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Vice President Cheney Admits Claim China is Drilling off the Coast of Florida is False

When Will House Republicans Admit They Are Wrong Too?

Last night, Vice President Dick Cheney's office admitted that his assertion before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that China is drilling “60 miles of the coast of Florida” was wrong and that, in fact, there is no Chinese deepwater drilling in that area.

Will the House Republican Leadership follow the Vice President's lead and admit they were wrong too?   

American families and businesses need relief from skyrocketing gas prices - now averaging a record high of $4.07 per gallon across the country. Congressional Republicans should stop spreading proven falsehoods to push their failed “drill and veto” energy policies of the past and instead work with Democrats to pass legislation addressing high energy costs and moving America to energy independence.

The New Direction Congress is committed to bringing real relief to those feeling the pinch from high gas and diesel prices and ensuring the needs of families and businesses are put before the interests of Big Oil. The American people deserve the truth and a cleaner, greener, more energy efficient future.

WHAT HOUSE REPUBLICANS SAID:

Minority Leader John Boehner:
“Right at this moment, some 60 miles or less off the coast of Key West, Florida, China has the green light to drill for oil in order to lower energy costs in that country... Do congressional Democrats really trust the Chinese that much more than Americans?” [6/11/08]

Minority Whip Roy Blunt:

“Even China recognizes that oil and natural gas is readily available off our shores; thanks to Fidel Castro, they've been given a permit to drill for oil 45 miles from the Florida Keys. U.S. energy producers can't go there, and that's because our Congress won't let them.” [6/11/08]

Rep. George Radanovich (R-California):
“Florida, for example, has objected to U.S. oil exploration off its coast. But China, thanks to a lease issued by Cuba, is drilling for oil just 50 miles off Florida's coast. America's offshore drilling policy amounts to a government handout of U.S. natural resources to foreign countries in the name of environmental protection.” [6/10/08]

THE FACTS:

From the Congressional Research Service:
“While there has been some concern about China's potential involvement in offshore deepwater oil projects, to date its involvement in Cuba's oil sector has been focused on onshore oil extraction in Pinar del Rio province through its state-run China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation. (Sinopec)” [CRS, 2/29/08]

From the Miami Herald:
“China is not drilling in Cuba's Gulf of Mexico waters, period…,” said Jorge Piñon, an energy expert at the University of Miami's Center for Hemispheric Policy…

“Piñon, who supports oil and gas exploration, said he met with several congressional offices Wednesday about the China-Cuba connection. He said he told them: ‘If you guys want to use this as a scare tactic to lift the moratorium on drilling off the west coast of Florida, at least be factual, be correct.' They didn't do their homework.” [6/12/08]