Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Boehner Resurrects Chinese Oil Well Issue: Now Claims Cuba And China 'Actively Exploring' Near Florida
CINCINNATI (TDB) -- House Republican leader John Boehner has a new angle on U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt's false claim that the Chinese are drilling for oil off the coast of Florida. Boehner contends in a column published today in a Cincinnati magazine "China and Cuba, for example, are actively exploring deep ocean fields just 50 miles off the coast of the Floirda Keys." But hard data to support Boehner's assertion appears to be non-existent -- he offers neither pictures nor maps to go along with his article. He presents no new evidence to counter experts who have said for the past month that China's oil leases in Cuba are land-based.
This new twist in the Chinese oil well saga comes nearly a month after some of Boehner's House allies began claiming in early June that China has been tapping offshore oil deposits in the Florida Straits. The GOP's assertions are being described as akin to an urban legend. Others see it as a myth being spread to capitalize on American frustrations over $4-plus prices at gasoline pumps. While Schmidt, R-OH-02, has refused to back off her statement that the Chinese are drilling off the coast of Florida, Vice President Dick Cheney has admitted he was incorrect for saying the same thing. And conservative columnist George Will issued a retraction when he reported the existence of Chinese oil wells near Florida.
Boehner could be trying a new tack to keep some shred of the myth afloat. His column appeared in today's Cincinnati Gentleman, a bimonthly magazine that is not available online. Boehner's column ran on the last page and is called "Freedom From High Gas Prices." About the Cubans and Chinese near Florida, he writes:
"Thirteen years later, emerging market economies in China and India are gobbling up excess oil supply. Foreign countries have embarked on a worldwide hunt for new resources. China and Cuba, for example, are actively exploring deep ocean fields just 50 miles off the coast of Florida. Meanwhile, Democrats keep America's own untapped resources off-limits to Americans. This madness has to stop."