Saturday, August 2, 2008
With retail gasoline at $4.00 a gallon, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Barack Obama, on Friday reversed his previous position and said he would be willing to support limited additional offshore oil drilling if that’s what it takes to enact a comprehensive policy to foster fuel-efficient autos and develop alternate energy sources.
Shifting from his previous opposition to expanded offshore drilling, thetold a Florida newspaper he could get behind a compromise with Republicans and oil companies to prevent gridlock over energy.
In recent weeks, Obama’s Republican rival, John McCain who earlier dropped his opposition to offshore drilling, has criticized Obama in stump speeches for clinging to his opposition to off-shore drilling. The polls indicate these attacks have helped McCain gain ground on Obama.
“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.”
Earlier in the day, Obama pushed for a windfall profits tax to fund $1,000 emergency rebate checks for consumers besieged by high energy costs, a counter to McCain’s call for more offshore drilling.