Should the US permit more offshore drilling to increase domestic energy supplies?
Candidates' positions are categorized as Pro (Yes), Con (No), Not Clearly Pro or Con, or None Found. Candidates who have changed their positions are listed as Now their most recent position. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order by party; black & white photos indicate candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria.)
Bob Barr, former US House Representative (R-GA), stated in an article titled "Bob Barr on: Energy Policy" on his official candidate website (accessed Sep. 23, 2008):
"Congress should allow the exploration and production of America’s abundant domestic resources, including oil in the Outer Continental Shelf [between 3 to 200 nautical miles offshore] to and Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and alternative sources such as shale oil." Sep. 23, 2008 Bob Barr
[Editor's Note: Prior to John McCain's Aug. 4, 2008 Pro position, he has also expressed a Not Clearly Pro or Con position as indicated in a YouTube video of a May 28, 2008 statement made at a town hall meeting in Greensdale, WI]:
"Of course I want to exploit, if I could, those resources, particularly off the coast of Florida as well as California and maybe other places in the Gulf.
But I also have to tell you that, with those resources which would take years to develop, it would only postpone, or temporarily relieve our dependence on fossil fuels." May 28, 2008 John McCain
Ralph Nader, attorney, author, and political activist, stated in a Sep. 15, 2008 article titled "Offshore Drilling Is Fool's Black Gold" on gristmill.grist.org:
"Offshore drilling is severely damaging to the environment, and dangerously vulnerable to turbulent weather and hurricanes. For 27 years, beginning under an initiative signed by Ronald Reagan, our country has managed to protect sensitive parts of our ocean coastlines from the ravages of offshore drilling -- a commendable feat considering the many pristine areas of our public lands and ecosystems that have been violated by extractive activities." Sep. 15, 2008 Ralph Nader
Barack Obama, US Senator (D-IL), in an Aug. 1, 2008 article titled "Obama Would Consider Off-shore Drilling as Part of Comprehensive Energy Plan" on PalmBeachPost.com, stated:
"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...
I think it's important for the American people to understand we're not going to drill our way out of this problem...
It's also important to recognize if you start drilling now you won't see a drop of oil for ten years, which means its not going to have a significant impact on short-term prices. Every expert agrees on that...
The Republicans and the oil companies have been really beating the drums on drilling...And so we don't want gridlock. We want to get something done."
[Editor's Note: Prior to Barack Obama's Aug. 1, 2008 Not Clearly Pro or Con position above, his position was Con as indicated in his statement from a YouTube video of a June 20, 2008 news conference in Jacksonville, FL]:
"But what wouldn't do a thing to lower gas prices is John McCain's new proposal, a proposal adopted by George Bush as well, to open up Florida's coastline to offshore drilling.
In what's become a bit of a regular occurrence in this campaign, Senator McCain once had a different position on offshore drilling. And it's clear why he did. It would have long-term consequences for our coastlines, but no short-term benefits, since it would take at least 10 years to get any oil...
In fact, President Bush's own Energy Department says that we won't see a drop of oil from his own proposal until 2017. And, in fact, you wouldn't see any full production out of any oil drilling off the coast until 2030. It will take a generation to reach full production. And even then, the effect of gas prices will be minimal, at best...
Believe me, if I thought there was any evidence at all that drilling could save people money who are struggling to fill up their gas tanks by this summer or this year, or even the next few years, I would consider it, but it won't." June 20, 2008 Barack Obama
(Candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria appear below in black and white and in alphabetical order by party.)