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. bulldog

    Tapping the strategic reserves would immediately lower oil and gas prices as it has every other time we've done it. Furthermore, the strategic oil reserve has more oil in that ever before in history. Tapping 70 million barrels would still keep the reserves at historical highs. Bush doesn't want to see the gas prices go down as well as most of his Republican allies. They are buddies with the big oil companies and are trying to get them more land before Bush leaves town.

    Don't believe the Republican liars. They will lie straight to your face without blinking an eye in order to help out their buddies.

    August 4, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |


    August 4, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  3. ex-Republican for Obama

    It's true that McCain is in the pockets of big oil and has been for 26 years.
    He is running a lying, dishonorable campaign, trying to win by attacking Obama's character rather than on the issues. This is an honorable man? He's not worthy of the presidency.

    August 4, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  4. Jessica

    As much as I like money in my pocket- does anyone actually think handing out more checks will solve our problems?!?!?

    August 4, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  5. Pamela

    I couldn't agree more with the direction Obama wants to take this country to deal with energy.
    And by the way, keeping your car tires properly inflated DOES save gas!
    Senator McCain would not know that of course as I am sure he has never put air in a tire before! Rich people pay others to do those mundane tasks!

    August 4, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  6. Demogogue

    Sweet talk and pretty smiles from this beautiful half-black man will not make reparations for gutting and trashing Hillary by using dirty politics of division and hate.

    You played the race card and inflamed racial tensions.
    You inspired hatred in your cult folowers and it divided the party.
    You ridiculed, denigrated, mocked and demeaned fellow DEMOCRATS.
    You used strong-arm tactics to steal votes at caucus.
    You hired lawyers to prevent votes for Hillary from counting in Fl and Mi.
    You stole the nomination by cheating.

    You did not care because all that mattered was YOUR OWN SELF.

    August 4, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  7. Patrick Henry, Fort Myers

    This is poo..

    In the U.S. we also possess the largest and most technologically sophisticated rubber and injection molded plastics manufacturing industries on the planet. You can't make that with solar, wind, or natural gas.

    August 4, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  8. Jeremy D @ UT

    What he [McCain] also failed to mention was that he has no long term goal to get us off of dirty energy. Nuclear power as an alternative locks us into a 2-decade financial committment for every nuclear plant instead of making a long term goal for more green energy and a new green job industry.

    August 4, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  9. Obama's got two mouths

    Sorry to say I am a democrat. I am no way republican either. People like Obama makes you think twice before giving money to the Campaign for Change. What a rip off.

    NO OBAMA, NO MCCain.

    August 4, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  10. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    Disagree here ... short term relief ... almost as bad as McCain trying to drill our way out of a crisis ...

    When your oil or emergency reserves are gone, you are left over a barrel – a barrel of oil.

    Very short-sighted ...

    August 4, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  11. Empty suit, empty promises

    Uh, uh, uh, uh, uh Barry, what YOU failed to mention is that while McCain was in the Senate the group of people that fought new refineries, wind farms, nuclear energy and coal usage etc, etc were uh, uh, uh, uh Democrats.

    Start drilling smartly NOW on what WE OWN and instead of 30 more years of DEMOCRATS TALKING and doing NOTHING, let's actually start finding and funding the alternatives while USING what WE OWN.

    Does that sound like uh, uh, uh, uh and energy plan?

    It should, it is what McCain wants to do.

    August 4, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  12. Sylvia

    Obama makes me SICK
    this democrat for McCain .......
    sad day for America

    August 4, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  13. a southern bell for OBAMA




    August 4, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  14. J.S.

    I think it's a bad idea to tap into our reserves–Iran could cut off the ports if they decide to and we would be in a world of hurt...

    August 4, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  15. Rocky

    This is a fact Obama voted for the bill that gave the oil companies the tax break. McCain voted against it. I would interested to hear BO supporters defend this vote.

    August 4, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  16. Fools for Obama

    Only the sheople are still listening.

    The true democratic people walked away long ago.

    Hatred and race-baiting and force and threats to steal the nomination will do that.

    August 4, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  17. Jim

    At first I was against this but filling it back at a later time after price's go down does make more sense, aspecially if this will bring price's down while helping the average family and the economy.

    See if the old fart Mccain spent half his time also focusing on energy instead of smear campaigning against Obama maybe they could both think of some good solutions, but instead he's thinking of clever ways to make fun of Obama, what a waste, republican trash, with 100 million of his wife's money it's abvious why he could care less.

    August 4, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  18. Candy West Virginia

    Why would the americans want something that although it will lower our gas prices and provide immediate relief it won't make john mccain's oil buddies rich? Come on America, stop being so selfish thinking only of your pockets, john and cindy and their buddies need to continue to make billions off of us and they can't do that with Baracks' sound plan of tapping the oil reserves.

    August 4, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  19. proud army and navy mom

    cnn, didn't you just post this story? what's wrong are getting senile like mcbush?

    August 4, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  20. Mike, TX


    Change eh? Wasn't this idea launched a few months ago? Another "new" idea from this weakling. The joke continues!

    Arrest Howard Dean for treason!

    August 4, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  21. World Angel

    I guess if McCain couldn't change it in 26 years, I'm pretty sure you wont be able to change it in 4 years, and you agree with what he said. What make Obama think, he's plan will work in spite of anyone else plan. It's good to hear something different, but REALITY is a whole different ball game.

    August 4, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  22. E for Obama

    Now McCain is going to respond by telling us his energy policy or he is just going to attack Obama. Im betting its the ladder.

    August 4, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  23. Nikki

    God forbid should a politician "shift" on a policy in an attempt to rid us from dependency on foreign oil and to bring about comprehensive energy reform. I wonder how many will educate themselves on Obama's belief that should offshore drilling take place, it should come from the areas that are currently owned by oil companies and shouldn't be expanded any further than those areas. Will the anti-Obama crowd bother to to be dismayed that McCain is against the current offshore drilling proposal because it calls for taxation of oil companies? Oh, but wait a minute- McCain is for offshore drilling (so long as his oil buddies that donated millions to his campaign don't bear some consequence). Cue the anti-Obama attacks in 5,4,3,2,1...

    August 4, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  24. Mike

    The content of the article didn't match the headline. Most of this article talked about McCain and his response and stupid gag gifts instead of the details of Obama's plan. CNN stop your bias.

    August 4, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  25. Rapha TEXAS

    Once Again Obama changes his stance on an issue. Big Surprise..

    Obama is a joke. If he would admit when he was wrong and stop changing his opinion on something every other day, America would have more respect for the man.

    Fact: Obama said the troop surge in Iraq, would never work.
    Fact: Its working.

    Fact: Obama said that off shore drilling in the gulf of Mexico is a Washington gimmick and will not reduce gas prices at the pump.
    Fact: Obama now supports off shore drilling.

    Go McCain

    August 4, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
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