Published October 18, 2011
Finally, drilling is going to begin off the coast of Florida, where there are an estimated 20 billion barrels of oil. The US will be responsible for inspecting the oil rig and will be forced to bear the brunt of any oil spill since the currents would take the oil directly into the Florida coastline.
Some may argue, and have effectively, that just sixty miles off the coast is too close for comfort. The counter argument is that this oil can be used to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and would create both jobs and prosperity in the coastal regions-along with new taxes that the revenue will bring.
But wait a second. Did I forget to mention that none of these jobs will go to US citizens and the oil will probably be sent to China or Venezuela? And, did I forget to mention that the oil rig is built by China and the project is being run by a Spanish company? Did I also forget to mention that the country who will benefit from the oil just sixty miles off of Key West is Cuba?
Cuba is 90 miles off of the Florida Keys; we share the waters equally with them. Because of this, Cuba is to start drilling for the oil sixty miles off of our coast. Cuba could become a very rich country with this oil -- the embargo that we have had for over four decades will continue to be meaningless.
Considering the embargo, do we really think that doing the same thing for almost half a century will one day bring about a different result? Or, is it a matter of a swing vote (the Cuban vote) in a swing state (Florida) that our politicians worry about upsetting? Of course, if the latter is true than we would be forced to admit that our politicians do things that are actually contrary to the public good just to get elected.
Because of this ridiculous embargo the two companies with the best oil capping technologies can’t work with Cuba unless a special provision is made.
Do our politicians really believe that a communist country will be better drilling off our shores than ExxonMobil? Apparently they do, or else they are just so wrapped up in fighting each other they haven’t noticed.
I don’t propose “Drill baby drill”, rather I propose “all of the above”. More specifically I propose they we quit being the only developed country in the world without a long-term energy plan.
A $5.5 billion LNG port was just approved in Canada to ship North America’s natural gas to Asia. If we don’t approve the Keystone XL pipeline, we will lose that oil to Asia as well.
But the most glaring example of a lack of leadership in Washington DC is the fact that we will now have a communist oil rig in our waters drilling for our oil and our own companies are not allowed to do the same.
So we now have all the potential downside -- a potential oil spill carried to our beaches, and zero of the potential upside.
We have a jobs bill being looked at in Congress right now that would create jobs for just under a year and would take the next 10 years to pay off. Conveniently, the jobs (teachers, police construction workers) would be around for the next election before they would be cut.
However, we have jobs that bring economic prosperity to regions paid for by private enterprise that are blocked by the same government, but allowed by the only communist government in our region. Is this not backwards?