This Interior Department testimony (pdf) from last week sometimes seems to take pains to include the word “Cuba.” But it places Cuba’s oil drilling in the context of other drilling in the Gulf and looks ahead to talks among the United States, Mexico, Cuba, Bahamas, and Jamaica regarding protection of our shared maritime environment. And it sounds as if the U.S. government is preparing to license U.S. firms to help Repsol and the Cuban oil company Cupet in the event of an emergency.
Of course it would be stupid to keep the resources of the U.S. oil industry out of an emergency response in Cuba or any part of the Gulf, but that hasn’t stopped us before. For now it appears that the Obama Administration is trying to protect the Gulf regardless of Miami politics, and to improve the protections that were in place when BP’s well blew. Let’s hope so.