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. J

    To Mike, TX:

    Do you know what the word clueless means?

    July 30, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  2. Vig

    A scheme? Obama's campaign and Obama himself should know about schemes. The latest is that that "personal" prayer of Obama's that was supposedly taken out of the wall by someone, was actually given to the media by the Obama handler's. What a deception, what a manipulation, what a farce. And you want to vote for someone who would use a very holy and scared place to further their own professional and personal aggrandizement and popularity? This is a disgrace. Obama probably never even wrote the prayer himself – what kind of fraud is this?

    July 30, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  3. Kim

    Rather if Obama is right or not, I do not trust anything the GOP says at this point. I find it hard to believe that oil man Bush has no control over gas prices. It is really sad because even if McCain would make a good President, most Americans can not trust him because of Bush. We have been schemed enough!

    July 30, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  4. Shawn

    If the land that's already leased had oil that made economic sense to drill for, BIG OIL WOULD DO IT!!!! They are for-profit companies. It would make no sense for them NOT to do it.

    I'm tired of hearing this idiotic arguement, about a vast evil big oil consipiracy where they money on the table. Thats quite a plot hole, but no apparently many people can't muster the intelligence to see though.

    July 30, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  5. Scout, MS

    Listen America...do you hear that...it's a politician telling us the truth. OMG, it's such a beautiful sound, and one that I'm going to get accustomed to hearing.

    Yes, America I will get accustomed to hearing the sound of a leader telling me the TRUTH. What a beautiful thing. He's putting Congress on notice that a new TRUTH ADVOCATE SHERIFF will be coming to town.

    Obama 08, our next POTUS.

    July 30, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  6. tod jones

    Amazing the cultish behavior that this man brings out of the woodwork. Everyone is allowed their opinion......Liberals aren't ALWAYS right....although you will shove your values down our throats without asking please.

    And nancy, who cares is Mike in TX drives a pickup truck? Are you a lesbian because you live in San Jose/San Francisco? If so, who cares! It's a free country...at least unless this communist fraud becomes POTUS.

    July 30, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  7. Mike, Surrey BC

    We want to end,reduce or alter the dependency on OIL. Drilling is still drilling for OIL. It keeps all the oil barons in place and the public at bay feeding their coffers.

    An exciting plan is that of T. Boone Pickens. Convert vehicles to natural gas. According to his plan the Middle East oil dependecy could be eliminated within 5-10 years. The Billions of dollars sent there every year will stay in America.

    Drilling for oil will only delay the end of oil use and the environment will pay until all the oil runs out. then what will your children do with an even dirtier planet?

    July 30, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  8. 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.... Obama is right. It would be nice to see some real jounalism once in a while.

    July 30, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  9. Lisa

    What's "not real" is Obama's understanding of global economics.
    1) If oil markets know we intend to extract oil on our land, the price will drop. It dropped when Pres. Bush lifted the ban and will drop further if Congress/Pelosi has the guts to put the measure up for a vote. They are selling us out for their political interests.
    2) Oil companies would have to expend a lot of capital to explore, extract and refine the oil. The so called "profits" Obama cites are before reinvestment. Post reinvestment profits are basically flat for the past decade. It's called supply and demand.
    3) If the leased areas were viable, they would be drilling there.
    4) Refineries are running 24/7 now. Congress needs to allow them to expand in preparation for the oil we will extract from US sources.
    5) Alternative energy sources aren't very efficient at this time. You can't just wave a wand and change that.
    Obama appeals to the gullible. If elected, yes we will have gas at $12 per gallon.

    July 30, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  10. Clinton/McCain

    Obama says, "... although at that point, I figure OIL might be $12 a gallon."

    Hmmm. OIL is over $100 a barrel. Gasoline is around $4 a gallon. He mixed up oil with gas. He doesn't even know what he's talking about. Not surprised, however.

    July 30, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  11. WallyWutMD

    It's the most deceptive shceme ever concocted in modern history. Obama is 100% right. The Oil Industry is fuming over alternative energy. They couldn't controll unlimited resources like wind, solar or water like they do oil. That's why they are sitting on their hands when it comes to alternative energy research. There's already technology that will allow us to utilize unlimited resources, but the oil industry hasn't figured out the business model to control it yet. The Oil Industry is using these speculators to run prices up in order to make the American People cry "Uncle!" and force congress to lift the drilling ban. All lifting the ban will do is allow the Oil Industry to procrastinate even longer, allowing more time to develop their evil business model for controlling unlimited resources. Yes, lifting the ban would lower gas prices for now, but not because of increased supply, but because the Oil Industry would take their foot off our necks, finally having what they wanted. But that's not our only goal... Our goal is to not only lower our fuel costs but to also get rid of this obsolete fossil fuel dependence once and for all, and become truley energy independant. Obama will not fold to the pressure. Now he needs to open the eyes of the rest of the country and fully expose the Oil Industry's scheme.

    July 30, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  12. Mike

    The question is, would I cut my profits now for a threat that won't materialze for a decade? The answer, of course....... no! And neither will the oil companies.

    That is why offshore drilling that Bush and McCain are proposing is not a feasible solution. It may even cause the oil companies to raise the prices while the wait for the offshore supply to come to market. By then gas prices could reach european levels.

    July 30, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  13. Maggie, NY

    He's handsome, he's honorable, and he's telling the truth.

    I can't wait to vote in November. Come on America, we can do it.

    July 30, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  14. not important

    Everybody should remember that John McCain flip floped on offshore drilling.

    July 30, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  15. PUMA 4 HILL

    A schemer would only know.....

    July 30, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  16. robert

    I do not think that it would be 10 years to impact prices. As soon as there were activity preparatory to drilling my guess is that the price of petroleum would begin to fall. Obama is really out of touch on this and it will bite him where it hurts, I hope.

    July 30, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  17. Mike

    Obama is out of his league. Go back to Chicago and your mentor
    Reverend Wright. He is a closet racist who will say anything to get elected. HE HAS DONE NOTHING IN HIS POLITICAL Career!!! People please wake up from the drugs that his campaign has been giving out!!!

    July 30, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  18. Ian

    Can't we just drill on the millions of acres leased by the oil companies that AREN'T being drilled on?

    July 30, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  19. E. Scott

    Obama should know a scheme. His entire campaign is a sceme. But he is slipping ever so slowly in the polls even with the national media backing him.

    July 30, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |




    July 30, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  21. Adam

    Mike, Joel, you must work for the oil companies

    July 30, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  22. Terry

    Why don't the oil companies drill on the acres and acres of "untouched land" they have already purchased and been approved by the EPA for drilling? What are they waiting for?

    July 30, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  23. white female

    go obama GO, ALL THE WAY TO THE white HOUSE 1600 PENN AVE WASH, DC.........SEE YAA
    THANK GOD FOR THIS MAN!!!!!!!!!!


    OBAMA '08/12/16

    July 30, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  24. karen-phoenix

    I have said this all along!!!! Larry King had the president of Chevron on his show a few weeks ago. They can not even begin to drill because there are NO rigs available! Will take 5 years just to build rigs. Republicans are scaring Americans again in this oil thing!! Americans want instant gratification and drilling our way out will not give us a drop of oil for over 10 years!!! Listen to T. Boone Pickens, the oil companies and then decide what is right. Oil companies have over 4 million acres of leased land already and they are NOT drilling on it!!
    Listen America, for once look at the truth!!! NO MORE WARS for oil. Peace is Patriotic. Go Obama!

    July 30, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  25. One Word - Hybrid

    Sorry – I meant 4th Quarter 2007. I know that because I bought the Prius in December and found out that the break had gone away.

    July 30, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
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