Castro Plans to Drill 45 Miles from US Shores, But We Can’t

By April 11, 2006Energy

We’ve noted in this space repeatedly that our competitors must just look at us and shake their heads in disbelief that we won’t tap our own rich reserves of natural resources, most notably with coal, in ANWR and in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

Well, now we can go one better: how do you feel about countries taping that supply while we cannot? What if it’s a Communist country, living under a dictatorship? Unfortunately you don’t have to look very far. In fact, only 90 miles from Key West sits Fidel Castro’s Cuba. Castro, worried about continuing to live off of Venezuelan President Chavez’ largess, has decided to start his own deep water exploration. As Rep. John Peterson (R-PA) — author of a bill that would open the OCS to common-sense and environmentally-friendly regulation — writes in the Miami Herald:

“[T]o help get at vital and abundant supplies of offshore energy, [Cuba] 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.”

You should click here to weigh in on the Interior Department’s long-range plan for the OCS, which is inadequate. Deadline is c.o.b. today. But you should also let your representatives know while they’re home these two weeks what is happening to your energy prices. Please ask why they support a policy that forbids drilling in the OCS by us but not by Fidel Castro.

Update [2006-4-11 14:31:22]: In answer to the question of how far offshore the rigs have to be so as not be visible to the naked eye, glad you asked. Here’s a link to a PDF file, a great visual that explains it quite well.