USA*Engage Endorses Western Hemisphere Energy Security Act

Tuesday, 16 May 2006
“Current U.S. policy hamstrings our ability to compete in local exploration activities that would improve our economic security,” said USA*Engage Director Jake Colvin.  “There are potentially significant amounts of oil and natural gas close to the United States that our competitors from around the globe can access but we cannot.  These bills would give U.S. companies a shot at critical resources in our backyard.”

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates there is approximately 4.6 to 9 billion barrels of oil and 1.9 to 22 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the North Cuban basin.  These estimates are similar to those made for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska.

“It makes no sense to stand by and watch nations like China and India secure a potentially lucrative presence in energy activities just off our shores while barring American companies from competing and lending their technologies to improve environmental standards,” said Colvin.

“USA*Engage has long argued that U.S. unilateral sanctions against Cuba are counterproductive.  This is just one example of the negative impact sanctions have on our economy and our national security.  We are very pleased that Senator Craig and Congressman Flake have taken this important step and will work to encourage others to follow their lead.  This is good energy policy and good foreign policy.”

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USA*Engage (www.usaengage.org) is a coalition of small and large businesses, agriculture groups and trade associations working to seek alternatives to the proliferation of unilateral U.S. foreign policy sanctions and to promote the benefits of U.S. engagement abroad. Established in 1997 and organized under the National Foreign Trade Council (www.nftc.org), USA*Engage leads a campaign to inform policy-makers, opinion-leaders, and the public about the counterproductive nature of unilateral sanctions, the importance of exports and overseas investment for American competitiveness and jobs, and the role of American companies in promoting human rights and democracy world wide.

The National Foreign Trade Council (www.nftc.org) is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.