LOU DOBBS TONIGHT
Gas Pump Politics; China Trying To Grab Oil Near Florida Coast; Gulf Outing For Bush; Tyler Drumheller Interview
Transcript of CNN Television Broadcast Aired April 27, 2006 – 18:00 ET
LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, middle class Americans are reeling from skyrocketing gasoline prices, and elected officials in Washington are in a frenzy trying to come up with answers, but they’re completely ignoring the real causes of this war on the middle class.
We’ll be live on Capitol Hill with the latest.
Communist China could soon be drilling for oil just miles off the coast of Florida. China negotiating with communist Cuba to develop oilfields in the Gulf of Mexico, and incredibly, U.S. law prohibits U.S. oil companies from drilling in the same area as the communist Chinese are about to do.
Kitty Pilgrim reports.
KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): China’s global grab for oil has made it partners with rogue nations around the world. The latest, Cuba, buying oilfields that are virtually in our back yard. Some in Congress are outraged.
SEN. LARRY CRAIG (R), IDAHO: Stand on a high place in the lower Florida Keys and some day you will see an oil rig, and it won’t be ours. It could be red China’s, a foreign policy that allows China to drill in our back yard, not a very good policy.
PILGRIM: China is looking to develop the North Cuba Basin, within 50 miles of the Florida Keys. It could have oil reserves of 4.5 billion to 9 billion barrels. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, approximately half the size of Alaska’s ANWAR.
Cuba is allowing Canada, Spain and now China to drill. China will also refurbish an old Soviet refinery in Cuba. But U.S. companies, because of the U.S. embargo of Cuba and hostile relations with Fidel Castro, are locked out of the game.
China has also befriended Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chavez, who has offered Chinese firms operating rights to mature fields.
PAMELA FALK, CITY UNIV. OF NEW YORK: Strategically speaking, it is a very dangerous relationship to have Venezuela, very antagonistic with the United States right now, and China, very competitive with the United States right now, in the U.S.’ own back yard in Cuba.
PILGRIM: The United States is heavily dependent on Venezuelan oil. Venezuela is the fourth largest oil supplier to the United States. The new oilfields offshore from Cuba could ultimately help supply concerns, but both countries increasingly favor China over the United States.
PILGRIM: Now, Senator Larry Craig wants to introduce legislation that would allow U.S. companies to operate in these waters, saying we can’t let China lock up a potentially lucrative oil supply right in our own back yard — Lou.
DOBBS: That would be unfortunate. And as Senator Craig suggests, rightly, really bad policy. But it would not be the only bad policy being pursued by this country in the Gulf of Mexico with Cuba, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and the rest of South America.
DOBBS: When is there any — is there any indication of any interest on the part of this administration to create a strategy for this hemisphere?
PILGRIM: Well, actually, oil executives met in Mexico to try to talk…
DOBBS: I meant the government.
PILGRIM: Yes — no. They were thwarted from doing anything by the government.
DOBBS: Kitty, thank you very much.