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. AJP Richardson, TX

    It's a pleasure to hear from a political that puts forth a workable plan.

    All McCain can do is keep saying more negative commects about Obama, which is due to the fact he has nothing to say for himself

    McCAin is a real looser.

    Wake up America.

    August 4, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  2. Dan , TX

    I love the way people hate common sense and want dogma instead. This is why America is going to be second rate to China, India and Europe if McCain gets in. McCain's plan? Put your head in the sand and relax and enjoy that feeling from behind.

    August 4, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  3. ANGIE

    You see thats why i like obama he seems hes willing to compromise and work across the asile to help the american people FAR TOO LONG WE HAVE HAD A MY WAY OR HIGHWAY PRESIDENT THATS WHY WE ARE IN THIS MESS, THATS HOW MCCAIN IS JUST LIKE BUSH HIS WAY OR THE HIGHWAY, WHEN MCAIN MADE THE STATEMENT SAYING MALAKI WONT REQUEST TIMETABLE FOR TROOP WITHDRAW BECAUSE MCAIN CLAIMS HE KNOWS HIM TO WELL THERES PROOF MCCAIN WILL NOT COMPROMISE IT WILL BE HIS WAY OR NO WAY, WE DONT NEED THAT KIND OF PRESIDENT ANYMORE OBAMA WILL COMPROMISE EVEN IF HE DISAGREES, THATS THE KIND OF CHANGE WE NEED!!!!!!!!!!

    August 4, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  4. vic nashville,Tn

    Sen. Barack .H. Obama inexperience candidate
    Hillary 08 or Mc Cain 08

    August 4, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  5. Esther Marie Cuyahoga Falls OhiO

    this is the time we need to say no to saudi arabia and its terrorist reign.

    August 4, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  6. Sig, Los Angeles CA

    I remember when Bill Clinton released some of the reserves and it brought down the price of gas. This is a short term fix but it's immediate, unlike McCain's plan which would not have any effect on the price of oil at all; in fact, the oil will not be fully developed for 12 years, let alone the oil companies DO NOT have to release the oil to the US markets, they can take it anywhere – another fact you McBush supporters and PUMA (lol) don't understand or don't care.

    And I love how you McBush supporters want off-shore drilling, yet you don't live anywhere near the coast. Our governor said (Arnold), it won't happen off the California coast. And if you want nucelus energy, let's plant it in your backyard; bet you change your tune real quick.

    August 4, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  7. Democrats Turnout Big

    McCain is doing nothing but trying to push the wishes of Big Oil. Those big donations to the RNC come with big expectations. I don't see where McCain is looking to the big picture about anything related to energy. I only see him running negative ads.

    August 4, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  8. chechthisout

    What does he plan to put in the gas tanks of aeroplanes in 10 years time?

    If it is not going to be petroleum, he better start designing and producing new power plants that run on coal or solar energy or whatever.

    10 years is not very far off !!!!

    Can Boeing count on you?

    August 4, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  9. SIMP

    Michael

    Wow your comments are so nasty until it's almost as if you know what to do about our economy. Well dummie do you? You have your nerve saying these people have no clue about the econmic's what do you suggest mr big mouth? I get so sick and tired of negative people like you always making comments as if you can do better, in your case and your level of knowledge I think not.

    Obama

    August 4, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  10. Daryl Hensley

    You are all a bunch of idiots if you really think that there is one iota of difference between these two clowns. When will you realize that only by voting third party candidates can you really bring about change.

    August 4, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  11. Dave in Chicago

    Obama's beginning to sound like an old clock; flip, flop, flip, flop.

    Also, I don't understand why it's bad for McCain to accept donations from oil executives but OK for him to do it. Obama must be able to do it without getting any oil on his hands.

    August 4, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  12. Paul

    McCain is hiding behind his childish attacks!! NOT very presidential..

    He hasnt had to answer for anything!! Hence, i dont know anything about him.. He spends his money attacking his opponent, portraying negativity and immaturity!

    why doesnt he try sell himself on the issues??? simple.. Barack stands for everything America needs right now! McCain does not!
    He can not and will not win on the issues!

    so keep attacking John! You're lot arent capable of doing anything else..

    Obama 08

    August 4, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  13. 17 year old future politician

    People don't know that we get most of our oil from Canada..if we find a way to create alternative oil, and continue to buy the inexpensive Canadian oil, we should start to crack down on our debt with the money we save, and eliminate our ridiculous dependence on Middle Eastern oil. Great plan Obama.

    August 4, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  14. Terry

    OMG. Do NOT vote for this flip flopper! He will agree, disagree, or change his mind to get votes! That's all he's done! He gives nice speeches and no ideas. He'll say he wans this or that if it will make u vote for him. Now more then ever I despise him. Now he wants Florida and Michigan to b fully counted after he didn't before. Now he wants to allow some offshore drilling... What was last weeks flip-flop cause I know there was some. Don't vote for him!!!

    August 4, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  15. Dan , TX

    Rocky, the bill that Obama voted for was called compromise. Ever hear of compromise before? It contained the largest investment in alternative energy ever. That is why Obama voted FOR it and McCAIN voted AGAINST ALTERNATIVE ENERGY!!!! Now YOU explain that!

    August 4, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  16. Vlad

    So Obama wants to use the US's EMERGENCY oil reserves... reserves that are put in place so that in case our oil supply is disrupted our ambulances, fire trucks and generators has the power to run so that our society doesn't go into total chaos. Well that is a great plan. I hope Obama knows that with the US's current oil demand, those reserves wouldn't last us more than a couple of days, if even that long. If you limit the reserves to a city, then yes, it would make a difference, but across the entire nation, not a chance.

    Now say that the oil reserves are going to be used to "ease" the gas prices, do you honestly believe they are going to remain empty after we use it in a few days? No. It is going to be refilled using OUR taxes. I really hope people are smart enough to understand that most of the money that the government uses comes from our TAXES. All the money that Obama promises to give out comes from our TAXES.

    No. This is just another trick in a politician’s book to get our votes. It is just like his $50billion give out, which if only 1/3 of the citizens would get would come out to be $500. Now is that really going to save you? It will help pay for maybe your credit card bill, once.

    Sorry Obama, but you cannot fool me.

    Listen. Read. Question. Vote Smart.

    August 4, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  17. Independant

    Hey, you Obama bashers. Tell me what McCain has done to make us energy independent during is time in Washington. I can't think of one thing. The Republicans do a great job of representing the 2 % elitist wealthy people of this country.

    McCain complains of a 'Do Nothing Washington'. Remember, he has been part of that ‘Do Nothing Washington’ for a quarter century.

    August 4, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  18. Mike - Texas

    18 Republicans and 0 democrats stayed behind to work on an energy policy after Pelosi and fellow democrats hurried through the adjournment procedings so that they could go on vacation.

    The democRATs obviosly don't care that Americans are sufferring, bu Republicans do !!

    Drill here, Drill now. And create American jobs and security !!

    August 4, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  19. Obama supporter: Bipartisan Intelligence in Gov't

    It's interesting that many of these blogs cannot hold more than one point in their minds at one time. Obama has combined MANY proposals in his energy policy to solve the problems of energy dependence, conservation, and job creation.

    It is too bad so many voters and the media can't see the big picture.

    August 4, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  20. McCain:SmallWeakCowardlyManOffersMoreOfTheSame TearsOthersDownToBuildHimselfUp

    John McCain is the saddest excuse for problem solving we've ever heard from. Nothing but critcism and ridicule because he has no original plans or policies of which to speak. Where has the maverick been 95% of the time he agreed with Bush? 5% difference hardly qualifies him as a reformer or independent of Bush(whacking).

    August 4, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  21. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA

    WOW INFLATED TIRES ????

    HOW INFLATED IS MCMOOOOORON?

    HOW DOES 30 YEARS OF O, O, O, O, ACCOMPLISHMENTS

    QUALIFY MCSENILE AS EXPERIENCED.

    OK YOU GOT ME. I TAKE IT BACK !!!!!

    HE IS A VERY ACCOMPLISHED SLEAZY FAILURE.

    August 4, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  22. Didine - Maryland

    Happy Birthday Senator Obama. I wish you many more years and a wonderful presidency! You are trying hard to bring solution on the table, but John McCain spend his time to criticize you without even suggesting anything. He has been so negative lately and we all see that. Since we don't want a third term of GWB, you will be our next president and good luck!

    August 4, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  23. lila

    Barack Obama sought to regain the political offensive on Monday, painting John McCain as part of the problem when it comes to comprehensive energy reform. Quoting the Arizona Republican as saying that "our dangerous dependence on foreign oil has been thirty years in the making," Obama leveled one of the more direct criticisms he's offered in this campaign.

    "What Senator McCain neglected to mention was that during those thirty years, he was in Washington for twenty-six of them," said the Senator. "And in all that time, he did little to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. He voted against increased fuel efficiency standards and opposed legislation that included tax credits for more efficient cars. He voted against renewable sources of energy. Against clean biofuels. Against solar power. Against wind power. Against an energy bill that - while far from perfect - represented the largest investment in renewable sources of energy in the history of this country. So when Senator McCain talks about the failure of politicians in Washington to do

    Obama needs to say that again and again and again and again .

    August 4, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  24. John

    "Apparent policy shift" = Flip Flop

    And not only a flip flop but STUPID IDEA!!! How is it that ANWR drilling will do no good but the relatively small amount in our STRATEGIC reserve will help in easing the price at the pump? I want to see Barak's economics grades!!!! Show me a report card!!!!

    August 4, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  25. McCain = Bush

    McCain = 3rd Bush term with ideas from th 1950's

    August 4, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
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