July 30, 2009
Laura Henderson, 202.621.2951
Patrick Creighton, 202.621.2947

Russia, Communist Cuba Advance Offshore Energy Production Miles Off Florida’s Coast

Efforts Should Send Strong Message to Interior Dept. to Open OCS in Five-Year Plan

WASHINGTON, DC – Under the headline “Russia to drill for oil off Cuba,” the BBC recently reported that, “Russia is to begin oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, after signing a deal with Cuba, says Cuban state media.” In response to this development, Thomas J. Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research (IER), a free-market energy think-tank, issued the following statement:

“Increasing energy production and access to affordable and reliable domestic energy is the bedrock for economic growth and strength. It’s both ironic, and alarming, that communist nations – like Cuba – are outpacing America, the guiding light of free-market capitalism, when it comes to energy security and production.

“Policymakers in Washington have lost sight of achieving commonsense energy policies. Rather, our leaders have focused on more government intervention into the economy, by picking winners and losers in the market. Look no further than the cash-for-clunkers program. And now, with a national cap and trade energy rationing plan advancing hastily, middle-class tax hikes seem inevitable.

“Washington must get back to the basics, and focus on expanding freedoms and prosperity, not the size of government and our debt. This agreement between Russia and Cuba should serve as a wake-up call to Congress and this Administration, especially Secretary Salazar, who is slow-walking a new offshore energy blueprint for the nation. If we are to remain competitive in the global market, our government must take its foot off the brake, and expand domestic energy production of all forms, onshore and off.”

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