Thursday, March 18, 2010

Meanwhile, Off the Coast of Florida,

There's more than just health care going to hell in a hand basket.

In its lead editorial today, the Washington Times notes that the Russians are drilling for oil off the coast of Cuba.
The Obama administration is poised to ban offshore oil drilling on the outer continental shelf until 2012 or beyond. Meanwhile, Russia is making a bold strategic leap to begin drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico. While the United States attempts to shift gears to alternative fuels to battle the purported evils of carbon emissions, Russia will erect oil derricks off the Cuban coast.
What are we doing about it?

Nothing. No, that's not exactly right. The Obama Administration is also poised to use the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate carbon dioxide emissions since Congress won't pass Obama's beloved Cap'n Tax bill. This is the program, you remember, under which "energy prices will necessarily skyrocket." (Obama's own words, not mine.)

There are also national security consequences to all this, as the editorial points out:

Russia more sensibly views energy primarily as a strategic resource. Energy is critical to Russia's economy, as fuel and as a source of profit through export. Russia also has used energy as a coercive diplomatic tool, shutting off natural gas piped to Eastern Europe in the middle of winter to make a point about how dependent the countries are that do business with the Russians.

Now Russia is using oil exploration to establish a new presence in the Western Hemisphere. It recently concluded four contracts securing oil-exploration rights in Cuba's economic zone in the Gulf of Mexico. A Russian-Cuban joint partnership will exploit oil found in the deep waters of the Gulf.

Cuba has rights to the area in which drilling will be conducted under an agreement the Carter administration recognized. From Russia's perspective, this is another way to gain leverage inside what traditionally has been America's sphere of influence. It may not be as dramatic as the Soviet Union attempting to use Cuba as a missile platform, but in the energy wars, the message is the same. Russia is projecting power into the Western Hemisphere while the United States retreats. The world will not tolerate a superpower that acts like a sidekick much longer.

Jimmy Carter set the stage, and now Obama is allowing the Russians to play on it. JFK must be spinning in his grave.

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