Monday, August 04, 2008

Obama Was Against Offshore Drilling Before He Was For It

Here's what Sen. Barack Obama said about offshore drilling two months ago:

"When I'm president, I intend to keep in place the moratorium here in Florida and around the country that prevents oil companies from drilling off Florida's coasts," Obama told reporters in Jacksonville in late June. "That's how we can protect our coastline and still make the investments that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and bring down gas prices for good."
This past Thursday, Obama held steadfast to his opposition to offshore drilling, as CNN reports:

Even as recently as Thursday, Obama refused to cede any ground, calling McCain's proposal "a strategy designed to get politicians through an election."

"It's not going to provide short-term relief or medium-term relief or in fact long-term relief. It won't drop prices in this administration or in the next administration or in the administration after that," Obama said while campaigning in Iowa.

One day later, Obama had a change of heart when he said this:

But Friday, Obama admitted that something is better than nothing and praised a bipartisan energy plan from the Senate that combines alternative energy innovation, financial, nuclear energy and drilling proposals.
He said he is still skeptical about drilling's potential to lower gas prices or reduce dependence on foreign oil:

"The Republicans and the oil companies have been really beating the drums on drilling," Obama said in the interview with the Florida paper, "and so we don't want gridlock. We want to get something done."

Okay, the Republicans and oil companies made me do it. Kind of reminds me of comedian Flip Wilson's catch phrase back in the 1970's, "The Devil Made Me Do It."


Vox Populi said...

Here's what John McCain, an opponent of drilling in ANWR and previously against offshore drilling had to say about offshore drilling:

"[W]ith those resources, which would take years to develop, you would only postpone or temporarily relieve our dependency on fossil fuels," McCain said when asked about offshore drilling. "We are going to have to go to alternative energy, and the exploitation of existing reserves of oil, natural gas, even coal, and we can develop clean coal technology, are all great things. But we also have to devote our efforts, in my view, to alternative energy sources, which is the ultimate answer to our long-term energy needs, and we need it sooner rather than later."

Gary R. Welsh said...

Oh, so you agree that Obama is just another politician like McCain?

Jon E. Easter said...

FINALLY!!! You're discussing the real issues again. I salute you AI!

Vox Populi said...

Yes, I agree that Obama and McCain are two politicians. And they are both wrong on expanding offshore drilling.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Good, Vox. We finally agree on something.

Vox Populi said...

We have to remember, though, that in 2000 John McCain was the media darling and the "new kind of politician." That marketing isn't new, and I think McCain is just pissed that Obama took his place.

Billy said...

If you assess Obama's comments on offshore drilling fairly, you will see that he still does not support it, but that he also does not want to hinder recent efforts between Republicans and Democrats to reach a compromise on this issue. Essentially, all he said is that he does not want to get in the way; not that he is for offshore drilling or even that he thinks this is the wisest course of action. This is hardly evidence that he has flipped on the issue. It just proves he is willing to work on a bipartisan basis to exact change in broken policies.

The compromise that is being worked out between Democratic and Republican leaders will allow for limited offshore drilling in exchange for increased funding in the development of fuel efficient vehicles and alternative fuel sources, and neither Obama nor McCain are responsible for the compromise though they are getting the majority of the media attention on the subject.

Unknown said...

People who opppsing drilling offshore and in ANWR have an antiquitated view of the danger and harmful effects of drilling for oil. Technology over the past 30 years has advance enormously when it comes to oil drilling. It's much safer. And now with "directional drilling" you can drill UNDER a particular area without disturbing the survace.

Yet, nonetheless, people cling to these opinions of drilling that are based on antiquated models that have long ago been cast aside by the industry.

Billy said...

You're right flynn. Oil drilling is much safer than it used to be, and this was proven during Hurricane Katrina when several platforms were severely damaged with little to no spillage. However, this is not why the people oppose offshore drilling. It has been widely argued by many oil industry experts that the result of offshore drilling and drilling in ANWR would be a slight decrease in gasoline prices 10-30 years from now. While this issue is disputed, there has been no credible claim that there would be an immediate and substantial decrease in gas prices within a short time period. Considering this, it is simply a waste of resources and time to expand offshore drilling.

As for ANWR, the environmental impact of drilling would be catastrophic, but not because of spills. The creation of the infrastructure (i.e. roads, buildings, oil dereks, etc.) needed to drill for the oil and transport it to the pipelines would seriously disturb the fragile ecosystem that currently exists there, and because the best possible result of the drilling would be a small decrease in gas prices a decade or more from now, it is simply idiotic to seriously consider this option.

Concerned Taxpayer said...

"... would seriously disturb the fragile ecosystem that currently exists there, and because the best possible result of the drilling would be a small decrease in gas prices a decade or more from now ..."

Now you see...this is what happens when idiots get their "news" from the MSM and/or liberals, instead of actually getting both sides of the story.

Billy said...

Well concerned tax payer, tell me where I should be getting my news. How is what I am saying wrong? Seems like all you've managed to do in your post is insult my intelligence and the liberal media. Can you offer a counterpoint too?

Unknown said...


I heard a comedian joke that the Democrats were saying that drilling in ANWR wouldn't make a difference in gas prices for ten years, the same argument they made 10 years ago.

You're also just focused on price while overlooking the benefit of producing oil domestically rather than having to rely on getting our oil overseas, often from hostile countries. The reason we are so committed to the Middle East militarily is because we are so dependent on the Middle East for oil.

It would be foolish to say that off shore drilling and drilling in ANWR would by themselves make an immediate and huge difference in supply and the price of gasoline. But it is one of the pieces of the puzzle. We need to take what the Republicans are saying about drilling and more refineries, take what the Dems are saying about conservation and alternative sources of energy, and do them all. This is one of those rare cases where Republicans and Democrats are both right. Well, except for those who advocate ethanoyl. That program has been little short of a disaster.

Good comments about ANWR. However, I would point out that ANWR is a pretty desolate area. Second, the damage to the environment you point out is only temporary.