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. kenny

    By not drilling, we are showing the oil companies we are going for alternatives. The oil companies will panic and drop the prices to deter this from happening

    July 30, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. Jay

    Canuck I know we should listen to advice of old focks, however, these same old focks expect us to take care of them at that age. There are so many 70 to 90 year old focks in the senate who need to go home and leave it the the younger focks to take over.

    John McCain go home and play with your great grand children

    July 30, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  3. Andy

    The Messiah doesn't understand that the day Bush removed the federal moratoorium on offshore drilling, prices dropped 5%. When Congress let's the offshore drilling ban expire on September 30th, the price of oil will go down to 60 dollars a barrel. Once we start drilling again, oil will go down to 20 dollars a barrel. Then the oil companies will no longer be making a profit. What happens then and who will Obama blame??

    July 30, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  4. Jeff Long

    Obama is a SYMBOL!!! LOL!! He is the new Prince!!

    Substance over the "SYMBOL"!!! McCain '08!!!

    July 30, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. Lorna, NY

    Finally, someone telling Americans the truth. But, I wonder, can he change the minds of the dummies that we have in the US. Probably not , that is why this election is about the idiots and the intelligent, independent thinkers. When will Americans start thinking and using common sense on these issues. It is not that difficult, my 18 year old understands that this is a scam. I really want Obama to be president, then more Americans will go to college and get the education they so desperately need. We cannot continue on the path we have been on for the past 8 years, how hard is this to figure out? Are we that STUPID!

    July 30, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  6. Obama will WIN 08/12

    Obama =TRUTH ,intelligence,educated,judgement ,peace, a movement that includes people world wide that carry American flags welcoming Obama.

    McWar = blank slate ,loss of memory,outdated ,Jealors,short stemed thats exactly what we need" no sutbstance spends his time making up LIES,Town Halls w/rest home crowd,dislilked here and worldwide where burn American flag when McCain is present.
    Is it hard to choose ?

    July 30, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  7. Republican for Obama

    That's right brainiacs, we should drill and drill for more oil, instead of working on alternatives and reducing consumption, that way when we completely run out future generations will be screwed. How can people be so short sighted and stupid?

    July 30, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  8. Hildegarde Schildgen

    even if we let the oil companies drill wherever, we still wouldn't see any of it. It would go to China, who has the money to buy it. We need an energy policy that is not dependent on foreigh oil and fast.

    We can do this if we get the american people behind it.

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

    My thoughts exactly, CM.

    July 30, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  10. Don't Be Like Mike from TX

    Don't worry Senator Obama, we're onboard. We've got McCain's number and we know it's a sham. We will vote for you, support you and celebrate when you become our next POTUS.

    God bless and keep you, and see you in November.

    Obama 08

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

    Drilling for oil now is just a way for Big Oil to once again hold the energy levarage in America. They can careless about the American people. It all about the bucks people. Think about it for a moment. Why would Big Oil willingly embrace alternitive energy when thier entire infrustucture depends on drilling and production of oil. This is simple business 101. So instend they are pressing the repubs to buy them time by drilling. I would hope that most Americans can see through this trash.

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

    Welcome back home!!!

    You tell 'em! Nothing but a mind game!

    McSame didn't know what to do other than watch and attack Obama last week!

    Now with Obama back home... we can get back to the real issues!

    Go Bam!

    July 30, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  13. Wolf

    Obama knows the real definition for that word....it is what he is! It is no scheme to tell people it will take up to 10 years to develop...it is no scheme to make a step forward on behalf of our nation and it's relationship with the world.

    It is a scheme to think that Senator Obama has the correct judgment or that his words can be trusted. He did not with Trinity, Uncle Wright and flip-flopped on FISA, campaign financing and more. That people is no scheme....nor is it any change.

    July 30, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  14. Doug, New Jersey

    This blog would make your Hero Karl Marx very proud.

    It is not hard to see how socialism has killed millions of people, socialist liberal Democrats are by far the most hateful people in America.

    They can sream and foam at the mouth all they want about how a few republicans have made comments about gays or whatever, but look at how they treat people each day on an individual level, truly the worst thing in America hands down for those who get to witness it by living in blue areas.

    If you vote for Obama then you support censorship, rewarding hate and laziness and punishing hard work and love, want your fellow Americans to suffer for not having views that conform to liberalism, a press that hides information from the public and spreads lies to advance the goals of an evil ideology. I just want each and every Obama supporter to study Nazi Germany. The man who spoke there last week has goals, dreams, and ambissions that are not that much different than the man who did 65 years ago.

    While MLK was a quasi-socialist, his heart was in the right place and wanted the best for America. We owe him for all he did and his sacrifice, please don't distort and destroy his legacy by comparing Rev. Wrights programmed robot to this American patriot. Thanks

    July 30, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  15. Claire de Lune

    Energy problem solved!

    Harness all the hot air in Congress (specially them dems) That should tied us over until they figure out that it is going to take a multi-layer approach.

    By the way, other than those who don't want to drill, who exactly is saying "10 to infinity years before we see anything"?

    July 30, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  16. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    Obama is on the mark with this. McCain reminds me of someone that uses candy to shut up noisy kids. The kids like the candy, but in the long run all that happens is they get cavaties and then get noisy again. Drilling off shore might make people feel better for a short time, like we're doing something, but it does nothing to solve our problem long term.......and it gives us more cavaties.

    July 30, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  17. White/female/age 55/Texan

    Oil is traded on the international market. Any we "produce" we don't get to "keep it" for ourselves. Shease people, pay attention.

    July 30, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  18. Wisest one of All

    Hussein Nobama is a true moron! The only people more stupid than Nobama are his supporters. Nobama wants higher gas prices to inflict more controls on the United States
    . He hates America and Americans!

    July 30, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  19. Tennisguypitt

    He's right. It won't help us in the long run.

    Obama '08

    July 30, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  20. Salina, Washington, DC

    Look at the economy and oil prices when Bush took office, now look at the economy, and oil prices now at the end of his two terms!! Americans have been robbed!! And this offshore drilling scheme is just another way for Bush and the oil companies to continue racking in the cash even after he leaves office. Obama is the only one telling the truth about this and other topics.

    McCain received a whopping $1.1 MILLION DOLLARS from big oil companies donated to his campaign!!!! That just tells you where his loyalties lie, not with the average american but with big oil.

    Obama '08/'12

    July 30, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  21. Esther Marie Cuyahoga Falls OhiO

    we should be growing hemp not drilling for oil. thank Barney Franks maybe we will get smart and take this opportunity to start growing it again

    July 30, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  22. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    I truly wish that America wakes up and realizes that Bush/Cheney and all of their big oil buddies are just trying to line their pockets off of our money. They have access to millions of acres of land and offshore sites that they have legal rights to for drilling but have not done so.

    July 30, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  23. Biffington, Biff

    I missed the part in the article where Obama said his plan was to make gas $12/gallon.

    oh.. that's right... IT WASN'T IN THERE !

    July 30, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  24. gina simpson

    Well.....what do you know?

    A Presidential Candidate that speaks the truth.....even when we don't neccesarily want to hear it....

    Now THAT is what I call change.

    July 30, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  25. John R

    There really is no need for name calling. Both Republicans and Democrates have not done a good job managing the energy issues in America. That includes Obama and McCain. Both are current Senators who have been in office for the past couple of years while the energy issue (like the housing issues) have dropped before us.

    Before we jump on the 'bandwagon' of either of these two gentleman, we might want to ask, What bill have you presented to Congress over the past couple of years to get ahead of this problem?

    We may find that both of these gentleman are typical politicians who only talk about solutions when the problem is critical but do nothing when the problem is clearly seen on the horizon.

    Shouldn't we explore all options before throwing any one option out? Let's look at off-shore drilling along with nucular, geothermal, wind, solar, shale, existing lease drilling, and biofuels (from non food). All of this should be on the table. Some will long term solutions while others we can take advantage of right away.

    What we can't do is pretend we are something we are not. We will continue to have are cars and our roads. Out nation was build on the backbone of an infastructure of roads. We will not bring everyone living in the rual areas (more than 80% of the country) to live in the nations intercities. We will not build all the trains necessary to get someone from a small town of 500 people to the grocery store 5 to 10 miles (or even further) away.

    Let's get real and talk about the problem of keeping this economy growing and maintain the strongest economy in the world. The US is the best nation in the world and we can correct these issues if we stop yelling at each other and sit down and solve the problems.

    July 30, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
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