Cuba drills where Obama fears to tread

Good news, domestic energy fans! After extraordinary delays, it looks like there will finally be some energy production activity in the Gulf of Mexico once again. This time it’s in the fertile fields to the south and west of Florida, employing some brand spanking new deep-water drilling rigs with all the latest technical features. This is terrific, and I’m sure you’ll all join me in congratulating President Obama for moving forward with this much needed expansion of …

What’s that? We’re not the ones doing the drilling? Then who is?

Oh, for crying out loud.

The government is doing what it can to ensure that the first full-scale oil exploration in Cuba’s part of the Gulf of Mexico will not endanger Florida’s pristine beaches that lie only miles away, the top drilling regulator told lawmakers on Tuesday.

But the assurances did not completely convince senators at a Capitol Hill hearing that the United States would be prepared to respond to a worst-case oil spill scenario in waters controlled by its long-time Communist foe.

The Cubans are partnering up with Spanish energy producer Repsol YPF SA and preparing to move a large, semi-submersible ocean going rig built in China into the gulf. They’ll be drilling roughly sixty miles off from the Florida Keys. Given the wide dispersal of that field, we could have already been tapping into those resources, but apparently the oil will go elsewhere. But fear not, sports fans! The president has a plan. He’s going to inspect the rig.

I’m sure that makes everyone feel better. More from The Hill.

“Before the end of the year, a Chinese-made drilling platform known as Scarabeo 9 is expected to arrive in the Gulf. Once it is there, Cuba and its foreign partners, including Spain’s Repsol, will begin using it to drill for oil in waters deeper than Deepwater Horizon’s infamous Macondo well. The massive rig, manufactured to comply with U.S.-content restrictions at a cost of $750 million, will cost Repsol and other companies $407,000 per day to lease for exploration.”

Both politically and economically this is a worst case scenario for the White House. If shoddy safety measures do wind up resulting in a spill, then we look entirely powerless. And either way, all talk of restricting exploration in that region flies out the window if somebody else can simply come along and do it. The energy and jobs we need at home are paraded almost literally in front of our faces as they waltz out of our country. It’s a serious black eye for this administration no matter what happens in the years to come.

The resources are there. Somebody is going to get them. Jobs will be created. Profits will be earned.

Just not here in the United States.

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