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. Timber

    Stupid idea, that will leave us even more vulnerable to the oil countries. Obama's inexperience is very dangerous.

    August 4, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  2. RealityKing

    "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.

    Of course, what Obama neglects to mention is that during those very same 30 years, liberal democrats like himself, blocked every attempt at opening domestic oil production. i.e. increased supplies. Preferrring an all or none political strategy that has led us straight to $140 barrel oil. And more, if we continue to listen to liberal democrats like Barrack Obama.

    August 4, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  3. Glen in Los Angeles

    I think Obama's position shift to greater oil access will be a significant factor in lowering gas prices. As we've seen over the past few months, the rule of supply and demand has become irrelevant in the face of speculation. Any news of a potential sudden increase will more than likely lower the market price of oil. As it's seemed to this morning. Is Obama savvy enough to realize that a shift in policy will steer swing voters in his direction once they realize he's the reason they spend less to fill up the tank and heat the house?

    August 4, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  4. demwit

    Didn't Iran just threaten the Hormuz Straights again today? Some kind of new advanced weapon??

    August 4, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  5. Mike - Texas

    This is their GRAND SOLUTION??????

    Obama in an IDIOT !!

    He wants to exposed this country and its people to a potential catastrophy, and that is exactly what the strategic oil reserve is supposed to help stop.

    The Strategic Oil Reserve is a BUFFER to only be used when things get real bad.

    You don't tap your savings account to when normal prices go up, you tighten your belt, ( you cut spending ) and find and a way to make more money. That is, until the democrats take it all away in TAX revenues.

    August 4, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  6. Andy J, NY

    I don't like McCain or Obama, but McCain's energy plan is much better than Obama's....

    And its not just drilling for oil, you mindless sheep- if you even took the time to go to McCain's web site you would see he wants to develop a great number of new nuclear plants – one of the cleanest and most powerful varieties of energy we have.

    Man, you people make me weep. Its sad to see how little you folks think for yourselves, although i would have to say it seems that many more people are waking up to Obama and seeing him for the fraud he is. Obama is a bum, a thug, and a typical Chi-town politician. Grimy.

    August 4, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  7. Elvin Roman

    Finally, a real DETAILED plan on how to deal with this important issue facing Americans today. In contrast, Mr. McCain like always, just dragging behind Obama's vision, gives us a NO Detailed solution and more negative talk against his competitor.

    One advise for Mr. McCain...."Stop hating and more participating!"


    August 4, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  8. ACFX

    What a diversion!
    Like or not, oil is the life blood of our economy. I'm all for developing alternatives, but we're not there yet.
    XOM made 11B on 136B and paid 32B in taxes!.
    Who got the real windfall and did not provide anything to get the stuff in our gas tanks????

    Yeah, GO Obama – All the way to $12 a gallon gas.

    August 4, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  9. ml

    it is kind of risky to deplete our reserves. It is like to use all savings - all savings, and then to have nothing in case of emergency.....

    August 4, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  10. Kiki in DC

    Sylvia, The sad day for america been for the last 8yrs that McBush have been a so called President.......If you are so sick of Obama why even comment or visit a blog where you know CNN will talk about the Democratic Presidental Nominee Barack Obama......Get a life and don't write about someone you can avoid (easily)........

    Michael explain to me what exactly is your line of work? are you a economics expert? Explain why McSame have only a High School Edcuation?? And why you didn't run to become President since you know soooo much about the economy??

    No one or McSnoopy explain why he should be the president! I get he went to war, what else do McSame have to offer other that his Man love for Obama via Ads??? People talk about experience when McBush had experience and look where "EXPERIENCE" got us!!!!

    Happy Birthday Obama......Mine B-Day is only 6 days away...Go Leos!

    August 4, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  11. Obama's intra-party Hatred lost my vote

    Bush (should have) taught us that we should never vote for a self-proclaimed "uniter". That person is generally the WORST divider.

    I will not vote for the Man who divided the democratic party I have loved for over 35 years.

    I will never vote for a cocky, swaggering, self-proclaimed savior.

    August 4, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  12. Steve

    Once again I see that the Hillaridiots are raising their pointed little heads again. You clowns act as if the primary was all one-sided, and poor defenseless little girl Hillary was beaten up by the playground bully. I suggest revisit what when on. Hillary took verbal shot after verbal shot at Obama. She distorted his record, she lied about her own experience (anyone dodge an imaginary sniper bullet lately?).
    Hillary changed her position on major issues over and over again. First she was all for Michigan and Florida being denied their delegate votes until she realized she was losing. Then she was an "every vote must count" kinda gal.

    The primary was hard-fought by both sides. Hillary, for all her "experience" and being coached by her husband Bill, lost, fair and square. Hillary was no defenseless little girl. She tried every trick in the book (including theatrical crying).

    Those of us who voted against Hillary didn't do it because of race or gender. We did it simply because she was not ready for the job. She lost.

    The only hatred coming out of this campaign now are from the Hillaridiots. Get over it. Go home. Shut up. Vote for McCain if you want, but be ready to accept the consequences of your actions. A vote for McCain in this election will be a lost vote for Hillary if she tries her shenanigans again in 2012.

    August 4, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  13. Richard

    Barack Hussein Obama you are a lying snake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Flip Flop or what? You and your ugly big mouth wife are arrogant.

    August 4, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  14. No O in the midwest

    Wow, this guy is losing it. I think he is in panic mode. Anyone else beyond scared to petrified if this guy gets in?

    August 4, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  15. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    What has changed since he last opposed this idea. We were paying more for gas then as opposed to now. The only change is his numbers are going down with no end in site. He had to do something to stop his numbers from falling. That is why he is reversing his decision on this not to help you, just to help his numbers.

    August 4, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  16. NObama

    Just like Bush:

    mocking gloating
    self proclaimed UNITER that is a divider.

    August 4, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  17. Sell your gas guzzlers!

    I can't believe how many people are still hanging on tooth and nail to drive their big gas guzzlers!! Do we really need to drive such big trucks and SUV's. I see a hummer and laugh.. what are these people just silly or to dumb to get the point? Just because some people want to race around in big trucks and not bite the bullet and get smart about gas mileage.. the National Park reserve in Alaska will be threatened?? Give me a break! Unless you need a truck for work park us all a favour and save the environmet while you are at it!!
    I find some Americans want it all.. big trucks and low gas prices it doesn't work that way. Quit being so spoiled and get wise about what your vanity is costing you!

    August 4, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  18. McEmtol

    A very delicate position.....would like to hear expert and analysts on what this might mean for the country........

    August 4, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  19. Debra

    I am very disappointed in Obama playing the race card this whole election. It's too bad that he felt he had to do that to win. He called a lot of people racist unjustly and they will never forget it. He denighed a lot of people the right to vote and they will never forget it either. This is the first time in history that I can remember that the Demcratic party threw other members of the Democratic party under the bus. And Clinton supporters are pissed! Even the ones that are voting for Obama don't really like him. He has done dispicable things and I don't want him for my president.

    August 4, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  20. Conner, CA

    Saddleback Church is playing games. They said they would have information regarding the Civic Forum with Obama and McCain on their website on 8/1/08. It didn't happen. Now they are saying they will have the information on the website today. Still no information. The day isn't over, but this may be a ploy.

    Oh well, they're in the tank for John McCain anyway. Barack is walking right into a trap.

    August 4, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  21. Tim-Buc-Tu

    If the Candidates looks come into play when choosing a President and as you Cnn have print negative about Obama then let us discuss McCains looks FAIR IS FAIR

    John McCain
    A short ,short legs, over weight , is missing hair thats white ,large head ,wide mouth ,walks slow and apears to be stiff .

    August 4, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  22. Michelle, PA

    Tapping the reserves is a good idea for the short term if and only if it is being used as temporary relief while a second, more permanent strategy is in play. Otherwise, it's just encouraging consumption without a long-term plan. have to see more details – from somebody other than a blogger or spam e-mailer – to make up my mind how I feel about the whole plan, including this.

    August 4, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  23. Happy 47th Barack!!

    Happy Birthday Barack! Your name Barack means "Blessed One" in Hebrew..and you are that!! You are so special and may God bless and protect you in all your ways!

    August 4, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  24. Dale, Kentucky

    For immidiate needs this is a great idea.
    Republics seem to fall for McBushes Idea that off shore drilling is the way to go, even though we won't see oil from it for a decade or more. Then the McBushes will probably sell that to China

    August 4, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  25. demwit

    Look! Look!! Oil down $4 today.

    Proving once again that when the progressive messiah speaks, prices listen..

    August 4, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
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