Energy Update: Cuba, Natural Gas

By July 24, 2006Energy

Interesting piece in today’s Washington Times by Patrice Hill entitled, “Cuba Drills for Oil Off Florida,” reminding us once again that communist Cuba is working with communist China to tap Cuba’s undersea resources some 60 miles from Florida’s shore. This, of course, occurs while the US Senate debates a bill that would only allow us to tap our resources 100 or 125 miles off of Florida’s coast. How about some Cuban parity, where we both get to tap into anything 60 miles off shore…?

USA Today had a story by Barbara Hagenbaugh ostensibly touting the dropping prices of natural gas, but along the way noting that the price is actually up at least 20% over the winter of 2004-2005, and quotes NAM Board Member Fletcher Steele:

“Natural gas is used not just to heat homes. It’s key in a number of industrial processes. Natural gas has become the biggest cost for Pine Hall Brick in Winston-Salem, N.C. Six of the company’s eight kilns run on natural gas. Company President Fletcher Steele says the brick producer’s monthly natural gas bill doubled to $1.4 million in October following the hurricanes. ‘The uncertainty of it just makes planning so difficult,’ he says.”

And therein lies the rub. This is a locally-set price. It’s not set on a global market. We have 420 trillion cubic feet of it, but 85% of it is subject to a federal moratorium, part of which we hope the Senate will lift. The uncertainty is very hard on folks who are manufacturing here in the US. Policy-makers — if they cared about manufacturing — would ensure certainty for hundreds of years to come by allowing us to tap our own natural gas supply.

The Senate has their shot this week. Please weigh in.