WASHINGTON – August 4, 2009  Reports have surfaced that Russia and Cuba have struck a multi-million dollar deal that will, in part, expand energy production in Cuban waters. According to Reuters, “Russia and Cuba have signed contracts that “set the bases” for Russian oil company Zarubezhneft to search for oil in Cuba’s part of the Gulf of Mexico.” Michael Whatley, Vice President of Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), issued this statement:

“As officials in Moscow and Havana work to expand energy production just miles from the Florida Keys, vast amounts of American energy resources – both on and offshore – remain padlocked by the federal government.

“Actions are underway, though, in Washington that may affect what domestic resources American consumers can access. Ken Salazar, secretary of the Interior, is readying a proposal that could ultimately determine where offshore energy production could occur. It is vital that Secretary Salazar’s five-year outer continental shelf development plan opens our waters for responsible, 21st century energy development, especially in Alaska’s resource-rich seas.

“As small businesses continue to struggle to make payroll and keep their doors open, and as families are forced to make difficult decisions and tighten their belts, we must move forward with policies that reduce energy costs across the board. What our economy, and our nation, desperately need from Washington is commonsense, supply-focused energy plans that ensure environmental safety, and that American consumers have access to affordable, reliable, and efficient energy.”

Read More:

  • Under the headline “Global economy at risk from oil price rise,” the Financial Times report this yesterday: “The world economy cannot sustain any further rise in the oil price, the International Energy Agency’s chief economist warned as oil prices rose toward a record high for the year. Fatih Birol told the Financial Times that prices higher than about $70 could dampen a world economic recovery. “If we go one step further, if we see prices go much higher than that, we may see it slow down and strangle economic recovery,” he said of oil prices on Friday.”
  • The Southeast Energy Alliance, the southeastern chapter of CEA, released a study on the economic impact that responsible offshore energy development could have on the state of North Carolina. Among its key findings, the report found that offshore oil and gas exploration could create more than 6,700 new jobs in the state, increase North Carolina’s GDP by $659 million a year, and generate approximately $148 billion in federal, state and local revenues. Click HERE to view the report.