Why, ask some Republicans, should the United States be thwarted from drilling in its own territory when just 50 miles off the Florida coastline the Chinese government is drilling for oil under Cuban leases?...Seven more months.... Seven more months.... Seven more months.... Seven more months.... Seven more months.... Seven more months.... Seven more months....
"China is not drilling in Cuba's Gulf of Mexico waters, period," said Jorge Pinon, an energy fellow with the Center for Hemispheric Policy at the University of Miami and an expert in oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico. Martinez cited Pinon's research when he took to the Senate floor Wednesday to set the record straight.
Even so, the Chinese-drilling-in-Cuba legend has gained momentum and has been swept up in Republican arguments to open up more U.S. territory to domestic production.
Vice President Dick Cheney, in a speech Wednesday to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, picked up the refrain. Cheney quoted a column by George Will, who wrote last week that "drilling is under way 60 miles off Florida. The drilling is being done by China, in cooperation with Cuba, which is drilling closer to South Florida than U.S. companies are."
In his speech, Cheney described the Chinese as being "in cooperation with the Cuban government. Even the communists have figured out that a good answer to higher prices means more supply."