Obama ridicules McCain's plan to tap offshore oil
WASHINGTON (AFP) — Democrat Barack Obama Tuesday accused White House rival John McCain of "posturing" as the Republican, tapping voters' anxiety about sky-high fuel prices, called for offshore oil drilling.
In a speech later in the Texas oil capital of Houston, the Arizona senator was to call for a 27-year-old moratorium on offshore exploration to be lifted -- reversing his own support for the ban when he ran for president in 2000.
McCain was again to push for a summer suspension of federal taxes on gasoline, to ease a little of the pain at the pump for voters already reeling from an epidemic of home foreclosures and job losses.
Obama, who has been hammering McCain and the Republicans on the economy, said his White House opponent's support of the moratorium in 2000 was "certainly laudable."
"But his decision to completely change his position and tell a group of Houston oil executives exactly what they wanted to hear today was the same Washington politics that has prevented us from achieving energy independence for decades," the Illinois senator said in a statement.
"Much like his gas tax gimmick that would leave consumers with pennies in savings, opening our coastlines to offshore drilling would take at least a decade to produce any oil at all, and the effect on gasoline prices would be negligible at best since America only has three percent of the world's oil.
"It's another example of short-term political posturing from Washington, not the long-term leadership we need to solve our dependence on oil."