July 30th, 2008
12:30 PM ET
15 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."

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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. Rich

    I don't see any lines at the station so it's not supply and demand. Its the falling dollar, McCain's former financial adviser's Enron loophole,
    and of course Irans oil bourse not trading in dollars. Industrialized Hemp can solve all of our fuel problems it is four times more efficient than sugar cane and can be growen from coast to coast. But the oil companies will not let the legislation from the thirties be reveresed because it will put them out of business and put fuel production in the hands of the farmers who would grow it. It's why Hemp was outlawed 60 years ago when Henry Ford created fuel out of it and plastice 10 times stronger than steel.

    July 30, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  2. Doc

    In reality some of the oil would hit the market within 5 years. Just starting the process would worry speculators enough to lower the cost of oil some. In the long run it would benefit the economy to keep the billions of dollars we will be paying for oil in 10 years and beyond in America instead of paying it to other countries; even if the cost of oil continues to go up. That said, alternative fuels are the long term solution so we don't revisit this every 20-30 years. They need a renewable fuel tax of $10 a barrel charged on the oil brought to the refineries (US or foreign oil) which would be solely directed at creating renewable energy sources. With American ingenuity and over a billion a year from tax revenue we should get renewable resources within 3 decades. But first we need to stop arguing.

    July 30, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  3. nelson

    Obama has a point.

    I am absolutely appalled at President Bush for only pushing for more drilling in US territory. It goes to show you who he works for. I agree that we need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil imports, BUT we also NEED an alternative energy plan. Oil is finite! I wonder if he gets that, or is just ignoring the fact and continuing to be the oil’s company’s puppet.

    We can drill for more of our own oil, but we need to have a structure in place for alternative energy so we don’t get caught with our pants down when oil dries up. We also need to start reducing green house gases. Bush obviously doesn’t care about that, and that has been proven with Cheney’s doctored CDC report on climate change.

    Obama isn't tied to oil. He knows the stakes. I believe this guy really does care about the direction of the country.

    July 30, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
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