Competing Ideas?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Barack Obama on tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve . . .

July 7:"I do not believe that we should use the strategic oil reserves at this point. I have said -- and, in fact, supported a congressional resolution that said -- that we should suspend putting more oil into the strategic oil reserve, but the strategic oil reserve, I think, has to be reserved for a genuine emergency. You have a situation, let's say, where there was a major oil facility in Saudi Arabia that was destroyed as a consequence of terrorist acts, and you suddenly had huge amounts of oil taken out of the world market, we wouldn't just be seeing $4-a-gallon oil. We could see a situation where entire sectors of the country had no oil to function at all. And that's what the strategic oil reserve has to be for."

Yesterday:"We should sell 70 million barrels of oil from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve for less-expensive crude, which in the past has lowered gas prices within two weeks."

. . . and on offshore drilling.

June 20:"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. 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."

Aug. 1:"My interest is in making sure we've got the kind of comprehensive energy policy that can bring down gas prices. If, in order to get that passed, we have to compromise in terms of a careful, well-thought-out drilling strategy that was carefully circumscribed to avoid significant environmental damage, I don't want to be so rigid that we can't get something done."

John McCain on offshore drilling.

Jan. 30:"I believe the states should decide to enormous degrees what happens within those states, including off their coasts. The people of California have decided they don't want oil drilling off their coasts. The people of Louisiana have decided that they do."

June 17:"We have proven oil reserves of at least 21 billion barrels in the United States. But a broad federal moratorium stands in the way of energy exploration and production. And I believe it is time for the federal government to lift these restrictions and to put our own reserves to use."


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