August 4th, 2008
12:00 PM ET
15 years ago

Obama calls for tapping nation's strategic oil reserves

[cnn-photo-caption image=
caption="Obama officially unveiled his energy plan Monday."]
(CNN) - Barack Obama on Monday called for tapping into strategic oil reserves as part of his plan to provide relief from high gas prices.

Watch: Obama hits McCain on energy

Speaking before a crowd in Lansing, Michigan, the senator from Illinois called the country's addiction to oil "one of the most dangerous and urgent threats this nation has ever faced."

Obama unveiled his energy plan, which includes a windfall profits tax on big oil corporations that would be used to provide a $1,000 rebate to people struggling with high energy costs.

The Democratic presidential candidate also wants to create 5 million "green" jobs and eliminate the need for oil from the Middle East within 10 years.

"You won't hear me say this too often, but I couldn't agree more with the explanation that Sen. McCain offered a few weeks ago. He said, 'Our dangerous dependence on foreign oil has been 30 years in the making, and was caused by the failure of politicians in Washington to think long-term about the future of the country,' " Obama said.

"What Sen. McCain neglected to mention was that during those 30 years, he was in Washington for 26 of them. And in all that time, he did little to reduce our dependence on foreign oil," Obama said.

Listen: Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor - reportedly a possible Republican VP pick - discusses Obama's energy policy on a McCain campaign conference call.

Obama's call for tapping into strategic oil reserves is an apparent policy shift.

Full story

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (246 Responses)
  1. mo

    wow obama supporting mccain where are you obama supporters now may i note as with alot of people over here has noted OBAMA HAS FLIP FLOPPED

    August 4, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  2. hank-a-lee

    i can't believe it; earlier this year bush told the american people go ahead and tap the reserves its not going to make a bit of difference. so what makes barack think it will make a difference now . and this 1,000 dollar emergency rebate giveaway MY GOD you've got to be kidding me i,am a obama supporter and will vote for him. but don,t be giving away the farm or making these far fetched promises of plugging the problem w/ monies or a rebate. and telling me to put air in my tires. seems to me the campaign has been all over the place lately. i understand the need to come to [the middle] but lets not go overboard.

    August 4, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  3. FLA Voter

    This is the dumbest idea!!! Do you reaise that 70 mil barrels will last about 3 DAYS. That will do NOTHING to help gas prices while hurting the reserves.

    There haven't been any barrels going into the reserve for a while, so how does adding a 3 day supply help? STUPID!!!

    All you people ridiculing McCain for the tire guage thing...get off of your high horse. It was a JOKE...and a pretty good one. Inflating your tires in this energy market is political suicide. It shows that he really has no ideas how to get us back on the right track. All Obama can do is talk about CHANGE...but he doesn't know how to CHANGE IT. The only thing he can CHANGE is his diaper.

    August 4, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  4. jarhead

    70 million barrels of oil?? That's not even 3 days worth here in the U.S. It certainly isn't enough to force either the price of oil, or gasoline, down. What is needed is that we increase our own domestic production–but Hairless Harry and Sister Nancy (and their minions) turned their backs on the American people, and went home. They have given us the backs of their hands and shown, without question, their total disregard or concern for the welfare of the American people.

    August 4, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  5. Jay in NJ

    "Obama stole the election from Hillary" is such a funny comment.
    Ladies and gentlemen Obama didn't steal any election. Barack just outshone his opponent and won many many votes. He also inspired many people(including women) and myself(politics was dumb) to believe that there is intelligent life out there(in Washington DC).
    I also like Hillary and want her as the VP but where is she?!?
    I get the feeling sometimes that she is in politics just for her. If not then why aren't we be blogging about how hard she and Bill are campaigning for Obama?

    August 4, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  6. Texas Trail Dog!

    You got to be kidding. This moron OBAMA now wants to exhaust the oil supply so that we can not have fuel for our military if attacked. We are at war and a idiot would even suggest such a think is the height of ignorance. STOP THIS MAN NOW BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.

    August 4, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  7. Dan (TX)

    BAD IDEA! The SPR was created for national EMERGENCIES ONLY – not consumer relief. What happens next year when gasoline prices climb even higher due to WORLDWIDE demand?? It is foolish to tap even a portion of this national resource.

    BTW, looks like buying oil at $70/barrel was cheap compared to today's prices. (Democrats in Congress can eat crow.) What cost per barrel will it take to replenish the stocks in future years? $150, $200, ?? As a taxpayer I say keep the oil where it is and stop looking for election gimmics.

    August 4, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  8. tony

    Obama thinks he can buy a lot of votes for the promise of a $1000 check.. how dumb does he think we are. he's lost his lead because he's allowed himself to be led around by the polls flipping this way and that .. he needs to get himself some new advisers.. or he'll lose even the "young and dumb" vote

    August 4, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  9. Lynn

    To Leslie: Obama and I share the same birthdate and my gift to him is to continue to voice my opinion and not to vote for him.

    August 4, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  10. Bruce, Chicago

    You are an absolute moron if you believe that pulling oil from our strategic reserve is a good idea. I will say that regardless of which candidate is for it. It was bad enough when we decided to stop adding to it. (How much did that help?) Now we want to draw from it at the same time we have an extremely volitile Middle East and a hurricane season starting up where we could see many refineries taken off line. That reserve is there for a very good reason, and saving 1 or 2 cents (maybe) on gas is not a good reason to draw from it.

    August 4, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  11. bulldog

    "Oil and gas industry executives and employees donated $1.1 million to McCain last month – three-quarters of which came after his June 16 speech calling for an end to the ban – compared with $116,000 in March, $283,000 in April and $208,000 in May." AP July 28, 2008

    What is Romney say Obama lied about? McCain received over 200% increases in donations from oil and gas excetutives after he announced he is for offshore drilling. This is not coming from the Obama campaing, it is coming from independent media sources.

    August 4, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  12. Kurt C.

    Good grief this guy is the dumbest person ever to run for President.

    August 4, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  13. Empty suit, empty promises

    Are you serious "Candy", how sweet, you have an opinion.

    This will do nothing and it is not the intent of this stockpiles usage.

    Just like McCains loosening of the gas tax, this will do EVEN LESS and is a flip-flop strictly for political purposes.

    How may positions can he "refine" in a matter of days, not YEARS, but DAYS?

    Nothing new about his politics, here is worse than ever, comes off as some self annointed messiah, and he uh, uh, uh, uh can't make up his mind let alone change anything. MOTS.

    August 4, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  14. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    jdc August 4th, 2008 12:43 pm ET

    A BETTER idea…put all the worthless welfare recipients on a treadmill for 6 hours a day…let 'em earn their keep, generating electricity and keping out of trouble.

    Jdc For President !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 4, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  15. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    CNN, you should have printed Obama's energy plan in it's entirety. And also got a response from the Obama Campaign.

    People CNN and Politico, really don't care about the American People because they are not reporting to you all of the truth.

    It is just a shame, that when Obama win this election, that we can't sort out the mccain and hillary supporters. Why should they receive the benefits.

    CNN, because I am a Obama supporter, I know you will probably not print this, but at least I know you read it.

    August 4, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  16. FLA Voter

    You know what...Obama has been a part of the DO NOTHING CONGRESS too. However, he's only been a part of it for less than 2 YEARS.

    WAKE UP...he does NOT have the experience to run this country. His energy plan only illuminates his major problem...I still can't beleive you people blindly follow him.

    By-the-way...McCain has a plan, you are just blinded by Obamamania to read it.

    I smell something...oh it must be B.O.

    August 4, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. NC Man

    Shady Obama ... Will we ever know what YOU really think? But again what can you expect from someone who is a one term senator? What a rookie mistake..........I guess Nancy and the DNC will give you the play book soon

    August 4, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  18. NObama

    The Obama strategy of labeling the Clintons racists early on to win AAs and youth votes has REALLY backfired on him.

    Democrats of all races and married into all races and with children of all races are now disgusted with how Obama manipulated racial tensions to steal the nomination. And how he continues to do so while pretending "they" ( his opponents: Hill or McCain) are the ones doing the scaring.

    The Obama camp played up Bills true and innocent remarks in SC as racist. The Media flew with it to elevate the great Obama. The rest is history... and will go down as such in the history books.

    August 4, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  19. B J

    I thought that the offshore drilling was a scheme......

    August 4, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  20. Bendo

    I do hope that the American voters out there are not so shallow to fall for mclames childish attack while Obama is coming up with solutions rather than mocking everything Obama says. Its sad that most of America's brains cant handle real substance over whqt the media is feeding them. The want headlines that attack and the attention span of Americans are about a 30 second soundbite and most ore gulliable to believe anythign they hear from the "news", just go ask all the educated folks in W. Virgina who think Obamas a mulim. Ask the great open minded people of Oklahoma whether they can vote for a black man for president. The reason why states just as N. Dakota, ID, WY, S. Dakota, Alaksa have consistantly voted republican is because 95% of the population is white! So it shows that a great deal of people will not vote for Obama simply because the color of his skin. Now those who say well its his policy I dont like...thats a cop out, they are saying that so they can disquise their true beliefs. Obama is smart to play the 50 state field, spread out, so if all those who say race doesnt matter, go into the voting booth and vote the opposite way, he has some build up in the EC to win anyway. if you take the worst case scenrio, all Obama has to do is to win all of the state Kerry won and add NH and he is in, all those other he can lose even with Ohio and Fla, and Va remaining red. Of course if he wins Fla or Ohio, thats icing on the cake. I suspect you will see Obama to start pulling some resource and putting them into VA, Fla, and Ohio for good measure. I suspect and hope Mclames national poll numbers has reach their peak. The EC map has not changed dramatically and Mclame isnt even close at this point. After the debates, I think a lot of Independents will fall Obama way and go for the "change candidate" over the old established w's 3rd term candidate. Obama need to keep on suggesting solutions and attack back v Mclame's childish mocking, jus the same ole Rove tactics. In the end, it will be this: " Are you better off today than you were 8 yrs ago? Thats the last question Obama needs to ask then humbly ask them for their vote in November! GOTO and win!

    August 4, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  21. The Surly Scholar

    I've always been in support of this strategy. Tap maybe a meager 20 to 30 percent of our already inflated "strategic" oil reserve, and supply will skyrocket, causing prices to drop. But most importantly, they should do it without any announcement or fanfare, so that the speculators who have been building their fortunes on the breaking backs of the American public won't have time to start selling or shorting oil futures, and they'll take a big financial hit.

    That's poetic justice, right there.

    August 4, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10