August 4th, 2008
12:00 PM ET
14 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. jamaal Die Hard Obama Supporter

    lets tap those reserves and bring some of that oil out so we can have cheaper gas prices Obama 08

    August 4, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  2. kendall

    I really can't wait to see Obama and McCain debate, it's going to be the best realtity show series to date.

    August 4, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  3. Brad from Syracuse

    This guy changes directions more than Hillary ever did. Is he joking? Placing MORE taxes on an already over taxed industry? And give that money to whom? Do you HONESTLY think that any American, right now, given $1000 will do anything with it other than to pay bills? I agree that opening the Strategic reserves will drop prices, but its only a band aid on a very large open wound. Open up the oil shale area, open up the off shore drilling, promote more Nuclear Power Plants, more energy efficient and cleaner burning coal. Don't tax an industry just because it looks good politically. At least McCain has a plan other than tire pressure gauges and the same old song and dance with the democrats of TAX, TAX, TAX!

    August 4, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  4. Carl from MI

    Once again, the Republicans ONLY concern is for whatever benenfits Big Oil!!! Tap the stupid reserve already!! Country BEFORE Party!

    A windfall profits tax? Will $1000 actually help the general public MORE than letting it stay in the pockets of Big Oil... hmmmm, that one's a NO BRAINER!! They've made how many BILLIONS of dollars last quarter alone. Record profits again? Time for them to return some of the cash they've robbed from us American Citizens.

    Time to vote the Republicans out of the Oval Office and out of the Congress... haven't they done enough damage already with Bush's policies and the Congressional filibusters (more filibusters in the history of Congress!!). Time for them to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 4, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  5. Allan

    The obama is desperate. Poll go down, so he tray to do something to change polls. He soooooooooo domb. I would not hire him to be ceo of small comp.

    August 4, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  6. Enlightened Voter

    McCain is such a scum bag. He talks about Barack's lack of support for GI's!!!! Give me a break, he has voted against 9 bills to support GI's the latest one about a month ago and yet he cares????!!! puuuulease. Next he will say that he supports latinos when in Feb 08 he said 'off camera' the only they were good for was cheap labor. Fortunately someone got it on their cell phone.

    August 4, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  7. Bob in Florida

    Ironic that on the same day Obama says he wants to tap into the Strategic Oil Reserve, Iran boasts of being able to close the Strait of Hormuz, where much of the world's oil supply goes through. Obama obviously doesn't understand the meaning of "Strategic" (merely WORDS I suppose).

    Kinda reminds me of Al Gore giving Global Warming speeches during blizzards.

    August 4, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  8. Upon Further Review

    We need to nationalize the oil companies and now.

    August 4, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  9. Dems are stuck in the fix they rigged

    Obama made the national discourse all about race by playing the race card and inspiring hatred in his newbies.

    Now that he has safely stolen the nomiantion, he wants people to forget the dirty tactics he used to trash the better candidate.

    NOW he wants the campaign to no longer be a referendum on race.


    we will we will teach you
    we will we will teach you

    August 4, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  10. Liz

    Did he give up on just putting air in our tires as his energy plan?? Maybe, there's still a chance Hillary will be the democratic nominee now that Obama wants to "unite" again and count all the FL and MI votes–One can only HOPE

    August 4, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  11. Why are americans so lazy

    this is the time of truth for all americans who keep talking about off shore drilling you are an idiot if you think it will help lower your gas cause it won't does Obama have to lecture ever american about this to understand. The bottom line is americans are lazy you all want the easy way out you all talk about your pride for your country but the truth is all you want is things been giving to you. Obama is a very smart man you all say you want relief and he says lets tap the reserves which will be a fast relief but no you all start to cry and whine like a baby.
    What happen to a country that use to be respected,the people are positive,hardworkers not anymore you just a bunch of whiners.
    Vote for maccain and lets see if you guys will be better off the truth is america is afraid of change while the whole world is changing all americans want to do is sit on there hands and blame,point fingers.
    Reality check america is a second world country cause it is a poor country now.

    August 4, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  12. Are you INSANE???

    Great idea... Let's destroy our reserve which sole purpose is to protect our national security incase of war, foreign government's attempts to bully us, national emergency, natural disaster, etc, etc, etc.

    This is not the answer to lower gas prices a few cents for a few months, this a crude and uneducated decision to get votes.

    If we elect this man we will be bullied by foreign gov'ts... We have no leverage if for some reason an oil producing country veto's trade with us.

    Obama will put this country in scary position of being the completely unprepared incase of a serious attack.


    Johnny Mac would never put our country in this position... YOU KNOW WHY... HE ACTUALLY HAS SOME MILITARY AND GOVERNMENTAL EXPERIENCE

    August 4, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  13. Jason

    So we have a choice:

    Tapping Oil Reserves = Nanny State Spoon-Feeding

    Offshore Drilling = Free-market Capitalism

    August 4, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  14. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA











    August 4, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  15. Obama = Demise of USA


    The reserve is like America's savings... You don't blow it over this. It is there for something far worse then high gas prices.

    Obama has no experience and will ruin this great country.

    Mac '08

    August 4, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  16. Ron democrat turned independent

    will sen obama define windfall profits. what percentage of return on your money is the cut off point on your investment? if it applies to oil companies why not for profit universities (huge profits there) or other successful businesses. will he guaranty his party will vote for this Pandora's box legislature. if Michigan gets to build ALL the new hybrid vehicles of the future.what will happen to the jobs in the other states that are now building vehicles.if he opts out of NAFTA like he told Michigan the last time he was chasing votes from the unions how will he build that pipeline across Canada obama as a big credibility problem am 64 years old with a grade nine education which to-day would be the equivalent of maybe grade 6 or 7 . point being if i can see the idle rhetoric in the speech i heard to-day why does obama think he can keep insulting the intelligence of American people

    August 4, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  17. Matt, Canoga Park

    Barack that is one of the dumbest ideas you have ever said yet. You don't want us to drill for more but want us to use the strategic reserve for an emergency so we can save a nickle off a gallon of gas.

    Once again you prove you are too simple and naive ever to get elected president. What are we suppose to do in a real emergency then? Wish we didn't follow your plan? What part of strategic and emergency do you not understand.

    A presidential nominee would be better off saying you would make a law that all cars must get 60mpg in 4 years, and phasing out all gas based cars in 10.

    But no Barack, have America pull its pants down and hope no one noticed and takes advantage.

    August 4, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  18. Enrique, Chicago

    Bush's enery policy is what got us to $4/gallon gasoline. McCain wants to continue with Bush's policy. There is no debate here. McCain is wrong.

    August 4, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  19. Whichever way the wind blows ...

    Which way are the polls blowing today? That's the way BHO leans. Yes, treat McCain like he's the sole problem for our government not doing anything to fix the problem. What about your surrogate Bill Clinton who was in the highest office in the land eight of those years ... and did nothing about it?

    Geez. Hindsight is 20/20. How about present a reasonable solution, Obama? Your fairytale thinking isn't going to solve anything. You know what the Bible says about hope deferred? Look it up.

    August 4, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  20. CNN please report the Details of Obama's Plan

    CNN (Most trusted name in news) Please point out the details of Obama's plan. I watched the entire speech and it was the most detailed I've seen.It was awesome! Please don't make the headline out of something that has nothing to do with the issues.

    Proud of you Barack! Happy Birthday , You Rock!

    August 4, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  21. M

    It's quite funny how when every other candidate has a policy shift they are hailed as poster children for not having sound judgement when it comes to certain policies, but when Obama shifts on policies it's lauded as him being flexible and sacrificial. Obama is a joke!

    McCain 08

    August 4, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  22. Kongtooth


    Don't let facts get in the way of Dalai Bamas claims.

    Shame on you...

    Obama 08... Change for the sake of change... and if you don't like it don't worry... he will change his mind again later... prior to adjusting his position on the previous change...

    August 4, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  23. Non-believer

    a southern bell for OBAMA:





    He isn't Jesus – I bet you pray to Obama at night, don't you? CREEPY.

    August 4, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  24. Patricia

    Obama's solution during this crisis was to tell us all to inflate our "overnight" he announces this "brand new" plan to tap the nations oil reserves (cough cough Pelosi) and also to tax the windfall profits and offer rebate checks paid for by said proposed taxes...(cough cough more Pelosi).
    The problem is...As we all know, Obama like the higher gas prices.
    So I want to know...
    Will Obama now go around the country telling the citizens here that his pro windfall profits tax rhetoric should be viewed as more about political positioning than a clear articulation of policy plans? ...:P
    ....I'ts obvious that inflating hot air is the only solution that Obama can truly stand by and claim as his own.

    August 4, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  25. Barack Uda

    Unfortunately, some are incapable of understanding Obama's high level thinking, and how important it is to compromise in ANY type of relationship when you want that 'ship' to move forward.

    There is a difference in the actions of off shore drilling and tapping the reserve. The first, unfortunately, opens us up to disastrous oil spills and may not produce a usable product for some time.

    The second means using a bit of what we've already stored for an emergency . Our reserves are at an historic level currently. If anyone thinks we're not in an emergency, you're not thinking clearly

    Vote Hope for us all!

    August 4, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
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