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. Nathan, IA

    Exactly why Obama is looking towards ALTERNATIVE methods of resources. A little oil in 10 years won't do a darn thing us. If we follow Pickens plan and spend the next 10 years investing in alternatives like we should, the world will be a better place and we won't still be dependent on foreign and domestic oils, rather we'd be completely independent of it all!!! Let China and India fight over it!

    July 30, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  2. Who 2 Vote 4???

    So while McCain is making ads about Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, Senator Obama is taking on REAL issues that affect Americans.


    July 30, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  3. Allene Gossman

    Sorry–Please delete previous comment due to incorrectly quoted information re "barrel" in lieu of "gallon"

    July 30, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  4. Rico

    Amen. The ONLY ones who will benefit from additional offshore drilling is oil companies. I really wish the public wasn't so full of low information voters. It's going to be our undoing.

    July 30, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  5. Joe Regis

    Same old Bush McCain policy and the people- well the people be d...
    you know what I mean.

    No more Bush Mcain. We will salvage whatever we can in November.

    Landslide Obama 08.

    July 30, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  6. J

    It is a scheme and anyone who tells you different either is not correctly informed or is working for an oil company.

    July 30, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  7. VON BISMARK,Vienna.

    This what he has been saying all along but don't be surprised to hear mcWAR say Obama is flip-flopping.

    July 30, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  8. Indiana Voter

    Folks, please remember the gas holiday that McCain promised voters. This is another one of his schemes to try to win voters. If he really had the answer to our energy crisis, then why has he not solved the problem in his 30 years in Congress. The Republicans have had not only the presidency but a majority in congress so they could have addressed the energy question. If McCain really wanted to help us, he would have followed through on his commitment to a gas holiday this summer despite what others said. He's Bush's puppet!

    July 30, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  9. Obama 08

    All of you people who are saying if we had drilled for oil years ago: Why aren't you asking that of the oil comapnies who have the leases and aren't drilling??Surely that needs to be answered first before granting them any more

    July 30, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  10. mwm

    2/3rds of americans want to drill oil on our cosats.2/3rds of americans supported the war in iraq ,also.everyone wants an easy fix that is never easy.i trust obama's judegment ,again.he was right on iraq ,and he is right about this.people are just greedy,and unwilling to make the neccessary sacrifices needed to solve this problem.our coastlines will look wonderful covered in oil slicks.

    July 30, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  11. MikeH

    This is obviously not an Alexander Mooney secret republican CNN operative article.

    Joe Van Kanel reported actual events and did not slip in personal poison opinion like Mooney does. Good article Joe.

    The biggest drop in oil prices will come from regulating the oil speculators, who now run rampant in part because of the "Enron Loophole" that Phil Graham, McCains covert economic adviser, put in place. Take that loophole away, and per barrel price is predicted to drop $20-$40.

    July 30, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  12. Dan, Mpls, MN

    A reporter asked McCain what his position was on global warming:

    McCain's response:

    whine, whine, whine, peronal attack on Obama, more personakl attack, whine, whine , and whine some more.

    That's about sums up his position on the issues.


    July 30, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  13. Carl from MI

    It is a scheme...

    July 30, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  14. Natalie

    John McCain doesn't have to tell the truth, heck why start now? But Obama does, which is the reason millions of Americans will be voting for him.

    Obama 08, the honorable choice.
    Take care of our next POTUS Secret Service.

    July 30, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  15. mollygonz

    Not pandering to the public..you go Obama!! Someone has to cut us off from this ridiculous addiction to oil. This problem should've been addressed so long ago. I'm glad that you are willing to take an unpopular stand to help us in the future. It shows what kind of man you are!

    July 30, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  16. Open Your 3rd Eye

    Just another DOSE of the TRUTH.

    Republicans absolutely love making excuses to delay the production of ALTERNATIVE ENERGY!!


    LET IT GO!!

    July 30, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. tigerakabj

    Thank you Obama for alerting us of scams like this. You are the true "straight talk express." McCain is getting millions from the oil companies. He's bought and paid for.

    Just like that gas-tax holiday crap that McSenile is trying to pull, he's now trying to hoodwink us on this off-shore drilling. Beat him into the ground Obama. A donation is on the way right now.

    Obama/Sebelius 2008/2012.

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

    Hey, pal, your whole campaign is just a scheme and YOU are the one who is not real.

    Ready to debate yet?

    July 30, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  19. Sarge in Florida

    I say ground Air Force One....What a waste of fuel.....McShame makes me laugh..The old fart talks out of both sides of his mouth. First in a "Town Hall" meeting, a little girl asked him if he would raise "HER TAXES" and he responded NO! Yet he tell reporters that "Nothing is off the table". Also since when does a child pay taxes in this country? Little girl you have to have a JOB first in order to pay taxes. Such a delusional way to send a message to young growing minds. Also all Americans should remember that the OIL COMPANIES have access to 63 MILLION acres of leases to drill for oil. Start drilling there before wanting to drill off my my coast of FLORIDA. The Bush posse wants to ensure that their oil buddies are taken care of before the loser leaves office in January.......GO OBAMA This country is starving for a fresh new CHANGE!!!!!!!!! No more lying Republicans in the White House for the next 8 years.....

    July 30, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  20. David Goldman for OBAMA


    MCBUSH $1,I00,000 TO REVERSE



    July 30, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  21. Super delegate NJ

    This dude is all "talk" can he give us some specifics on exactly what he will do, how he will do, when he expects to start and when we should expect the relief? Many politicians since 1963 have rode this line to the White house...and he calls himself a different kind of politician? Nonsense

    July 30, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  22. Bugs

    OIl companies are sitting on tons of land and oil because the Dems and their environmentalist special-interest masters won't let them drill there.

    July 30, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  23. Arin

    John McCain was opposed to off-shore drilling before he was for it. And yah, he will not raise taxes, unless its on the table, and if social security is bankrupt, then he will again not raise the table where the no-raising taxes is upon. John McCain... "Countrywide First. Whining citizens of America: Second! "

    July 30, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  24. ShirleyY - Seattle


    July 30, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  25. hello

    watch out guys by the election time these oil traders working for oil co. will bring down oil price and gas price to give victory to republican.
    And for obama if he does not select Hillary as VP and ignore 18 millian voters he should say good by to presidency.

    July 30, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
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