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. George

    If additional off shore drilling is allowed, what would be the impact on the financial ledgers of the oil companies. Would their stock go up due to the potential future earnings? Would the large stockolders benefit? would those with stock options at preset prices benefit?
    Wake up !! ENRON, anyone?

    August 4, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  2. smile!!!!!!

    mc c has been, is, and will be a disgrace to this country

    30 years in congress and what has he done? AGAINST THE GI BILL, WOMENS RIGHTS, MLK´s BIRTHDAY HOLIDAY

    Remember KEATING 5 billions of taxpayers money.....wasted

    Family values:

    you just saw the ad about Paris and Britney: he prefers young girls, that´s why he dumped Carol, his legitimate wife for what?... a younger one, of course

    August 4, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  3. Rebuplican for Obama!

    Finally someone who does not pander the American people!!!!

    Go Obama! 2008 + 20012

    August 4, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  4. Chuck, Montgomery, AL

    My friends – I intend to spend all my campaign money bashing Obama's ideas. That got my best friend W elected twice, so you fools will elect me because I'm like W.

    I'm John McWarmonger, and I approve this message.

    August 4, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  5. norml

    i love how repubs all try to get the first tirade posted,to the point they don't even read the article,they haven't listened to the details,they just spew their anger at everything obama says.they are so desperate for a 'movement' of their own,but,they no longer have bush to lead them.so they choose the best candidate they had[ eight years ago],to run this year,when he's so old,that he has to have crist or lieberman there to hold his hand and show him which way to go.you republicans are the reason our problems have been covered in dust,for thirty years,and now that were desperate for change,you cry for more of mcsame!

    August 4, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  6. Dave, Illinois

    Why would you squander our buffer against a real energy disaster? Oh yeah, to make political point with your uninformed legions of sheep.

    McCain's plan: Off-shore drilling, Nuclear power; Incentives for American technological advances in battery efficiancy, Wind, Solar..

    Obama's plan: harness the power of polls, put more air in your tires, tap our emergency reserves, hope, change, audacity, blah, blah, blah...

    August 4, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  7. EWC

    Are the Obamabots aware that Newt Gingrich has stated recently that we should go into the nation's strategic oil reserves to stop the speculating of oil in the financial markets? Speculators are a major factor in the price increase.

    Now, that either makes Obama smart like Newt Gingrich, or Gingrich is equally as dumb as Obama. Which is it?

    See http://www.afa.net/newtvideo.html

    August 4, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  8. fred

    It's funny how democrats hate when big oil companies make profits, although they also want big oil companies to spend money to do research on alternative energy choices, and on new drilling and such. Well, if they aren't allowed to make these profits, then who will pay for this research that you liberals are calling for?? Also, remember that people don't get paid yearly salaries. They get paid hourly, so it really doesn't matter what profits are. They are already paid. The profits go to the stock and mutual fund shareholders, which are average Americans. Did you liberals ever think of these things?????

    Now, Obama proposes something with the word "tax" attached, so I'm automatically against it, and I'm also against tapping into our emergency oil reserves unless we put back what we take out at a later time.

    August 4, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  9. Rick

    Obama is starting to sound like a true Democrat,e
    Flip Flop then Flip Flop, One minute he's against it all, then he's for it, come on Obama, you either want to help the American people or you want to help yourself, What is it?..........stand up, lead and work for the American People or get out of the way and let someone else put the economy back in shape......

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

    Ha! This guy flips and flops more than a fish out of water.

    Great choice DNC! I say DNC because the real voters wanted Billary and the DNC selecte the false messiah. Another brilliant strategic plan, brought to you by Howard (YEEHAAWWW) Dean and the Dimocratic Party. 🙂

    You guys are so much fun to watch..................

    Vote McCain or join the insane..................

    August 4, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  11. proud army and navy mom

    I think BHO should change his name to Barack "Mr.Goodyear"Obama.... I had no idea proper inflation on your tires would save gas. I heard the Obama campain is conducting research as well about jack rabbit starts lowering your fuel econmy but that is still in the reseach phase and will be a part of his "Comprehensive Energy plan' that you can read on his sight.

    But dont ask him about it in person because he didnt write it and may not know the answer

    August 4, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  12. Major Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    America has been "held over the barrel" long enough.......Alternate energy sources and high technology is the answer, We are not going to drill our way out of this energy crisis.

    August 4, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  13. David

    Do not do a windfall tax. Its been tried and failed. Releasing the reserve is bad too. We should be building it up in case Isreal attacks Iran. We need alternative energy and offshore drilling. Democrats get us those two things and you will be fine. Where can I get one of those cool tire gauges?

    August 4, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  14. Amy

    What he doesn't say (as usual) is in the past doing this very thing DOES bring down the price of gas at the pump.....a few pennies. More hot air. More empty promises. More bumber sticker sayings – NO REAL CHANGE!

    Anybody but Obama 08!!

    August 4, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  15. smile!!!!!!

    BORN IN THE USA Happy Birthday Mr. Obama

    Born in Panama....and hates the Panamanians, for being latinos, what a fraud the man is, that is mc c

    August 4, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  16. Phil in KC

    I am a Democrat and I will vote for Obama in November. However – disagree with him on this issue. The strategic oil reserves are there in case of a true emergency. If, for example, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia were to stop selling oil to the US. It allows our defense organizations to continue on uninterrupted. It lets the railroads and trucks continue to deliver goods. It is not there so that we can still make trips to the mall when oil gets a little expensive. No, we need to leave those reserves alone.

    August 4, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  17. OMG......not again

    This man is such a fraud. He's flipped on everything. NOW this!

    He beat Hillary up in the primary saying a windfall profits tax was "pandering" and it was just a B.S. tactic to win votes. NOW HE'S FOR IT!!!!!!!! And you koolaid drinkin' reporters won't even call him out on it. You guys are pathetic.

    Hey, I heard Obama say last week that all the main stream media journalists should go jump off Niagara falls. Since you do everything he says, you better get going. I know you don't like to upset the King.

    August 4, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  18. Joseph, Los Angeles

    At least Senator Obama comes up with ideas. All we hear from McCain and his cronies are attacks-attacks-attacks. No clear cut ideas are coming from the republican candidate. I don't know what McCain stands for. All I see is the continuance of the Bush era.

    August 4, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  19. WakeUpUSA

    What a gimick. Just another diversionary tactic from the Democrats. Blame Big Oil. Blame the Republicans. Blame speculators. Focus on everything but the real problem. It's supply and demand – Economics 101. We've tried this before and it only served to reduce domestic production and increase prices. Tapping the oil reserve would do little beyond a few cents or a few days. Even if you buy into his idea, who should get those $1,000 checks? Everyone, even those that don't drive or have short comutes? How do you distribute it fairly? The only way to fairly and strategically deal with the problem is to reduce prices by increasing supply AND promoting alternatives. While Pelosi and Kucinich waste time considering the impeachment of Bush (who won't even be here next year) and other useless matters, our bank accounts get smaller. In my opinion, at least half of Congess should be impeached (Democrats and Republicans) for gross negligence over the years.

    August 4, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  20. southerner

    McCain will win because good always trumps evil.

    There, I fixed that statement.

    August 4, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  21. Mike

    I totally agree with Obama. He is showing flexibility to get something done that Bush has never shown. If you have to give something to get a lot back, then do it. That is good business and good trade. If you just stick to your guns for political reasons and not bend, nothing would be accomplished and that is what has been happening in this country for the last 8 years. You do need a President who is interested in compromising for a greater good. This is not a weakness, it is a strenfgth.

    August 4, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  22. JUST-A-DRIP..!

    Sen Obama not inspiring at all when it comes to communicate

    real issues the people need to hear, here Sen Obamas' not so

    glib tongue is abating as fast as the swift currents rushing down

    an overflowing river. On the other hand Sen McCain is less on

    fancy talk and more on substance...explaing issues well...

    Independent......voting....McCain.....2008 !!

    ****************************************************************************

    August 4, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  23. RW

    Another flip and a flop coming when he votes for off shore drilling.
    If people actually vote for this fool were in trouble
    Doesn't he also want to have a windfall profit's tax on oill companies?
    That's right, piss them off, great way to get higher prices at the
    pump.

    August 4, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  24. Wanda

    The Republicans are responsible for ruining this country. If you've notice all those rats who raced to Washington to declare GW the winner and plan his inaugural are no longer around. Some, like Karl Rove are even dodging subpoenas.

    When will America wake up to the fact that George Bush has changed our lives in a negative way–forever. Is the solution voting for his clone? No.

    August 4, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  25. Jordan, NC

    "Obama calls for giving 'full vote' to Michigan, Florida delegates"

    WHY IS THIS NOT THE TOP STORY?

    WHY WAS COMMENTS CLOSED SO EARLY FOR THAT STORY?

    WHY WAS THE NEWS RELEASED BY THE DNC ON A SUNDAY?

    THESE ARE THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS.

    OBAMA STOLE THE NOMINATION AND HE SHOULDN'T EVEN BE HERE RIGHT NOW. A LOT OF THINGS COULD HAVE HAPPENED HAD ALL VOTES AND DELEGATES BEEN COUNTED IN MICHIGAN AND FLORIDA BUT THE PRESS IS JUST HAPPY TO TREAT THIS AS ANOTHER STORY. FOR ONE,

    WHY DID OBAMA GO AGAINST FULL REPRESENTATION BEFORE? WHY WAS IT SO CRITICAL BACK THEN THAT THAT HAPPENED?

    OBAMA IS PLAYING POLITICS AND THE PUBLIC AND MEDIA IS JUST LETTING IT SLIDE. IF HE DOESN'T EVEN HAVE HIS WORD, WHAT DOES HE HAVE? HE HAS GOT NO EXPERIENCE. AND PARIS IS MORE OF A WASHINGTON OUTSIDER THAN OBAMA, WHY DON'T WE ELECT HER? THIS IS RIDICULOUS.

    BRING HILLARY BACK!!!

    August 4, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
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