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. Sig, Los Angeles CA

    Don't think for a minute oil will be drilled off the California coast. The only polls that matter are polls from the states which would be affected by offshore oil drilling. All you fly over states don't get a say. End of story!

    July 30, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  2. Ken Pittsburgh

    where is the leadership when had two oil men is charged of this country engery policies for 7 and half years and gas went from around $1.50 a gallion to where it is now.We can not drill our out this
    talk about someone who or wouldn't see the big picture.

    July 30, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  3. Obamasdaft

    More than two thirds of Americans say they favor increasing drilling efforts while only 30 percent disapprove of such action.

    Obama's ideology is obviously ahead of us in line...

    July 30, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  4. A Voter for Intelligence/Honesty in Govt

    So where was McCain 10 years ago? He keeps running on his record so where is it???

    July 30, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  5. Krissy

    McCain was going to do a offshore drilling even the other day but had to cancel because of an 88 mile oil spill! Not to mention that it will not help gas prices, because there isn't enough of it and it would not go into global markets...hence not changing the global price of oil.

    We need to work smarter, not harder.
    Obama 08!

    July 30, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  6. tina


    You must have missed my post. So I'll repeat. All you have to do is demand that your candidate put forth a bill for the gas tax holiday if he has such a great idea. He is a senator afterall.
    I'll repeat, the summers wasting.............

    July 30, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  7. Josh

    Oil willl be 12 dollars a gallon? Didn't know we were buying oil by the gallon....Interesting Obama. Get a clue!

    July 30, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  8. Erika

    Thank you Mr. Obama for having principles and not take a position only because it seems to be the popular choice. You are definitely the man I want as my president and we will be honored to have you in office. Finally a man with principles!!!

    July 30, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |

    I think he should hammer this reasoning / logic down bush and mcbush's throats over and over again! The word "scheme" is particularly perfect!

    OBAMA '08

    July 30, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  10. Jan

    If we drilled for oil today and we would not be able to process it into gas because we don't have enough refineries. We stopped building those about 30 years ago and the ones we have left are at full capacity. So ... first you have to build the refineries here in our country or we will pump the oil from the ground in the "good ole USA" and then send it off to Nigeria or some other foreign country for processing....therefore....still paying a kings ransom for our fuel. Have we totally forgotten what the process is for being self sufficient??

    July 30, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  11. Just a quick point

    In 2006 when the Republicans control Congress gas was $2.50, since the Democrates took over gas is over $4.00.

    This is a fact...who gets the blame?

    July 30, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  12. Ben - Portland, Or

    Just yesterday, California, Oregon and Washington states' governers stood together to oppose off shore drilling. It's time for the Atlantic Coast states to stand up.

    We all know off shore drilling is the lamest "solution" we can come up with. It's a political trap set by the republicans. See the truth, folks. Do you're homework and see the real answers for yourself.

    July 30, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  13. Nowhere Man

    Every time he opens his mouth without a teleprompter in front of him, he shows how much of an idiot he truly is. 10 years? BS! They can have it within 2-3 years. And it's not OIL at $12/gal, it's GAS at $12/gal. And this economic wizard has it all figgered out to the PENNIES we would only save. Whataloadofcrap! My God, the arrogance and ignorance of this man shines as beacon to all on the left!

    July 30, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  14. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    no one responded to my question, so i did my own research.Obama said in 04 he is for decriminalizing it, in 08 he mistakenly said he was against it( misunderstood a question)his campaign said he is still for it.

    McCain is for legalizing pot and taxing it like we do with alcohol and smokes.

    just posted this info encase anyone els was wondering.

    July 30, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  15. Jay D

    He and the democrats are dumber than a bag of rocks. They DO NOT WANT to lower gasoline prices. Increasing supply always puts downward pressure on prices. The last issue of Parade Magazine (not exactly a political rag) said that oil companies were making around 7-8 % profit – less than most american companies. Taxing the oil companies more WILL NOT increase supplies, WILL NOT LOWER the cost of oil, and WILL NOT curtail inflation. It will just inflate the government's coffers at OUR EXPENSE.

    July 30, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  16. Canuck

    'concerned in alabama' is gutter snipe. grow up and leave the mcmaggot name out of the conversation.

    July 30, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  17. Pick Me! Pick Me!

    bob July 30th, 2008 1:55 pm ET

    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

    hmmm.... are you so lacking of substance that you resort to the slinging of b.s.?

    If CLINTON did it eight years ago, we would be seeing the effects already! And what about your cowboy?? Oh, I SEE he is off limits because you voted for him two times.

    July 30, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  18. Debra

    Didn't Obama vote no to all of the recent bills trying to explore alternate energies? Now he is saying this is what we need? Why the change> Oh I forgot, he needs our vote now. FIipFLOP

    July 30, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  19. Brandon Hillary PUMA 4Mc

    Just what would be Husseins plan? I mean he has so much experience dealing with the issue and all. He has taken so many votes and presented so much debate on the issue during his extensive time in the senate--NOT
    Just more talk from a man who has no record to back it up.

    Mc 08
    Hillary 12

    July 30, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  20. Oil

    For those of you who think drilling, by anyone, in this country is going to offset gasoline prices...you're a complete idiot. Your failure to understand how crude oil is processed is without comparison, please, for the love of all that is holy, shut your mouth.

    July 30, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  21. Matt

    Yeah, Obama, supplying Americans with more domestically produced oil is a scheme, but apparently withholding oil from America so they will have to go out and buy a new government mandated car to help bail out your union buddies in Detroit is not a scheme???

    Obama is so freaking crooked, I cannot believe 40% of American's are supporting him.

    July 30, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  22. Jay D

    Biodiesel is a big lie. The US only has so much farm land, and if you are growing corn for fuel you are not growing it for food. The price of fuel and food will both go up.

    July 30, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  23. Laura

    Polls show that 2/3rds of Americans want off-shore drilling that will help stop our dependance on foreign oil. To this Obama says no! Okay Senator Obama what is your answer because you seem to spend a lot of time saying no and I seem to be spending more and more money for gas and with winter coming in Boston, I can't afford to have a President with no ideas.

    At least Sen. McCain is putting out ideas and again based on the polls 2/3rds of the people seem to agree with him and not you.

    Laura, Boston, MA

    July 30, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  24. Niccole

    I don't care if gas goes down to $2.00 a gal. I have permanently changed my driving. I sick and tired of giving the big oil companies my money!!!! My extra money has gone to Obama's campaign to fight the smears and pandering of McCain's campaign.

    It's oo simple people....supply and demand...supply and demand. Once American realize that we don't need to drive as much...and stop driving as much...gas will stabilize.

    July 30, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  25. democrat voting Republican in Nov.

    Bush and the republicans started pushing the issue of drilling a few weeks ago and just the talk of it has lowered the price of gas nearly .50 cents on the gallon in alabama. Wake up Obama what you really fear is the fact of when you agree to drill and the price goes down You will look like once again you made the wrong call again. Won't even admit now that the surge worked.

    July 30, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25