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

Obama calls for tapping nation's strategic oil reserves

Obama officially unveiled his energy plan Monday.

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. Keith

    McCain had plenty of time to drill oil when Congress had a majority Reblican status for 6 years. Why is he whining now?

    O/08

    August 4, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Tapping into the strategic reserves is very seductive sounding, but it is really not a good idea. These reserves were created for the sole purpose of combating the "oil shortages" of the 1970s.

    If OPEC decides to lower the daily oil output again, what will the US military use to defend itself in the event of an extended emergency situation?

    Even halting or slowing the rate at which oil is purchased will raise the price over the long run. Why? When purchases resume that means demand has gone up, which means the price goes up, too.

    August 4, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  3. Robertr

    Obama has the right idea. We need to completely eliminate this countries need for Foreign Oil and he is the only one with a plan for doing it...that will work. McCain had many years in politics with many opprotunies to do something about this Oil Dependancy mess we are in, but has always been a follower...Not a Leader!
    Obama is the man that can change this countries Energy direction for the better...YES HE CAN!

    August 4, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. David Goldman for OBAMA

    HAPPY BIRTH DAY SENATOR OBAMA.

    AND NOW ON TO A LESS APPEALING SUBJECT.

    MCIDIOT HAS HAD 30 YEARS TO GET SOMETHING DONE,

    ANY THING, JUST A SMALL ACCOMPLISHMENT, ONE TIME RIGHT.

    OTHER THAN MOOCHING ON TAX PAYER DOLLARS AND

    AND SLEAZING AROUND FROM CORNER TO CORNER

    OF LOBBYISTS FOR A BIGGER DOLLAR. HOW HE CAN FOOL

    ANYONE IS A MYSTERY TO BE. HE MAKES BUSH LOOK GOOD.

    August 4, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  5. Fritz

    CNN – please stop repeating McCain's campaigns comments as fact without fact checking them yourselves. In this article CNN states on the ticker page "Obama's call for tapping into strategic oil reserves is an apparent policy shift." Is it a policy shift? Is it consistent with his plans?

    Romney says an accusation that John McCain received over a million dollars from oil executives is dishonest although it appears to be fact given that McCain received $1.1million last year! And yet you repeat the Romney talking point as if it is correct!

    Get off your behinds and do some real journalism! I think you can! If you can't, close up shop!

    While I don't think you will print this, I think everyone at CNN would benefit from reading this.

    August 4, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  6. Mo

    He's right on this one. A bipartisan compromise is what it will take to move this energy issue forward. I haven't heard McCain's position on supporting the compromise, I hope he supports it.

    August 4, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  7. WE NEED THE TRUTH

    FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT THINK OBAMA HAS FLIP-FLOPPED ON OFF-SHORE DRILLING – YOU NEED TO BE EDUCATED!

    What we need in a president is what Obama is showing and that's flexibility. Obama said that if he has to support off-shore drilling for oil now in order NOT TO create a govermental log jam in trying to move forward with alternative energy sources, then he would support off-shore drilling.

    HE WOULD SACRIFACE HIS POSITION IN ORDER TO GET THINGS MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION!!!!

    You all know this man should be our next president...VOTE OBAMA!

    August 4, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  8. TAL

    I'm glad to see that he's open to listening to the people who will be supporting him. Since most Americans support it, this was a good strategic move Senator Obama.

    Yes. We. Can.

    August 4, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  9. Tim E

    On the one hand we have Obama offering a $1000 citizen energy rebate, a windfall profits tax on rich oil companies, 5 million green jobs and independence from Middle East oil dependency in 10 years. On the other hand, we have McCain offering a tire gauge, peeks at Britney and Paris, and a cameo by John's old buddy, Moses. This is going to be a very difficult decision.

    August 4, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  10. Former g.o.p.

    McCain + big oil money = Americans getting screwed.
    Simple math.

    August 4, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  11. Kyle, MT

    McCain will not win because good always trumps evil. Except for the last 7 years. Americans have had a nightmare, and we are just waking up.

    Rove wants John to win so he will have a fighting chance against Republicans who rightfully want to send him to jail.

    O/08

    August 4, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  12. Phantom of the Oprah

    Obama stole the nomination by doing the impossible: trashing 2 GREAT LEADERS and solid democrats- Bill and Hill- by labeling them and all their followers as racist.

    He secured the black vote- he did not count on losing the women and the lifelong democrats by playing dirty.

    BUT... WE WILL WE WILL TEACH YOU
    WE WILL WE WILL TEACH YOU

    Sexism is bad... reverse racism is still racism... vulgarity does not win you votes... cheating is not winning.

    R E S P E C T
    F A I R N E S S

    August 4, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  13. Leslie, TX

    Happy Birthday, Barack.

    My birthday gift to you will be my vote in November. May you get a majority of votes.

    O/08

    August 4, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  14. Michael

    This man's ignorance on this issue is staggering. And would someone please explain to this moron the difference between "profit" and "profit margin. While you're at it, explain it to Durbin Shumer, Pelosi, Reid, and every other demagogic Democrat, who education in economics seems to have stopped at the elementary school level.

    August 4, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  15. tom

    Taxing energy companies and giving it to consumers? Sounds like a good plan except for the rest of us working people who will pay higher prices to offset the higher taxes. Are not higher taxes a disincentive to exploration and production? I guess I am out of the loop. Are corporate profits (and shareholder dividends) now a bad thing? Apparently now they are very bad. Should the governement provide 100% of jobs and all services? Apparently now, yes. Wow, Sen. Obama will unite us together in a socialist paradise! Change, now!

    August 4, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  16. CE

    "...I couldn't agree more with the explanation that Sen. McCain offered a few weeks ago."

    Obama has never had an original thought in his life. He used to take his ideas from Senator Clinton. Now he takes his ideas from Senator McCain.

    Is everyone starting to see the picture more clearly? Scripted speeches does not a leader make!!!

    August 4, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  17. Obama-Junkie, IL

    I heard a good portion of Obama's energy speech. It was aggressive and detailed. It contained short-term solutions and long-term solutions.

    Now it will be interesting to see what the mainstream media deems worthy of reporting on from the Obama energy speech.

    Obama's energy speech was by far the most detailed energy policy speech given by any presidential candidate in this election.

    August 4, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  18. Gracie

    I heard Sen. Obama's speech in Michigan and was truly amazed at his vision for the future. He's absolutely RIGHT, if we, as Americans DON'T step up and start working together on finding NEW energy resources and working towards renewable energy we are setting our nation up for disaster. We need a President who is BOLD enough to PUSH this nation's energy goals to the forefront. We need a President who is willing to think "outside" the box and focus on NEW and BOD technologies to reduce our dependence on foreign oil supplies. He is challenging this country to STEP UP and start using our vast wealth of "technology" across this nation.

    Sen. Obama is absolutely RIGHT. NO one thought we could put a man on the MOON, and we did!!! NO one thought we could go from railroad tracks to metro rails, but we DID. IT takes a President who is willing to take the necessary RISKS to bring this country into the next decade of NEW and MODERN technology.

    So I found this speech to be RIGHT ON and a speech that was sorely needed and Michigan is the state who has proven that they are AHEAD of the game and they KNOW that new technologies and how we do business is KEY, when it comes to our energy future.

    August 4, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  19. Leslie, TX

    California has you covered Mr. President. Of course you will lose in Orange County, but we all know how red the county is.

    O/08

    August 4, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  20. Dave from Menifee

    Bill Clinton did it and it worked and the price went down for awhile. But lets stop fooling are selves the market control the price of oil and we're not the only big dog drinking and that big pond anymore. The best plan is to start moving away from oil by trying to find other types of energy. Mr, Picken who's an oilman is trying to tell us something and we better listen.

    August 4, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  21. Tammy - KCMO

    I prefer this temporary fix to the offshore drilling. We still need to concentrate on finding alternative energy and conserving what we have.

    Place an additional tax on the people that refuse to give up their SUVs to conserve gas. Make them pay more for licensing their oversized vehicles. I understand people needing work vans and pickups for work but I don't understand the soccer mom mentality of the people driving Hummers, Expeditions, etc. when it isn't necessary.

    August 4, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  22. jdc

    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.

    August 4, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  23. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA

    SOOOOOOO !!!!! MCMOOOOOOORON !!!!!!

    30 YEARS IS NOT LONG ENOUGH TO GET SOMETHING DONE??

    XXXXXXNOT A THING XXXXXXXX

    THAT IS A LOT OF EXPERIENCE DOING NOTHING !!!!

    X

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY SENATOR,

    SOON TO BE PRESIDENT OBAMA.

    August 4, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  24. snaz

    policy shift.???..please....McCain flip and shift everyday

    August 4, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  25. NotFallingInLine.org

    We love the way you (Obama) try to find real answers for our problems. Yet, ALL John McCain can do is attack with no answers of his own. See America you should for John McCain because he doesn't has any plans to help us.

    August 4, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
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