The Wall Street Journal: Interior Secretary Salazar says Cuba’s plan to drill for oil in its Gulf waters is “an issue of concern.” So much so that he convened a conference on safe offshore energy development yesterday, inviting 13 countries and the European Union, but not Cuba. (The conference announcement is here.)
Interior official Michael Bromwich, the Journal reports, “endorsed the idea of establishing uniform safety standards among the U.S., Mexico and Cuba for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico” but said it would be “tricky” to do so.
1. Pick up the phone, call State Department, insist on starting talks to create the same arrangements for oil spill preparedness that we have with Mexico.
2. Pick up the phone, call Senator Menendez, tell him that Interior would be derelict in its duty if it did not prepare for a worst-case scenario at a Cuban well, as we do with any other well in the Gulf. That necessarily involves dealing with the Cuban government, as we do on other security issues such as drug interdiction, search and rescue, etc.
3. Pick up the phone, call Florida media and explain that Cuba is proceeding with its drilling plans, and the federal government is acting now rather than waiting for an emergency that could threaten the Gulf environment and U.S. waters and shores.
Which begs the question: Which is the “tricky” part? Getting the State Department on board? Talking to the Cubans? Senator Menendez? Explaining the initiative to the public in Florida?