Shouldn't We Drill U.S. Oil Before China Does?

This is how stupid our oil situation is getting.

China is going to be pumping oil out of the Gulf of Mexico — at the same time the United States cannot.

What? How's that again?

Here's how it works, information courtesy Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho who made a speech on the House floor about this Wednesday.

China is bidding on, and will win, rights to explore oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico, which are offered for development by Cuba.

By the way, Mexico just hit a huge offshore oil find in the Gulf of Mexico and expects to be frolicking in oil cash as a result.

The United States will not be participating in these hot, new finds because offshore of Florida is off limits to oil exploration.

Why is that?

Because enviros have managed to put such a stranglehold on Florida that even Gov. Jeb Bush is calling his brother, President George Bush, to say, "Just say no to oil off Florida."

We have to save the everglades, the keys, the bone fishing, the manatee, the whatever.

We certainly cannot give up precious environmental resources just to make certain someone gets another day of oil for their big, fat, piggish SUV and its oil-sucking V8 engine and it's bottomless tub of a gas tank.

So, the end result? We're paying through the nose for gas. Oil hit through the roof. Cuba is exploiting the situation. China is cashing in. Mexico is singing, "Happy days are here again." And the U.S. will be buying oil from those guys while forsaking its own untapped Florida oil fields.

This same thing is happening offshore in California and in Alaska, ANWR in particular.

I've always said this makes no sense. The United States enforces the strictest oil production environmental regulations in the world. And for what? So we can say to the oil companies: "Don't worry, you won't have to obey these regulations anyway because we're not going to let you drill here. Instead, go drill in Azerbaijan and Nigeria where you will have to obey virtually no regulations at all."

If you're a real environmentalist, don't you want oil development in places where real environmental regulations will be enforced?

And if we really want to help ourselves out of our own oil problem, shouldn't we drill our own oil before China gets to it first?

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