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
Poland's Komorowski wants U.N to block Russian influence Poland's Komorowski wants U.N to block Russian influence
2
Ferguson cop testifies before grand jury about Michael Brown shooting Ferguson cop testifies before grand jury about Michael Brown shooting
3
Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger's divorce will finally be finalized Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger's divorce will finally be finalized
4
Scotland says 'No Thanks,' will remain part of the United Kingdom Scotland says 'No Thanks,' will remain part of the United Kingdom
5
Scottish referendum: Who says 'yes' and who says 'no' Scottish referendum: Who says 'yes' and who says 'no'
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback