Wednesday, July 16, 2008

China-Cuba Oil Myth

"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 to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, picked up the refrain. Cheney quoted a column by George Will, 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."

"But Congress says no to drilling in ANWR, no to drilling on the East Coast, no to drilling on the West Coast," Cheney added.

The office of House Minority Leader John Boehner defended the GOP drilling claims. "A 2006 New York Times story highlights lease agreements negotiated between Cuba and China and the fact that China was planning to drill in the Florida Strait off the coast of Cuba," said spokesman Michael Steel.

Talking Points Memo documents the curious metastasis of the China-Cuba Oil myth in GOP circles. You should check out how far-reaching this mendacious meme has become amongst the true believers....,