U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said today that she was disappointed in the Obama Administration's lack of action to prevent the Cuban regime from drilling for oil off its coast. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"Today's announcement by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement clearing the way for Cuba's use of the Scarabeo 9 oil rig in its oil drilling scheme again highlights the Obama Administration's refusal to take action to prevent the Cuban regime's dangerous plans from moving forward.
"The Administration completely missed the point by limiting its efforts to a routine safety certification of the rig. The issue at hand is a state sponsor of terrorism poised to achieve a tremendous economic boon by entering the oil business and potentially endangering U.S. waters to boot. It is deeply disappointing that the Obama Administration appears content to just watch that happen.
"Oil exploration ninety miles off the Florida coast by this corrupt, unaccountable dictatorship could result in horrific environmental and economic damage to our Gulf Coast communities, in addition to enriching the Castro tyranny. I have authored a bill which would impose sanctions on those helping the regime develop its oil industry. To protect our environment and our national security interests, we must take decisive action to prevent the Cuban regime from moving forward with its oil baron agenda."
NOTE: Ros-Lehtinen is the author of H.R. 2047, the Caribbean Coral Reef Protection Act, which amends the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996 to deny U.S. visas to aliens contributing to Cuba's ability to develop petroleum resources off its coast. The bill would also impose export sanctions and other penalties on persons and entities investing in the development of Cuba's petroleum resources.