Four offshore-drilling myths
There's a lot of misinformation out there about offshore drilling. I hope this post will help clear the air.
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Does Mr. Krauthammer really believe that, with oil trading at over $100 per barrel, an increase in US production would prompt drillers in Kazakhstan to ease off? The only way that we would really get any significant amount of production to shift from the developing world to the United States would be if it were cheaper to drill here. And that's not going to happen, partly because of the very environmental regulations that Krauthammer touts, but mostly because the stuff is way down there at the bottom of the ocean.Skip to next paragraph
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Myth #4: China is currently drilling off the coast of Florida. "[O]il is being drilled right now 60 miles off the coast of Florida," said Vice President Dick Cheney in a speech to the US Chamber of Commerce in June. "But we're not doing it, the Chinese are, in cooperation with the Cuban government. Even the communists have figured out that a good answer to high prices is more supply."
"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," said House Republican leader John Boehner on his website.
"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," wrote House Whip Congressman Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) in another op-ed.
Setting aside the notion that major political figures are holding up the Chinese government as worth emulating, the idea that China is drilling off the coast of Florida is simply not true. As the McClatchy news service reported, China has an agreement with the Cuban government, but only to develop onshore resources. The Chinese have not yet drilled anywhere in Cuba nor off its shores.
The myth seems to have originate in a piece by conservative columnist George F. Will, who has since run a correction. Mr. Cheney's office also issued a retraction. But this hasn't stopped people from still circulating this rumor. The site Talking Points Memo has compiled a list of over a dozen current and former Republican members of Congress who have pushed this falsehood.