American families and businesses are struggling to keep up with skyrocketing gas prices - now averaging a record high of $4.06 per gallon across the country. Instead of working with Democrats to pass legislation addressing high energy costs and moving America to energy independence, Congressional Republicans are spreading scare tactics and proven falsehoods to push their failed “drill and veto” energy policies of the past.
Republican leaders - including Vice President Cheney - have recently claimed that China is drilling for oil off the coast of Cuba “60 miles off the coast of Florida.” But the facts show China does not have a deepwater drilling contract in Cuba.
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 today's 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]
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.
REPUBLICAN SCARE QUOTES:
Vice President Dick Cheney
“[O]il is being drilled right now 60 miles off the coast of Florida. We're not doing it. The Chinese are in cooperation with the Cuban government.” [6/12/08]
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]