Obama dismisses '08 'Drill, baby, drill' mantra – again
Obama delivers energy remarks Wednesday at Georgetown University
March 30th, 2011
02:33 PM ET

Obama dismisses '08 'Drill, baby, drill' mantra – again

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama talked energy policy today on the campus of DC’s Georgetown University, repeating his view that “there are no quick fixes” when it comes to high fuel prices – taking direct aim at the Republican “drill, baby, drill” mantra from the 2008 campaign.

"Because it was the height of political season, you had all kinds of slogans, and gimmicks, and outraged politicians – they were waving their three point plans for $2 per gallon gas. You remember that – ‘Drill, baby, drill’ – and we were going through all that,” he said as many in the audience laughed.

“There was a lot of hue and cry, a lot of fulminating and hand wringing but nothing actually happened. Imagine that in Washington,” he added wryly.

“Drill, baby, drill” of course, was the Republican mantra made famous by Sarah Palin on the campaign trail – the notion being if the U.S. drilled more domestic oil, fuel prices would drop.

It was a notion Obama rejected as a candidate, and now as president.

“The United States of America cannot afford to bet our long-term prosperity and security on a resource that will eventually run out.  Not anymore.  Not when the cost to our economy, our country, and our planet is so high,” he said.

Instead, Obama, along with his energy secretary, Steven Chu proposed a longer term strategy that will reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil not just by expanding domestic production, but by developing alternatives.

While Obama acknowledged that politicians have been talking about high fuel prices for decades, he confidently predicted that it’s “a challenge we will solve.”

And they just might. Both Obama and Chu won the Nobel Prize, after all.

"Chu has the Nobel Prize in physics – he actually deserved his Nobel Prize," Obama joked.


Topics: Energy • President Obama • The Buzz • The News

soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. Ed D

    Hemp fuels are the only safe and effective solution. Ignorance, bigotry and greed are what tie us to oil. Since hemp legalization is a "non starter" with this Prez, it shows that he is as corrupt as the others.

    March 30, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Bob

      Hemp isn't the only option. As much as I would like it to be, the oil from hemp seed alone just isn't enough to fuel America's transportation needs. Until research brings down the cost of celulosic ethanol, or genetically engineers an algae capable of producing larger quantities of oil, bio-fuels as an economically viable fuel source (without starving people around the world) are a feel good science fiction pipe dream.

      March 30, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      Hemp is a crop, you can not get more out of the land than you put into it. It takes fertilizer, and that equals oil, same problem with corn based fuel. I saw a Walt Disney film about nuclear energy, OK the film was 50 years old, but the point is they predicted that we would be driving around in atom powered cars and air plains, go figure. I guess every generation has it's crazy ideas.

      March 30, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
  2. lou

    Now we're talking!

    March 30, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  3. Shawn

    "Drill, Baby, Drill" was a slogan written by Republicans' oily masters, repeated by morons and is now a symbol of the disaster that was the McCain/Palin ticket. Obviously, the relatively tiny amount of oil the US would drill goes to the world market and does nothing to drop prices in the USA. Of course, low-information Republican voters are too stupid to understand this, so they buy the oil industry's propaganda every time.

    March 30, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • Sense

      We could be smart about drilling and not drilling into an oil volcano thousands of miles below the gulf where no human can go. Then not putting safety on it, or cleaning it up. Everything is dangerous. Walking outside is dangerous. We have the resources we need to be independent of the crazy middle east and instead people would rather keep dealing with them. That doesn't sound like a good idea to me.

      March 30, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • rochus

      'the tiny amount of oil in the US"! Where did you get your facts from pal? The US has tons of oil underground, I believe the third of fourth largest amount in the world! Do look it up!

      March 30, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
      • Bill

        The US has an estimated 5% of the world's oil reserves. And we use 25% of the world's energy. You do the math.

        March 30, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
      • Michael Hippenhammer

        We only have 2% of the worlds reserves, we do not have plenty of oil.

        March 31, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  4. jim

    this should have been our country's direction twenty years ago.

    March 30, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  5. al in memphis

    Can you imagine the economic advantage for countries who solve their energy issues? Think of all the money that can be circulated within this economy instead of being sent off to the middle east.
    Unless it straight water, all other renewables will cost money to make them viable. The question is whether of not we have the will to pay a price now for the big prize later. Of course, the CEOs and stock holders of the large oil companies want us to stay the course until they can figure out how to dominate renewable energy market.

    March 30, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  6. Fred

    Drill baby, drill! led to Spill, baby, spill!

    March 30, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  7. Ryan

    This is how America will become America again! There are no quick fixes in anything. "Drill ,Baby,Drill" How embarrasing is that now?? How embarassing ..... You who believed in Sara Palin!

    March 30, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  8. Mark from Louisiana

    obama says "drill Brazil drill" anything to make george soros happy I guess

    March 30, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  9. Jones in DC

    They laughed all right, but not for the right reasons. They should have been laughing at this joke's joke of an energy policy. He and his administration ARE the reasons for our current high gas prices. End of story.

    March 30, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • CNN - THE MOST TRUTHFUL NAME IN NEWS

      You are so naive and such a fool. The reason for high gas prices can't be blamed on this one man. It is due to the volatile conditions in the middle east created by the citizens that live in the middle east. The uncertainty in that area right now is the reason for high gas prices. If you noticed, gas prices were well on their way down before the uprising began happening, but you are probably to naive to notice that too.

      March 30, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Claude

      Speculation is the reason for the high gas prices. Look at who is buying oil futures...wall street. The current stockpiles of oil are at a record level.

      March 30, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • Poser

      So I guess the $4.50 per gallon gas prices were Obama's fault too? You do remember who was President at that time don't you?

      The fact is the President of the United States does not set the price of oil or gasoline. It's driven partly by supply and demand but also by speculation in the stock market. Do you remember the price of gas suddenly dropped from $4.50 a gallon to $3.00 a gallon almost immediately after the stock market crash of 2008 when all the speculators pulled their money out of the market? Do you really believe everyone just stopped driving all of a sudden. Think about it.

      March 30, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • Bill

      So increasing fuel-efficiency standards in US automobiles; greatly increasing investment in solar and wind power; investing in nuclear; and increasing domestic oil and coal production is responsible for gas prices?

      Buddy, you are seriously delusional.

      March 30, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
  10. Michael Hippenhammer

    Fighting a battle over more oil drilling in America or around the world to keep gas prices down is just plain STUPID! With the worlds oil reserves half full and the doubling of the number of cars on the road in the next five years and more energy used than ever before we cannot and should not bet on oil. All you on the side of more oil drilling, you are so very, very short sighted. Learn about what is going on with alternative energy, bio-fuels and most importantly EFFICIENCY. Yes it will hurt, yes we will need to sacrifice. If we don't America will be the biggest loser.

    March 30, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  11. ACE

    That was the idiot Palin who said that nonsense and I refudiate that slogan

    March 30, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  12. Four and The Door

    I hope he has better luck than when he solved the housing crisis, the economic crisis, the health insurance crisis..the problems on Wall Street...
    But hey, I am sure he is warming us up for a new $1 trillion energy program. Coast to coast windmills. I just hope they put one in front of the Prudential building in Chicago where his 2012 re-election campaign will be headquartered.

    March 30, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • 4 more

      Where did those problems originate? If it weren't for the incompetency of the previous administration we would not have had a housing crisis, economic crisis, Wall Street crisis!

      March 30, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
      • Dean

        You are right. If Clinton hadn't repealed the Glass-Steagall Act and Dodd and Barney Frank hadn;t written the housing bills we would be in tall cotton now.

        March 30, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  13. DM

    Jones in DC ...REALLY!!!! How stupid can one be to blame the Obama Administration for high gas prices...IDIOT!!! It is the WALL STREET Speculators that the president has been trying to get rid of but the REPUBs keep them in power on WALL STREET by sending ALL the TAX BREAKS to the RICH and nothing for the AVERAGE OR POOR people in the country STUPID!!! UNLESS ur one of the RICH that gets a tax break which u may be....Let's be reall here people...THE REPUBLICANS ARE FOR WHAT MAKES THEM RICH...AND THATS GIVING TAX BREAKS TO PEOPLE WHO "DONT" NEED THEM....UNTIL THAT STOPS WE ARE ALL SCREWED >>THAT IS UNLESS U R A MILLIONAIRE WHICH I DOUBT MOST OF US HERE ARE SINCE WE ARE THE ONES THAT IT AFFECTS THE MOST!!!!! WAKE UP AMERICA..... REPUBLICANS ARE NOT FOR COMMOM PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR A LIVING !!!

    March 30, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  14. Yohon

    Jones in DC – actually the reason is that China and other developing countries have started to industralize and this increased the demand for oil. This is simply supply and demand. Oil supply is majority controlled by the middle east, so they want to keep supply low and with China, India, Brazil demanding more oil, prices will keep going up.

    For the US to thrive, we can't stay addicted to oil. We have the resources and the knowledge to get off of it. Let's actually do it for a change.

    March 30, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  15. Sue

    I hope that all of you liberals who are supporting this weak, clueless, incompetent, half-wit clown-–that is renting our White House until 2012---are ready for $5 a gallon gas and paying double for your electric/gas/oil bills for your home.-

    -I hope that you are all ready as well for the gas shortages-just like when Carter was in office. Obama needs to be IMPEACHED--he is destroying our country.

    March 30, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • DM

      More idiots....Impeach him for what...for attempting to correct the WRONGS that have been happening in this country for the past 100 years!!!

      March 30, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • Chandler

      Sue, you do remember that the last time gas hit $5, it was BEFORE Obama was elected and when a REPUBLICAN was in the White House? Because of China's energy demand, gas will continue to get more expensive regardless of who is in the White House. Blaming Obama for everything just shows how uneducated you are.

      March 30, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • jake

      It was already destoryed when he took over, thanks to boy goerge

      March 30, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • JeremyNABQ

      Hey Sue, that's a really nice collection of neo-con misinformation and demogoguery you've collected. Post it on ebay next time.

      March 30, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Patricia

      This is such a disrespectful comment and not based in reality at all. I feel sorry for you and wonder where your news source comes from and what you know about the history of this country . Please use more thoughtful language and study the subject more before you comment. Don't want to embarrass you, but really.............

      March 30, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  16. Thomas

    Thanks Bush ! We went from #1 to #3 in renewable Solar , wind energy under the Bush / Cheney's energy policy !

    All you morons who want to live in the past and Drill Baby Drill / Palin , McCain get ready to CHANGE or become Dinosaurs.
    Look at Chine's investment in energy !

    March 30, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • lonewolfe

      Yes thomas, look at the Chinese; they are buying all the oil they can, at premium price. They are buying all the SUV's and trucks they can, while we don't. Great example...buddy

      March 30, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  17. Sue

    Tell me liberals--who will be crying the most when Obozo's energy policies result in $5 gallon gas prices-–and double your expenses for gas/oil/electric for your homes?

    March 30, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • DM

      I will tell you who will be paying $5.00 YOU will right along with the rest of the MIDDLE CLASS you idiot!!!! You and the rest of the PARTY of NO will be paying it....whats wrong with YOU people...When you get a President that SPEAKS HONEST and TRUE you hate him...(OH MY BAD...u hate him because he's BLACK....OH MY BAD..but he's probable MORE WHITE than you beinig that he was born to a WHITE woman..OH and RAISED by his WHITE grandparents!!!) When are you people going to start judging a MAN by his DEEDS and NOT HIS SKIN COLOR!!!!!!

      March 30, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  18. lonewolfe

    If oil is not the is not a viable source of energy; why this president just signed an agreement with the Brazilian oil company (PetroBras) that exceeds 2 billion dollars? Can anyone please; riddle me that?

    March 30, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • Jon

      He said it's not a valid LONG-TERM source of energy – at least to the extent that we depend on it. And in that, I tend to think he's absolutely right.

      March 30, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
  19. lonewolfe

    Why is it ok for the Brazilians, Cubans, Mexicans, Venezuelans, Chinese, Vietnamese, Russians and anyone else interested in drilling in the Gulf of Mexico but, we're not?

    March 30, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  20. lonewolfe

    You read that headline correctly. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration is financing oil exploration off Brazil.

    The U.S. is going to lend billions of dollars to Brazil's state-owned oil company, Petrobras, to finance exploration of the huge offshore discovery in Brazil's Tupi oil field in the Santos Basin near Rio de Janeiro. Brazil's planning minister confirmed that White House National Security Adviser James Jones met this month with Brazilian officials to talk about the loan.

    The U.S. Export-Import Bank tells us it has issued a "preliminary commitment" letter to Petrobras in the amount of $2 billion and has discussed with Brazil the possibility of increasing that amount. Ex-Im Bank says it has not decided whether the money will come in the form of a direct loan or loan guarantees. Either way, this corporate foreign aid may strike some readers as odd, given that the U.S. Treasury seems desperate for cash and Petrobras is one of the largest corporations in the Americas.

    But look on the bright side. If President Obama has embraced offshore drilling in Brazil, why not in the old U.S.A.? The land of the sorta free and the home of the heavily indebted has enormous offshore oil deposits, and last year ahead of the November elections, with gasoline at $4 a gallon, Congress let a ban on offshore drilling expire.

    March 30, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  21. jake

    you stupid republicans can't see pass the end of your nose

    March 30, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Sue

      We will see how you feel about Obozo very soon--when you are paying $5 a gallon to put gas in your car.

      This will also mean the prices for EVERYTHING will go up--including food. Not to mention, the costs of oil/gas/electric for your homes as well.

      March 30, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
      • JeremyNABQ

        You need to request some new paranoid misinformation from your neo-con masters. This shallow rant has grown tiresome.

        March 30, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
      • Sgt M

        Jake I agree. Sue, seeing that you are probably an adult, yet still calling people names, I can tell your level of maturity and understanding of price fluctuations/speculators is probably close to nill. You are the case to Jake's point.

        March 30, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  22. lonewolfe

    Jake.....you got served son..................can't handle the truth can't you???

    March 30, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  23. DM

    Jones in DC ...REALLY!!!! How stupid can one be to blame the Obama Administration for high gas prices...IDIOT!!! It is the WALL STREET Speculators that the president has been trying to get rid of but the REPUBs keep them in power on WALL STREET by sending ALL the TAX BREAKS to the RICH and nothing for the AVERAGE OR POOR people in the country STUPID!!! UNLESS ur one of the RICH that gets a tax break which u may be....Let's be reall here people...THE REPUBLICANS ARE FOR WHAT MAKES THEM RICH...AND THATS GIVING TAX BREAKS TO PEOPLE WHO "DONT" NEED THEM....UNTIL THAT STOPS WE ARE ALL SCREWED >>THAT IS UNLESS U R A MILLIONAIRE WHICH I DOUBT MOST OF US HERE ARE SINCE WE ARE THE ONES THAT IT AFFECTS THE MOST!!!!! WAKE UP AMERICA..... REPUBLICANS ARE NOT FOR COMMOM PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR A LIVING !!!

    March 30, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  24. DM

    I will tell you who will be paying $5.00 YOU will right along with the rest of the MIDDLE CLASS you idiot!!!! You and the rest of the PARTY of NO will be paying it....whats wrong with YOU people...When you get a President that SPEAKS HONEST and TRUE you hate him...(OH MY BAD...u hate him because he's BLACK....OH MY BAD..but he's probable MORE WHITE than you beinig that he was born to a WHITE woman..OH and RAISED by his WHITE grandparents!!!) When are you people going to start judging a MAN by his DEEDS and NOT HIS SKIN COLOR!!!!!!

    March 30, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Dean

      His deeds as you put it are killing this country.

      March 30, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      Sounds like you are the one that is hung up on Barry's race.

      March 30, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
  25. lonewolfe

    ok

    March 30, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  26. ART

    Drill baby drill came from a moron who was just on Fox describing the action against Libya as a squirmish, the word is skirmish you nit wit dumb stupid Republican Palin. Conservertives have a lot to say now when a few years ago gas prices went thru the roof, at least now there is a ligitimate reason you Republican buffoons.

    March 30, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  27. print this CNN

    obama quit lieing and go straight to _ _ _ _ ! We are really tired of you in the south, we are resurecting the cross and stars.

    March 30, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  28. 5 dollar gas..

    Yes liberals said the same thing about GWB...

    "Tell me how you are gonna feel when gas is $5".... never happened..

    No the conservatives are saying it about President Obama.. wont happen now...

    its called supply and demand.. Oil prices are not going to $200 a barrel.. and gold is not going to $3000 an ounce..

    All of you doom and gloom naysayers believe anything they feed you...

    March 30, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  29. Claude

    Get wall street speculators out of the market and watch oil prices drop like a stone. Look at who is buying the oil futures and pushing up the price, hedge funds, Goldman Sachs, etc. We need to return to only allowing those in the industry to purchase commodity futures for the market they belong. This also goes for agriculture such as corn.

    March 30, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  30. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Nobody knows when the oil supply will run out in the Middle East and then what. Republicans don't think alternative energy is important, they only focused on winning which means we all lose.

    March 30, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  31. Not Chicken Little

    Obama is an incompetent and malicious fool. Not just "Drill baby, drill" but "Drill here, drill now!" is appropriate. Obama is a dithering, do-nothing President – if we rely on him for solutions and leadership we'll be in the dark for a long, long time. And all of us will suffer, not just the liberals. Hopefully the adults among us have fully awakened and will send this fool back to Kenya.

    March 30, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • Dean

      Amen.

      March 30, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  32. Sebastian

    We need to get off oil.

    It kills our economy when World Events move against us and we can not control this. The wars we've fought in the Persian Gulf to protect our access to oil have killed our soldiers. The money we've paid to oil producing countries ( like Libya & Iran) have funded terrorists that have attacked us. We'd have to BE FOOLS to stay addicted to oil.

    The President, by EXECUTIVE ORDER needs to establish a solar electric and wind generated electricity source in the western deserts to establish a predicatable manufacturing base for these devices for the next 5 years. Then others ( homeowners, privated businessess) can piggyback off of that base to be able to buy cost-competitive renewable energy generators.

    The only people that benefit from drill, baby, drill are SELFISH OIL COMPANIES. These renewable energy busineses have workers so their won't be a "loss" of jobs. Some people will simply have to retrain for the clean energy jobs of the 21st century

    March 30, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • Dean

      Sebastian where do I get one of those wind powered automobiles?

      March 30, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  33. NVa Native

    All the simple sheep bleating the fox media will not be able to make the earth spin backward. The Repub policies are destroying our country by taking away from the middle class to provide comfort the elite and powerful. The current popularity of the tea-baggers is truth to that ideology. And as much as the GOP denies history and fact, history and facts will treat the morons of our generation as the parasites they are.
    Obama has done a great job considering all the horrible things the Repubs/fox followers/tea-baggers have done and continue to do.
    We – the American working and middle class – will prevail against the evil that is neo-conservatism, or more accurately fascism.

    March 30, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  34. Dean

    Obama there masy be no quick fixes for the oil crisis but delaying any action as you are doing only delays the fixes that much longer while making our enemies richer. We have oil, let's use it.

    March 30, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  35. Randy

    Politician Job #1. Get elected. Politician Job #2 keep getting relected. Politician Job #3. Keep the people blaming with each other (party vs. party), so they aren't blaming me. Our entire congress has accomplished all 3 jobs they are concerned about, now they do little things here and there to that make enough of us happy that the cycle can continue. Good Job America, we have all become sheep.

    March 30, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  36. mj loehrer

    Show some balls, Barry. For you speaking to a group of kids at Georgetown is like Hitler speaking to the Reichstag.

    March 30, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • Jon

      So. Guess Cash for Clunkers wasn't such a bad idea after all, was it, kids?

      March 30, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
  37. ted

    Those Americans that complain the loudest about high gasoline prices need to stop smoking – $9.00 a pack in NY State – and stop wasting their money on the lottery. I know people who smoke a pack a day and put $10-20 a week on the lottery. Gee, at $3.75/ gallon, they could buy 22 gallons in chicago a week. I think people need to understand that gasoline is a commodity and thus will move with the commodity markets. Get a more fuel efficient car and stop smoking and stop the waste on lotteries and VOILA they would have money for gasoline.

    March 30, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      When gas prices go up we all pay more for products and services. It takes oil to move this country.

      March 30, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  38. Jay in NC

    Barry says "all kinds of slogans, and gimmicks" you mean like Winning the Future?

    March 30, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
  39. Thomas

    lonewolfe,
    I'm not saying the Chines are not as glutinous as any other people when it comes to oil and SUV's. Yet they are #1 in renewable energy , Germany #2 , and we come in #3 !
    Do your research , Buddy !

    March 30, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
  40. Jerry, Florida

    President NObama says "all kinds of slogans, and gimmicks" you mean like Winning the Future, transparency, etc., etc.?

    This president continues to be clueless about the real issues affecting America. Oh well, you got whom you voted for.

    Oh, and one more thing. As usual, he continues to lie through his teeth. One clue: Our "REAL" involvement with Kadaffy's regime.

    March 31, 2011 at 9:57 am |
  41. oh really

    Oh really, gimmicks and slogans eh? Kinda like Yes we can! (Can WHAT exactly? ruin the country! yup..you did!)

    March 31, 2011 at 9:59 am |
  42. TerryG

    Oh what the hell, let's just keep relying on oil and continue making the middle east and big oil even richer. Why even bother to use modern science and technology to improve the world and our economic condition?

    March 31, 2011 at 10:20 am |
  43. Liz Carter in Georgia

    I hear DM! You go!

    March 31, 2011 at 6:40 pm |