If Cuba Can Drill for Oil, Why Can't We?

Cuba plans to hire the Communist Chinese to drill for oil some 45 miles off the shores of Florida. Why can’t we drill for that oil ourselves?

Republican Gov. Jeb Bush continues to placate environmentalists who oppose all drilling off Florida’s shores, while President Bush’s solution to the gas crisis is ethanol and other bio-fuels typically supported by Democrats. Go figure — none of this makes any sense.

We are in this energy crisis because Democrats have voted with the environmentalists against oil for decades. Conservative Republicans have never had a more historic opportunity to push for oil exploration offshore and in Alaska. Gas prices have topped $3 a gallon. We have Republican majorities in both the House and the Senate. A conservative Republican president should be expected to press for more drilling, to increase the supply of oil to lower prices, not to pass new windfall profit taxes.

Why can Cuba drill 45 miles off our shores? We owe this to another brilliant Jimmy Carter move and a 1977 agreement that created for Cuba an "Exclusive Economic Zone" extending from the western tip of Cuba up north virtually to Key West. Maybe soon we can start importing Cuban oil, just like we import about 1.3 million barrels of oil per day from Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, another radical socialist who hates America. Carter also gave away the Panama Canal and now the Communist Chinese are managing that resource too.

Mexico supplies the U.S. some 1.75 million barrels of oil a day. Maybe President Bush does not want to close the border with Mexico because the administration does not want to shut off the oil spigot.

Where does Mexico get the oil? Mexico’s largest oil field is also in the Gulf of Mexico, the Cantarell oil field off the Yucatan. Cantarell is located where the giant Chicxulub meteor hit at the end of the Mesozoic Era, killing the dinosaurs and deeply fracturing the bedrock below the Gulf. We have argued that the oil in the Cantarell field is abiotic in nature and that the oil field is abundant because deep earth oil seeps up through the bedrock fractures caused by the Chicxulub meteor impact. Mexico has just found a second giant field near Cantarell, the Noxol, located off Veracruz. Estimated to contain as much as 10 billion barrels of oil, the Noxol find could well be larger than Cantarell.

Our largest oil find in the Gulf is the Thunder Horse, located out some 125 miles southeast of New Orleans. Currently, BP holds a 75 percent interest with ExxonMobil to develop the Thunder Horse. This field too is deep-earth oil, with BP and ExxonMobil finding oil under 1 mile of water and 5 miles below the seabed.

The U.S. Geological Service estimates there may be as much as 9 billion barrels of oil in the North Cuba Basin. The Gulf of Mexico may be one of the world’s largest oil resources, but truly we don’t know. We have yet to explore the entire Gulf, especially not in the deeper waters more than 125 miles offshore.

Instead of worrying that Republicans are going to lose the House of Representatives in November 2006, President Bush could start acting like a conservative for a change. Let’s close the border with Mexico and stop the flow of illegal immigrants before their demand for social services ends up bankrupting state governments and closing more hospitals.

If President Bush pushed plans to drill in the Gulf and in Alaska, the administration could tell Vincente Fox to keep the Mexican oil, along with all the billions in marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamines that Mexican criminals freely import across our unguarded southern border. How can President Bush expect conservatives to take his commitment to the War on Terrorism seriously if our border with Mexico remains wide open?

How about ANWR? Lindsey Williams, who wrote a book titled "The Energy Non-Crisis in 1980," continues to argue that one of the richest oil finds on earth has been found on Gull Island, off the North Shore of Alaska. Gull Island was so named because the only inhabitants of the desolate place are a flock of seagulls that go there in the summer. For over 25 years, Williams has argued that this oil find has been suppressed by the U.S. government itself. Why don’t we go see if Lindsay Williams is right? Very possibly the North Shore of Alaska has more oil that Saudi Arabia. Why don’t we go find out?

Canada is also one of the top four suppliers of foreign oil to the U.S. Canada has advanced to this position by developing the rich oil sands in Alberta. That same vein of oil extends down through the oil shale of the Rocky Mountains. If Canada can convert their oil sands into petroleum profitably, why can’t our western states do the same with the oil shale in the Rocky Mountains?

Instead, our oil geologists have managed to convince President Bush that we are at "peak oil" and will soon run out. Our neighbors, including Mexico, Venezuela, Canada, and now Cuba, seem to think differently. Thinking that oil is yet abundant, these countries surrounding the U.S. find huge oil deposits right next to where we won’t look. We encourage President Bush to quit looking for energy solutions in switch grass and wood chips.

Pushing to drill for oil would increase the Bush administration’s dwindling support among conservatives. Maybe if our Republican Congress will not push to increase supplies, the Republican administration can outsource the job to the Chinese, just as the Cubans are doing. Supporting oil windfall profit taxes will only deepen the November 2006 hole President Bush seems determined to dig for himself. If the administration has an urge to dig a hole for itself, maybe somebody could channel that urge into a determination to drill for oil.