you people are lapping it up. Obama is a junior senator with no experience at anything. But you are willing to hand the country over. Unbelievable.

    July 30, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  10. Texas Trail Dog!


    July 30, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  11. Lorna, NY

    Why are the Republicans making this an issue now? Could it be they are trying to steal the election? People, do some research.

    July 30, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  12. Daryl Hussein, IL

    STILL FOR HILL- I guarantee you that Obama is a lot more intelligent than you and your decisions, besides you were going to vote for Hillary Clinton, that makes you less intelligent.

    PS- Hillary is still looking for money from you, she needs $3 million dollars. Since your so smart, help her out and donate to her defeated campaign.

    July 30, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  13. Oh! The Irony

    BHO Not my candidate July 30th, 2008 2:00 pm ET

    I think buying oil from foreign countries is a scheme… I would rather buy oil that supports American workers… not the middle east… Obama please explain why you would rather support Middle East Oil Workers over, good American Oil Workers… because obviously you would rather buy oil there than produce it domestically….

    You're clueless. Oil goes into a world bank. In other words, oil produced here wouldn't necessarily stay here. Either way it would do little to help our situation. The problem isn't creating more oil, the problemis our oil dependence.

    July 30, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  14. 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 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  15. Peejay

    The threat of offshore drilling has nothing to do with the price of oil coming down – it's because we're using less oil and stopped feeding the pig.

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

    Lets see if offshore drilling was the answer, why did Bush 41 suspend it ?Why don't you ask Senator McBush why the house, senator and white house was controlled by the dear old repubs and it was not important then.Why don't you ask Senator McBush why if we were liberators in Iraq and he knows them so well , why are they paying 58 cents a gallon for gas and not even building up there own country with their own money ?
    McBush a man of no judgment and dishonest to boot. OBAMA 08

    Connie from Indiana

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

    Seven to ten years from now will we be wishing we had done something in 2008? Hindsight is always 20/20. We must think ahead and the auto industry will come up with fuel efficient cars when the need is so great, and people are willing to pay for the increase cost of vehicles. We may have to go through another depression before we realize our current ego system is not working. We need better transit options then we now have. I have yet to hear a candidate mention public transportation that is efficient and fast. We need a few options that are better then we now have. A few straight shot transit systems to the most needed areas. Point A to B without 100 stops along the way.

    July 30, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  18. Tony

    I agree with Obama on this one.

    McCain is a desperate old man, atttacking, grasping at straws, and will soon be a TWO-TIME LOSER come November.

    That ugly green monster called JEALOUSY has bitten McCain (McBush) just like it did that "so-called" Rev. Jesse Jackson.

    July 30, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  19. Minneapolis Mike

    Kudos to Obama for not letting McCain own this issue. I personally agree that offshore oil drilling here in the U.S. will never be worth the investment. Even if it does save us some money at the pump in the long run (a proposition which is dubious at best), it is not worth the huge potential environmental risk involved. Moreover, our energy and creativity is better spent developing sustainable energy technology (wind, solar, tidal, etc.)

    July 30, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  20. chechthisout

    If drilling off California and Florida will not give us some immediare relief.

    What are YOUR plans to give us some immediate relief.

    When will you give us Sun powered, or Wind powered
    or Nuclear powered planes.

    How long do I need to wait to get your cost effective and energy saving car or boat or train?
    Certainly not in one term or two terms of any presidency.

    What have you got to offer in the way of some relief during your term
    if ever you are elected.

    What? In specific and CONCRETE terms.

    NOT WORDS>>>>>>> What?

    July 30, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  21. Matt

    I'm glad to hear Obama getting closer to the truth I'm surprised most Americans don't know. Drilling our 'own' oil does absolutely nothing but add to the WORLD MARKET supply. It does not necessarily stay here in America thus reducing prices only a few cents worldwide like the Senator said. Let'em have it Barack! Why doesn't the DNC put out an ad campaign to inform America about how the world oil market works and is priced?? Maybe with background contradictions from Republicans??

    July 30, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  22. Sam

    Good ol' Obama. NO to offshore drilling - but YES to higher gas prices, and YES to higher electricity costs, and a big YES to higher taxes. Just what we need to really jumpstart the economy.

    Yeah, right.

    July 30, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  23. kim hussein taylor portland, oregon

    "Most Americans Want Offshore Drilling" because they have NO IDEA of the facts!

    the fact that they believe this offshore drilling nonsense is a dead giveaway that they let the someone else think for them.

    it's funny that WE are obamabots, when THEY are the ones who dont think and read!!! if you're TRULY educated on today's issues, there is no way you would vote for john mccain!

    July 30, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  24. judi in NJ

    T Boon Pickens is already leading the way! He may not be a nice guy (financed the Swift Boaters in 2004) but he knows how to make money. He says "there is no way to drill our way out"... and has put millions into a wind farm in TX. Smart folks pick up the signals from the T Boon Pickens of the world. Lots and lots of money and jobs in the alternate energy business.

    Also, they aren't going to send that oil to the US, it goes right into the world oil trade and off to other countries.

    July 30, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  25. go away mongers- Ventura ca

    THIS MAN IS RIGHT! again!

    July 30, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
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