As Congress has debated energy policy over the past several days, an unusual argument keeps surfacing in support of drilling off the U.S. coastline and in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Why, ask some Republicans, should the United States be thwarted from drilling in its own territory when just 50 miles off the Florida coastline the Chinese government is drilling for oil under Cuban leases?
Yet no one can prove that the Chinese are drilling anywhere off Cuba’s shoreline. The China-Cuba connection is “akin to urban legend,” said Sen. Mel Martinez, a Republican from Florida who opposes drilling off the coast of his state but who backs exploration in ANWR.
“China is not drilling in Cuba’s Gulf of Mexico waters, period,” said Jorge Pinon, an energy fellow with the Center for Hemispheric Policy at the University of Miami and an expert in oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico. Martinez cited Pinon’s research when he took to the Senate floor Wednesday to set the record straight.
Even so, the Chinese-drilling-in-Cuba legend has gained momentum and has been swept up in Republican arguments to open up more U.S. territory to domestic production.
It actually is a clever debating tactic. If you just make shit up, it is very hard for the opposition to refute your arguments. Watch:
Mother: You need to eat your vegetables or you do not get dessert.
Son: Why? Aliens in the backyard are juggling penguins.
See how effective that is? As a side note, it is pretty clear that ANWR is the final prize for the GOP in the 8 year smash and grab, and expect them to keep pressing the issue over the next few months, because they know that neither a President McCain or President Obama support drilling there. Well, McCain doesn’t support it right now, but his positions are negotiable, as always.
*** Update ***
I should probably add that I really am not opposed to drilling in ANWR, or offshore drilling, etc., provided it can be done safely (a big caveat, and along with that the understanding that there are differing definitions of safely). I just don’t think it will be that big of a deal as far as oil prices go, I think it is absurd to pretend that there is all this oil there that will suddenly make us energy independent, and most of all, it is a dodge. We are not going to drill our way out of our energy concerns, and drilling in ANWR is just bullshit thrown into the debate to allow people to avoid the hard decisions we actually have to make about our energy consumption.
My own comment on McClatchy was:
indeed, it’s very effective.
Hilarious. “It is funny because it’s true.” ~Homer Simpson
No, seriously though, we all know the Conservative base is stupid enough to buy anything Dick Cheney says, but come on!
This is why ANWR has always been a ripe target, but the Gulf really never will be. Stevens doesn’t mind scorching earth in the largest state in the US. He’s got real estate to burn. But Florida coastline – and Mississippi coast line, and Louisiana coast line, and Alabama coast line, and Texas coast line – is real estate gold. Trent Lott wasn’t going to let a Valdez into his back yard. Mel Martinez and his financial backers probably own hundreds of miles of Florida coast. And Disney World would eat Congress alive if it thought their resort communities were at risk.
For me but not for thee is the environmental credo of the American conservative. They’ll screw over your back yard as soon as look at you. But their property is far too valuable to risk.
Why, asks anyone with half a brain cell, can’t the Rethugs produce some photos? Maybe they don’t know those satellites whizzing around the sky do more than beam goat porn into their TVs.
I also wonder why anyone wants to annoy the Chinese right now. Thanks to Republican wisdom they sort of own our asses but are nice enough not to point it out.
If you don’t count the occasional “This economy you got here not looking to good is it? Be a shame if someone flooded the market with dollars and drowned the poor thing. KnowhatImean?”
Well, gotta go. The Titanic just pulled up outside and I’m off for a six weeks cruise around the Horsehead Nebula.
I’m reminded of the debate over the idea of the NAFTA Superhighway, which as far as I can tell has its origins in an Onion article.
They don’t even have to be the real rigs. Just like Colin Powell’s DRONZ OF DEATH and the FOUR GAS LABS OF THE APOCOLYPZ.
Jesus, they’ve gotten lazy.
Aside from the China/Cuba lie, I have heard Republicans trumpet this crap about ANWR and drilling in the US, but I don’t understand why Republicans think this is a winning argument for them. Schwarzenegger(R-CA) against off-shore oil drilling in California. Crist (R-FL) and Jeb Bush (R-FL) against off-shore drilling in Florida. McCain (R-AZ) against drilling in ANWR.
It is the height of stupidity, but why aren’t Democrats pushing back on this?
Hannity was on the air yesterday, bawling about the liberals who won’t allow drilling in ANWR, esp. since there’s 30 years worth of oil there, i.e. ANWR will solve all our problems. Now, Hannity isn’t a stupid person; he knows that what he said is total bullshit. My math says there’s enough oil in ANWR to replace imports for about 30 months, 5-10 years from now.
But at water coolers all across America this morning, the rubes will parrot what he said, and then, like another commenter said, it becomes hard to refute.
But if BO were to stand up this morning and tell us the truth, he would be finished. Ended. Quickly. So, the conclusion must be: making shit up works. It’s an effective campaign tool.
Actually… I think I know PRECISELY where this debate is in fact headed.
Leave comments in this thread. I want to see how long it takes till my lame Geocities site is overwhelmed.
As the title indicates, they’ve been making shit up for years. It’s hard to break old, bad habits, especially if they work.
Personally, if they say the Chinese are drilling just 50 miles from the good old USA, then that’s good enough for me and it’s probably true, so come on Dems and a you few cranky Repubs, show me the money or shut up. You’re disturbing my fantasy.
How can we not be sure the Chinese are not also drilling off the coast of ANWAR? Sounds like a Cuban Missile Crisis brewing here. I say, it’s time get our bombers ready. Let’s attack Iran.
Speaking of making shit up, I have to say I’m incredibly impressed with Fight the Smears. Not only is Obama tackling the usual crap, he’s giving a detailed rebuttal of the Whitey tape allegations.
There’s even video of Stone’s climbdown. And I wonder if Agent Flowbee is scribbling something extra special in his diary now that Obama’s site has OMG! OMG!! OMFG!!! mentioned him by name.
So to “debunk the claim that “China has Cuban leases to drill for oil” Jorge says “China is not drilling in Cuba’s Gulf”
China-Cuba rumors fuel renewed offshore drilling debate
So this is a example of debunking.
Sen Chuck Schumer owns a gun.
Debunking: Chuck Schumer does not own a gun because he has never shot anyone.
Dennis - SGMM
They also don’t mind scorching the earth along the West Coast. Many of the R’s from the Gulf states are incensed that the selfish tree huggers and liberal elitists in California and Oregon are standing in the way of drilling. That their enthusiasm for drilling anywhere but in their own back yard might strike some as hypocritical.
BTW, for those who keep score, gas prices here in my part of SoCal now average $4.69 a gallon. Premium is now twenty-one cents away from the magic five dollar mark and it’s only June. That’s bad enough but my heart really goes out to those folks back East who are going to have to fill that oil tank for their Winter heating. Having to spend a few grand to keep from freezing is going to push a lot of families into the abyss.
Ergo, Chuck Schumer totally kills people, all the time and we need to drill in ANWR to stop him.
Listen, Mr. Shore, I know this is hard to grasp, but if the claim is “China is drilling for oil” and the refutation is “China has a permit to drill, but has not yet begun drilling” then YES, China is not drilling for oil.
This doesn’t even begin to address the logic of drilling for oil in the Gulf to begin with. The concern is that Gulf Oil Drilling will make a giant mess in valuable real estate along the coast. If we send in our guys to drill faster and more aggressively than the Chinese, that hardly solves this problem. Perhaps we should be moving to deter the Chinese from launching their own drilling expedition rather than rushing off to Alaska so that we can make our own massive shit stain on the environment.
With all the logic that brought us “Saddam tortured people way worse than we did”, we bring you “If the Chinese can make a mess in the Gulf, we should be able to make a bigger mess in the Arctic.”
on the other hand, i think i read somewhere that dick cheney has no problem with drilling for oil off-shore of wyoming.
Lord knows the Cubans would never be able to do something like this without us finding about it…*cough* Cuban missile crisis.
Nope, there’s no way that this is really going on. None. Just keep on believing this, guys.
Aliens juggling Penguins sounds like a great name for a blog.
The Other Steve
Ahh, but you can not prove that the Chinese are not drilling anywhere off Cuba’s shoreline, so therefore the argument is perfectly reasonable!
Regarding that debating tactic:
There was a time, in the past, that employing such a debating tactic would result in The Nice Nurse administering to you 5lb, football-sized Thorazine Suppositories with a modified, belt-fed Hilti Nail Gun set on full Rock n’ Roll. Failing that, a 16lb buttonset.
And rightfully so. That’s crazy talk.
But should Aliens ever attempt to juggle penguins, I don’t expect they will do it for long: millions of Linux geeks will have them little grey dudes spitted and turning over a slow, smoky hardwood fire and bathed in a North Carolina mop sauce in nothing flat. You don’t be messin’ with no Linux mascots on their watch.
The Moar You Know
Zif, you need to look at this like a Reichtard. You see:
The Reichtard sees:
You may as well be screaming at a wall. Paul and his idiot compadres are incapable of perceiving reality – which is admittedly hard to do when you spend your entire life hiding from the world with your head buried up your ass. The only thing to do is ingnore their strangled cries of panic, get the numbers together, and outvote them.
The Moar You Know
Those goddamn Cubans were so clever. Hid that from us for years until they nuked Miami and New York City back in ’71. God, that was an awful year. We sure got suckered.
These “discoveries” also suffer from immense reserve inflation. Reality is a modest pool of oil currently not producing enough to meet Cuba’s internal usage.
The group will explore seven deep-water blocks estimated to contain more than 4 billion barrels in oil and gas reserves. Earlier explorations, however, turned up only modest discoveries…….Cuba has steadily increased output of low-quality heavy crude and now produces 75,000 barrels daily, about half of what it needs
They’ve been producing oil in Florida for years. It’s well past peak production. If there was some Ghawar sized field left in the U.S. it would have been drilled. Period. There is no magical solution in ANWR or offshore.
Denial and bargaining are not going to change the simple fact the easy oil is all gone.
Oh and apparently by Chinese they mean Canada’s Sherritt International Corp
If it’s not going to noticeably impact our supply of oil, what will it impact? Or to boil it down to two words: cui bono?
My math says there’s enough oil in ANWR to replace imports for about 30 months, 5-10 years from now.
I think we’d be extremely lucky if there were that much there.
Why is the right– I mean the Hannity-listening right, not senators– so preoccupied with this? Is it because it allows them to hate environmentalists? Because their deep felt beliefs must all be determined by wealthy donors? Or what?
I supported drilling in ANWR when it was an issue a few years back, because I took the president at his word when he said that new technology allowed for drilling with minimal environmental impact. Guess I’ll have to reexamine that.
Short term, fuel prices are driven by refining capacity and delivery and storage capacity for refined fuels.
Long term, they are driven by the price of the raw material, crude oil.
“Where” the crude oil comes from is not a big factor in the price of crude oil. The big factors are supply and demand, and competition for the resource, and for the extraction and delivery capacity. ANWR oil is not really a big deal one way or the other, insofar as the oil market and the cost of energy is concerned.
It’s amusing to observe that we have had a government run by oil people, and yet Americans have not been educated in any way about the realities of oil, or energy, at all.
Thanks, Uncle Sam. You’ve helped us again.
I actually had this line used on me at work the other day by the first hardcore Bushie I’ve ever met. She moved up from Florida to Alabama – apparently all of the trouble in Florida in 2k was caused by liberals, John McCain is the only candidate who doesn’t scare her and of course she doesn’t see why we can’t drill for oil off our coasts if China can. This is a particularly potent “fact” to debate against if you don’t have anything to refute it with and of course you can’t prove a negative. I won’t bother trying to point out her parroting of a lie since there’s really no point. I could get a heli-tour of the gulf and still not be able to prove the absence of Chinese drilling platforms to someone who really wants to believe they’re there.
What’s the bir hurry to drill ANWR? There’s oil down there. Oil prices are rising. That oil up there is a stock that’s booming. Now isn’t the time to sell. Longer we leave it there, the more valuable it gets. Let’s wait until we can’t possibly wait one more day, so that we get the most out of it.
The math, FWIW: estimates of ANWR reserves range from 5B to 16B recoverable barrels. I chose 12B as a realistic figure. We currently import about 14M barrels per day.
12B divided by 14M = about 860 days = about 2.3 years.
I realize that these facts have a liberal bias, and can only hurt the Democrats in November.
Regardless of how much oil is in ANWR, there is a serious constraint on maximum production: limited capacity on the Trans Alaska Pipeline. The most additional oil that could be pumped is about 1% of the world’s daily supply. This extra supply would lower prices all of about 5 CENTS per gallon. Even with unlimited pipeline capacity, maximum production from ANWR would still be well under 2% of world production. Woo, let’s waste out preeminent, truly strategic oil reserve to save 8 mother fucking cents a gallon 5 years from now when gas is $5-8 a gallon.
Anyone, ANYONE, who supports drilling in ANWR is a fool, a paid liar for the oil companies, or both.
The Other Steve
ANWR has been an issue for 40 years.
I think it’s mostly fueled by Alaskan politics, as oil flow out of Alaska has been slowing as their fields dry up, and the bulk of the Alaskan budget comes from taxes on oil.
Dennis - SGMM
Yep, because there’s no difference between doing surveillance with a limited number of manned, fixed wing aircraft using film cameras and doing it with one-meter-resolution spysats.
But, thanks for playing.
We use 14M a day now. What will our consumption rate be in 5 years when the oil starts to flow?
Also teh oil will be sold on the international market, it won’t go directly into our gas tanks so US consumption isn’t the only factor.
Drilling in ANWR won’t solve our gas price issues or move us off foreign supplies. It just gives oil companies more oil to sell. And once again we’re being shamed or intimidated into going along with a stupid plan that is supposed to be good for the country but is really an economic issue for a small group.
Here’s my thinking.
-Oil companies want to make profit. They must make profit (just like any other company.)
-Arctic drilling, offshore drilling, increased shipping or pipline infrastructure, etc… all represent huge capital investments and increased ongoing expenses.
-OPEC will up the oil supply to the market and allow crude prices to drop (temporarily) if it will spoil profitability of other sources from opening up.
To me, this means that oil companies won’t drill (even if there are no regulartory barriers) unless they are either given a huge goverment payoff or some other insentive to off set the risk (such as the US promising to buy this oil at a set high price, regardless of the open market.)
Which means to me, that even though the price of crude might drop, I would lose that as the savings would be sucked from the national infrastrucure in some other way. (Though the rest of the national market might benefit since Europe and China would get lower prices without having to give such a financial promise).
Am I wrong in thinking that oil companies will seek out (and probably get) some deal where they get paid to pump this oil “for the good of the country”?
For fucks sake dude. We’ve been to the moon since then. You can’t be comparing our foreign surveillance capabilities now to what they were 45 years ago. Technology has improved a touch.
I beg to differ. I occasionally see even wingnut bloggers embarrassed by something that dolt says.
Oh, and don’t pay attention to Peter Johnson. He’s a spoof (note the double phallic name). No one is that fucking stupid.
No one is that fucking stupid.
No wonder you guys can’t win an election. Anyone who doesn’t tow the leftist line must be an idiot. Ergo, I am an idiot. Ergo, 65% of the population are idiots.
Good luck in November.
Thinking drilling ANWR is going to solve energy issues = thinking you’ll be able to quit smoking crack by buying it from a different dealer
Well, he’s not stupid in the sense that he saw there’s lots of money to be made by toting wingnut water and helped himself to millions of dollars. But in terms of politics and common sense and whatnot? Yeah, he’s pretty fucking stupid.
This issue proves that the “Conservatives” are not what they claim. They do not have any sense of conserving anything.
NOW NOW NOW is the new “conservative” creed.
Chinese president, Hu Jintao, had this to say about the rumors of them drilling offshore Cuba.
No, you’re a spoof, and not even a very good one.
Anyone who can’t use the correct homophone in an established cliché, however, is a paragon of wisdom. Do I have the doublethink down right?
Preemptive Peter Johnson: I don’t see what gay marriage has to do with drilling for oil.
Regarding the GOP’s claim that we should drill off the coast of Florida. As GOP Senator Mel Martinez of Florida said, he’s against it. So was the GOP state legislature which passed a bill forbidding it. Which, BTW, was signed into law by then Republican Governor Jeb Bush. But remember, it’s the environmentalist who are always stopping us from energy independence.
I honestly wonder if big oil companies really want to drill for more oil when they’re currently making record profits. And while the GOP is passing restrictions. Those damn environmentalists.
My understanding (limited) is that the price of oil is not a supply issue. There’s enough supply (for now). It’s that China is willing to pay $140/barrel.
Isn’t oil traded as a commodity? Isn’t the price therefore at least partly based on speculation; effectively whatever the highest bidder is willing to go?
If we produced N additional barrels of oil from ANWR wouldn’t they sell at $140/barrel? It’s not going to cut the cost at the pumps, right?
I’ve come to the conclusion that ANWR really isn’t about oil at all. Amusingly enough, it seems like the oil companies themselves lost interest in the place after drilling a single test well to see what was really down there. (The estimates of 5-16Billion recoverable barrels by the USGS are pretty rough – the single test well drilled by some oil companies is the only direct examination that’s been done so far, as far as I know.)
Personally, I think the whole thing is just a jobs program for Alaska. Think “Bridge to Nowhere”, but with drilling rigs.
You assume he knows the term is ‘toe the line’. Maybe he thinks there is pulling involved.
Not in the slightest. It just gives oil sellers more oil to sell at market price. And lucky for them we will pay the cost of extracting it.
Dick Cheney has been talking up this “urban legend” about China’s drilling offshore Cuba, too. Hmm, wonder why…
WSI Cuba Project (January 2005) Timeline begins January 31, 2005 –
March 22: Chinese oil drilling equipment has begun arriving in Cuba as state-run Cubapetroleo (Cupet) and its foreign partners prepare to significantly increase drilling along the northwest coast, industry sources said. “Four service units and a small rig have arrived and we are waiting for more,” said a Cuban oil service manager, asking his name not be used. There are currently five rigs operating along the northwest heavy oil belt, an 80-mile (128-km) stretch of coast in Havana and Matanzas provinces from whence come all of Cuba’s 70,000 to 80,000 barrels per day of heavy crude at 8 API to 18 API and with a high sulfur content. The poor-quality oil is burned in modified power plants and factories. Cuba imports a similar amount of oil and derivatives, with preferential financing from Venezuela. Canadian companies Sherritt International (S.TO) and Pebercan Inc. (PBC.TO), in conjunction with Cupet, account for 60 percent of the output, plus 2 million cubic meters of natural gas per day. (Reuters, 22/3/05)
From 2006, Cuba Project World Security Institute “Three years ago, Cuba announced the discovery of oil reserves off its northwest coast. Since then it has crafted an increasingly sophisticated energy development plan for exploiting these resources and struck deals with a growing list of international partners. As global demand for energy has expanded and prices skyrocketed, Cuba’s oil discoveries have garnered increased interest from American policy analysts, oil companies, and a widening number of U.S. government officials. All this has also raised questions about how it might alter the 44-year U.S. trade embargo against the Castro regime.”
CNN: China, Cuba reported in Gulf oil partnership
Also in 2006: Huffington Post
I think this is called the Chewbacca defense.
Don’t understand why Republicans want to drill for oil in ANWR just to burn it up when they can leave it in the ground and get $$$beaucoup$$$ bucks from all those lovely long saturated hydrocarbon molecules when we REALLY need it down the road….
Hasn’t anyone heard of “saving for a rainy day”? Or “prudence”?
In regards to offshore drilling, in the early 80s the Ixtoc rig in the Bay of Campeche blew out at the sea floor level. Our beaches were coated in raw crude for ages. Some of the real thick shit still washes up in the form of tar balls. No one wants that in their neighorhood. I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.
No one wants that in their neighorhood. I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.
However, there were no significant spills after Hurricane Katrina – even from the older rigs about to be retired…
And Brazil’s famous ethanol isn’t pollution free, so pick your poison:
“Sao Paulo Governor Jose Serra estimated cane burning in 2006 in his state, which accounts for 65 percent of Brazil’s cane crop, spewed 750,000 tonnes of pollution into the air. Burning rates are up 20 percent from a year ago at this time in Sao Paulo, according to the latest satellite data from the National Space Studies Institute.”
Chris Andersen – you weren’t referring to me, I assume? :)
Even a broken clock is right twice a day.
Except for all of the spills from the refining and storage locations that totalled 2/3rd’s of the Exxon Valdex spill. But yeah, besides that, Katrina didn’t cause any spills.
Some clocks are right 24/7.
Not only would drilling in Anwar scar the landscape and prevent the migration of certain animals, the amount of oil taken from there could only be as little as a six months supply. Not only that, but the chances that that oil would end up in America is slim to none. In all actuality, the oil would be pipelined across the ocean and America wouldn’t see a drop of it. It’s a silly proposal but one that is used like a club whenever anyone brings up the high gas prices. And it’s a silly solution considering the problem isn’t how can we find more oil to feed our dependency, but how the hell do we figure out a way to wean ourselves off the black drug.
Agreed Andrew about the containment facility spills. (Sorry I don’t know how to do the quotes thingy.) I was focusing on the rigs, but your point is well taken. We need to work on containment in the event of hurricanes and earthquakes, that’s for sure. Transport is the major cause of disasters and as long as we use anyone’s oil, we’re at risk. Oil imports to the US
I’d like us to get off of oil someday as much as anyone, but how long do you think it might take? And what do we do in the meantime? If we hadn’t been prevented from drilling, we might have been in better shape presently. (I’m one who remembers the oil crisis during Jimmy Carter’s term and it sure wasn’t pretty.) Do we have the best interests of our children in mind when we refuse to do it now? Keep all this in mind as our food prices go up because of the increase in fuel costs and for switching to corn for ethanol. (Think of the third world food riots going on now, too) Also, ethanol production takes tons of water – a very limited resource in most of the world. Water prices rising worldwide
But to get back to the topic of this thread – is China Cuba drilling for oil off Cuba now, or is that just making @#$# up? I think the answer is not yet, but they can and will because they’ve been working toward that goal since 2005 (as my link shows). Once again, IMHO, the answer is somewhere in the nonpartisan middle.