Posted on Thu, Apr. 06, 2006
Castro could drill off Florida coast
U.S. lawmakers aren’t the only ones who, because of spiraling oil and
gas prices and an unstable commodities market, have been studying the
possibility of producing more domestic energy. Fidel Castro has also
taken an interest, and his ambitions will, in a surprisingly short
period of time, bring the Cuban drilling program much closer to the
Who can blame him? Castro has for years looked for new opportunities to
develop his economy in the face of our trade embargo. He could only
expect to rely on Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s oil and gas
giveaway for so long. So, with the intention of claiming billions of
dollars in new revenues and reducing his country’s dependence on foreign
energy, Castro has taken to the high seas in an effort to acquire and
produce as much oil and gas as he can.
But there’s a rub: Cuba has neither the capacity nor the technical
capability to produce this energy by itself. Castro has called in
contractors from Canada, Spain, Norway — even China — to do it for him.
And not only has Cuba convened its own little United Nations to help get
at vital and abundant supplies of offshore energy, it has chosen tracts
of real estate in the Gulf of Mexico as close as 45 miles from Florida.
Forty-five miles is just a bit farther than the distance between the
University of Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
Imagine what Castro is thinking as we spend our time quarreling over
whether we should produce American energy 100, 150 or 250 miles from the
Florida coast while he makes arrangements to set up shop hundreds of
miles closer. He must love that we’ve allowed emotion to win out over
reason, facts to be dwarfed by fear and our nation’s energy policy to be
driven by unreasonable environmental concerns.
JOHN E. PETERSON, representative, 5th Congressional District, Penn.