McCain Calls For More Domestic Oil Production


From CBS News' John Bentley:

(BAKERSFIELD, CALIF.) – While John McCain's senior adviser Carly Fiorina was denigrating their Democratic opponent's meeting with Warren Buffett, Ben Bernanke, and other economists as "yet another photo-op by Barack Obama today," the McCain campaign arranged for a photo-op of their own. McCain visited an oil field here today as a backdrop to talk about his proposals to end the United States reliance on foreign oil.

"As we develop all of these alternate sources of energy, it will be vital that we continue oil production at a high level, including offshore drilling," McCain said. "There are some instances within a matter of months, they could be getting additional oil. In some cases, it would be a matter of a year. In some cases, it could take longer than that."

While McCain repeatedly referred to "offshore oil drilling," the oil well he was standing in front of is in landlocked Bakersfield, over 100 miles from the California coast.

Although many economists don't think domestic drilling would do much to help oil prices in the near future, President Bush recently overturned the federal moratorium on offshore drilling. It is now up to the states to decide whether they want to allow exploration or not. California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who supports McCain but is opposed to offshore drilling here, recently said that the idea that more offshore drilling would bring down gas prices amounted to "blowing smoke."

McCain also attacked Obama's energy plan on the grounds of his opposition to domestic oil exploration and nuclear power. "Sen. Obama opposes offshore drilling, he opposes reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel, he opposes storage of spent nuclear fuel, so he is the Dr. No of America's energy future," McCain said. "And he also opposes a gas tax holiday as a gimmick."

Obama's campaign responded that their candidate was more interested in renewable sources of energy. "By handing out $4 billion in tax breaks to the biggest oil companies and proposing gimmicks like offshore drilling that won't produce a drop of oil for seven years, Senator McCain's energy plan fails to provide short-term relief to consumers or long-term independence from foreign oil," said Obama spokesman Hari Sevugan.