Monday, July 24, 2006

It’s not like we need the oil or anything

From The Washington Times:

Cuba is drilling for oil 60 miles off the coast of Florida with help from China, Canada and Spain even as Congress struggles to end years of deadlock over drilling for what could be a treasure trove of offshore oil and gas.

Republicans in Congress have tried repeatedly in the past decade to open up the outer continental shelf to exploration, and Florida's waters hold some of the most promising prospects for major energy finds. Their efforts have been frustrated by opposition from Florida, California and environmental-minded legislators from
both parties. . .

. . .That prospect and the involvement of China and Venezuela in exploration activities have attracted the attention of the CIA and other national security agencies, even if congressional opposition to offshore drilling has not budged.

Sterling Burnett, a fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, a conservative think tank, said Cuba's activities show that the quarter-century ban on offshore drilling is putting the U.S. at a strategic disadvantage at a time of increasingly scarce energy resources and record high oil and gas prices that are hampering economic growth and stoking inflation.

"Canada and even economically backward Cuba are oving forward with plans to drill in offshore areas that abut U.S. coastal waters," he said. "Since pools of oil do not respect international boundaries, it is almost certainly true that Canada and Cuba will be accessing oil that could otherwise be developed by and for the benefit of Americans."

More than half of the nation's untapped offshore oil and gas reserves lie within the Gulf, much of it within Florida's protected waters. In the latest attempt to exploit the reserves, the House last month passed a bill that would allow coastal states to
decide whether to open the first 100 miles of their waters for exploration. . .

On the one hand no matter who drills for the oil, pumps the oil or refines the oil it will go on the world market and increase supply. This will ease pressure on the price and give a break to American consumers. It would give a break to European consumers as well, except that their governments will raise taxes to offset any drop in wholesale price.

On the other hand if Cuba profits from the oil their crumbling communist economy will get a boost (as will the Castro brother's Swiss bank accounts) which will make it a little less likely that the Cuban people will taste freedom when Fidel and Raoul finally wind up as tasty morsels cooking on Satan's new three burner gas grill.America will also see its technological edge begin to slip as other nations learn by doing.And to cap it all off Red China will use its share of the profits to upgrade its military so that when the inevitable war comes we will have helped pay for the weapons which are killing our soldiers.

All in all not a prospect we should relish.

We need to pass a law that would allow the ammunition companies to use politicians who attempt to block offshore drilling (and drilling in Alaska) to test the effectiveness of various bullet designs.

I mean they should serve some useful purpose, shouldn’t they?