facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

U.S. mulls policy on Cuban oil drilling

Oct. 18, 2011 at 12:47 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- U.S. firms will be allowed to respond to any oil spills from drilling set to begin off Cuba's northern coast later this year, the Obama administration says.

The federal government is "taking measures to ensure that the appropriate private industry parties are able to respond quickly in the event of an oil spill in Cuban waters," Michael Bromwich, director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, told the Senate Tuesday.

The decision would mean relaxing the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, which generally bars American commerce with the nation.

Under the embargo, individual companies can ask the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control for licenses to travel to or do business with Cuba.

At least two U.S. companies specializing in spill response already hold such permits, The Houston Chronicle reported.

Environmentalists and oil industry leaders have been pressuring the administration to issue more general licenses for a broad class of oil service companies to do business with Cuba in case of an emergency.

If licensing decisions are made only after a spill occurs, "on a case-by-case, day-by-day basis ... you may see a delay in our ability to respond quickly and address the cleanup," Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Destroyers with ballistic missile defense capability heading to Japan Destroyers with ballistic missile defense capability heading to Japan
2
American fighting with Kurds in Syria: Civilians burned in chemical attack American fighting with Kurds in Syria: Civilians burned in chemical attack
3
Woman allegedly sets roommate on fire for throwing out pasta Woman allegedly sets roommate on fire for throwing out pasta
4
Female gym teacher busted for repeated sex with student Female gym teacher busted for repeated sex with student
5
Brazil, Argentina to strenghten aerospace cooperation; talk Gripen deal Brazil, Argentina to strenghten aerospace cooperation; talk Gripen deal
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback