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. β€œThis 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. WarHeroFmrPOW HijaxStr8talkXpress DrivzIn2GutR TurnzCoward XploitsTroopsAsProps UsesPatraeusAs PoliticalPawn

    There are already plenty of contracted sites in existence that haven't yet been explored, oh by the way. This oil will NOT stay here exclusively but will go into the foriegn market as well. D'uh!

    July 30, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  2. Lourdes

    Yes, let's attack Obama instead of dealing with the real problem: our obsession with consuming as much as we want of every resource we have and not wanting to deal with the consequences.

    This drilling business is a political scheme...this is NOT going to help us in the short term or long term...just look it up! This is an issue because the Republicans know that it SOUNDS bad for Obama to be against it and they are hoping that we will be dumb enough to not think past the headline.

    Obama's website lays out a very comprehensive energy plan... I recommend that you read it before making a snap judgment. Oh, and it's funny how once McCain uses an adjective and the media picks it up, all of a sudden the anti-Obama crowd starts using it like it's going out of style. It shows where you get your ideas from. And you call US "Obamabots"? OPEN YOUR MINDS AND THINK!!!

    July 30, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  3. Sal

    OBAMA is RIGHT ON! quit supporting the greedy oil companies, open your eyes people

    Obama in '08

    July 30, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  4. Wayne

    I hate to say it but will some kind commentator, pundit or journalist hold the American voter to task. The problem with America is most voters arent very smart. The same voters who are hurting and complaining are the ones who voted for Bush, the worst president in this country's history TWICE!! Now, after 8 years of neglegance, corruption and incompetence these same not so bright voters are considering voting for John McCain who is offering the same thing Bush has given us over the last 8 years.

    Now, if you vote McCain and we start drilling offshore, 4 years from now, in another election year they still will not have brought one drop of oil to market from offshore drilling.

    The problem with this country is stupidty (see G. Bush) and racism (see Obama just slightly ahead in the polls).

    Vote McCain and get what you deserve. I just dont want to hear you complain about it our see polls stating 80% of the country is heading in the wrong direction.

    July 30, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  5. Chipster

    Oil companies don't plan to drill. There aren't even enough oil rigs for drilling and they aren't drilling now on land and offshore rights so who's kidding whom? Besides, oil resources are being rapidly depleted. Even if they did drill, it will only deplete the resources that much quicker. We had better stop burying our heads in the sand and get real about developing renewable sources of energy or our children and grandchildren are going to curse us in the darkness!

    July 30, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  6. Kudo

    Yeah, those dems are so clueless, they're crazy enviros who have refused to budge on this issue for a decade. If we don't do this, our gas could be $12 in a decade, and that's another 50 cents per gallon I'm not willing to pay.

    If only those crazy liberals hadn't written that executive order banning offshore drilling. Who was it again? Wait wait don't tell me... it's on the tip of my tongue....

    July 30, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  7. MJ

    YOU OBAMA supporters on here are being hoodwinked. WHAT HAS HE DONE that makes him quailifued to be president. OBAMA IS AN ARROGANT SOB. I once was a supporter, but I have closely monitored his body language, things that he says, and I don"t like him. HE WILL NOT, LET ME REPEAT, WILL NOT WIN THIS ELECTION. YOU OBAMA ZOMBIES ARE CLUELESS IF YOU THINK THAT THIS MAN WILL WIN...............

    July 30, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  8. Otto

    Something that keeps getting missed (along with the 86 million acres, capped wells, etc) is the fact that only about 20 to 25% of domestic oil is kept in the US – the rest is exported.

    So all of you "I'd rather buy American oil" folks should actually ask this question: Why do we export most of our own oil only to import foreign oil to use?

    After all...there'$ got to be a good rea$on, don't you think?

    July 30, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  9. Barbara

    NOBAMA July 30th, 2008 2:43 pm ET
    No its not working. We are in the middle of an election year. As soon as all the elections are over the gas prices will rise faster than you can blink. The Oil Companies were making there Rethuglican buddies look bad with the high prices and they were coming under increase fire by congress as well. They knew If they didnt do anything fast there would have been a lot of Repubs out of office next year. Which will be the case anyway

    Obama 08

    July 30, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  10. Oil Worker

    Obama is on point on this one and here's why:

    1. It takes several months of seismic data acquisition, data proccessing, petrophysical analysis, geohazard coordination, and well/resevior simulation before you can even determine if you have a drillable well site.

    2. It takes 18-24 months to build a "Deep Water" oil rig, or 12-18 months for a shallow water rig.

    3. There's still a considerable of amount of refining capacity that remains off-line from hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.

    So in truthfulness we wouldn't see any impact for at least 4 to 5 years, with the exception of the environmental impact.

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

    The man has had perfect judgement about this stupid Iraq war. Judgement that said we SHOULD be in Afghanistan, judgement against the stupid gas tax holiday and now this. PEOPLE can't you see that this man is using his brains????

    July 30, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  12. shannon

    Someone needs to tell this idiot that offshore drilling is meant to help us 5 years from now...not right now. As if for someone reason, Lord Obama is going to blink his eyes and slow the demand of oil in China and India.

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

    Also I want to mention that while we are all over here complaining that our leaders are or are not doing anything to help the problems, I have to say I think that for the first time in a while the American people will step up to the plate themselves and drive the cost down by lowering demand. Sure it is nice to have a parental like figure you can feel will try to solve the problem but really, in the end it will be us that does it. Stop with the waste, the big cars, etc. And I'm not preaching, I think people looking out for their best interests will eventually lead to a steadier energy market. One more thing, I hear many people say things to the tune of 'it is my right to drive a big car, or to own a large boat, etc." It is your right, what is not your RIGHT is cheap gas, cheap labor, cheap products, cheap materials. Do what you want, everyone will, and we will see that people start to change their minds and this time for once it will be in a great way! Thanks πŸ˜‰

    July 30, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  14. Out of Touch

    Maybe he doesn't need it but we do. He's too busy taking overseas trips on campaign donations to know and understand what's best for us dumb folks here......

    We will see in November.

    July 30, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  15. n.f.

    Dear John (McCain) STOP WHINING!

    July 30, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  16. Bob

    10 Years...That's also how long it will take to make a difference with alternate energy sources, so why not do both. Besides, if we had started 10 years ago, we wouldn't be having this conversation now and gas wouldn't be $4.00 a gallon.

    July 30, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  17. Obamacan

    For those of you asking for judgement and leadership....Here you have it. Someone who doesn't allow the politics of the moment to align the interest of our contry with the big oil company.

    This guy will be an absolute great president.

    Republican for OBAMA 08

    July 30, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  18. Caryl S. Foster

    President Bush remains focused on producing more oil as if it is the solution to our energy crisis rather than recognizing it as the symptom prescribing the need for real comprehensive change in our energy policy.

    But what else can one expect from an "oil man" when addressing the need to reduce gas prices other than for that oil man to call for "more drilling"?

    The broader question to be asked is will Americans go back to consuming more gas if gas prices go down thus in the end perpetuating our dependence on oil whether foreign or domestically produced. The point is that if we are to clean-up our environment as part of any real effort to start seriously dealing with the problem of global warming, then we must prepare ourselves to consume less oil regardless of its source.

    And if we do not lead the start on the path to consuming less oil while seriously seeking to replace it with alternative sources of clean energy, we can hardly expect the world-at-large to follow suit.

    Drilling offshore is not the new path to be followed because it will lead to the same old path which has brought us to this critical fork in the road in the first place.

    July 30, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  19. Scott

    Go ahead and start drilling.
    No prices will drop.
    Obama is right on this one, guys. He is wrong about other stuff. But on this, he is on the money.
    It is not the environmentalist's fault we have high oil prices. We have had an oil company friendly administration and, for the most part, conservative oil friendly congress for the last 8 years. We let these guys rake in record profits and exist with little regulation. Also, car companies pushed stupid giant idiotic gas guzzlers on us when we should have been federally mandating fuel regualtions.
    Drilling in the Gulf won't do a thing. And what is scarier, no body is pushing for this with any sort of oversight. Bush's solution is, basically, let's give oil companies free reign. He is just exploiting another bad situation for the personal gain for oil men. He exploited 9-11 to invade Iraq. He is now exploiting high gas prices to give his buddies more land to drill.
    I say the hell with that.
    Besides, there is not anybody with any credibility on energy issues saying it would help. Bush's administration is made up of OIL MEN, people. What makes you think they are looking out for our interests?

    July 30, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  20. Kelley

    I agree 100% w/ Obama on this one. this isn't going to solve a freaking thing.

    July 30, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  21. TheTruthHurts

    McCain needs to fire all his advisors because they are giving him HORRIBLE advice. It may be humorous to attack Obama with such drivel in some circles, but I'm positive it won't have broad appeal. He'll keep the rabid republicans, but moderates and independents are being turned off daily by the lying and negative attacks. He's looking at the same fate as HRC. I didn't have to be this way. He could actually have a rational discussion about their extreme differences.

    Obama said he would attack back, but he doesn't have to now because this stuff is so pathetic.

    July 30, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  22. Ms. RDS

    @Vote Nader....How sad it is that you and a majority of people know so little facts. Gas prices didn't drop b/c he lifted the ban. They fell b/c people are driving less (due to high gas prices) and we had a 3 million surplus of oil. (economics 101: less demand=lower price). Also pointing out that oil went up $5 today b/c a report came out saying the supply was going down, so what Bush did has no effect on the price of oil. I wish people knew facts before they posted on these boards.

    July 30, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  23. SIMP

    It doesn't matter what all you haters say about Obama, no matter how many nasty names you call him it won't change the fact that he will be our president and in 2-3 years from now once we start to see turnaround for the better it will be you, the same ignorant people who will be glad to have him as president.

    As far as Rove goes, he needs to be behind bars, he is nothing but a criminal and the truth will come out soon.

    Obama 08

    July 30, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  24. EDW

    Think about it people. Senator Stevens just got indicted over his involvement with the oil companies. Sit back and chill about this off shore drilling. If you care anything about the next generations, don't rush to that decision.

    July 30, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  25. Ted

    We don't need more oil when addicted to it. Oil companies investment in exploration for the 1st and 2nd quarters was flat. But their profits were of skyrocket disproportions. We need more alternate energy investment. Like hemp for example, the product outlawed at the demand of DuPont so they could market rayon. Hemp is a far better source of solving energy problems than any grown product and it is capable of producing 2 and 3 crops per year. The idea of making a food product (CORN) into fuel is ludicrous and about the dumbest thing that has ever been done for the alternate fuel business, and the worst for people who eat food.

    July 30, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
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