China eyes drilling in the Gulf of Mexico
Granted, this is an older article, but the threat is no less, and there has been an increase in talk on this issue recently. For the record, I am a legal resident and voter of the state of Florida, so I have some perspective here and feel my coming chastisement is appropriate. I have a problem with the citizens of Florida. Repeatedly, they have strongly resisted any attempt to drill for oil off of their coast. First, they cherish their beachside views and property values, and they don't want either disturbed by offshore drilling. Secondly, they are often environmentally inclined, and don't want to disturb their precious natural resources. Never mind the fact that Florida is one of the most populous states in the union, and therefore consume more than their fair share of natural resources. Never mind that there is A LOT of oil off the coast of Florida that would go a long way in off-setting their consumption. I guess many Floridians aren't interested in contributing as much as they consume.
And this is not a partisan issue. Former Gov Jeb Bush, brother of the President (who is supposedly a friend to big oil), has been very vocal about resisting offshore drilling. The message is clear, Florida's coastline is off limits to oil companies.
For perspective, some figures estimate oil reserves in these areas to be 4.6-9.3 billion barrels. Compare this to the 4-10 billion barrel estimate in ANWR in Alaska. This is part of the pathway to energy independence, but the people of Florida want their pretty beaches, and the environmentalists don't want to disturb their wilderness.
So, here comes China. The Chinese have brokered a deal with Fidel Castro to tap into these oil reserves and start slant drilling. Yes, just 45 miles off the coast of Florida, in the Florida Straits, the Chinese may soon begin harvesting oil that WE should be using to help achieve energy independence, to strengthen US oil companies, to employ US citizens.
The irony is that US oil companies could do this with minimal environmental impact. The Chinese aren't as concerned. They aren't held to any environmental standards, so their drilling will likely come at more of a detriment to the environment than if we allowed US companies to do the same. In short, because environmentalists took such a strong stand against off shore drilling, there is now a higher chance of environmental damage by allowing the Chinese the opportunity to come in and take our oil. What a shame.