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(All of this out of a Cuban population of 6.5 million meaning that Castro and Che's
political incarceration rate topped Stalin's.)

And wouldn't you know it? After years of this glorious effort, cheered by everyone from
Jean Paul Sartre to George Mc Govern and from Norman Mailer to Michael Moore, that
doggone law of supply and demand held firm, while Cuba's per capita income
(surpassing half of Europe's in the 1950s) plummeted to nudge Haiti's.

AMERICA AT THE MERCY OF THE WORLD'S TYRANTS
For fear of oil spills, as of 2008, the U.S. federal government and various states ban
drilling in thousands upon thousands of square miles off the U.S. coast.
These areas,
primarily on the outer Continental Shelf, hold an estimated 115 billion barrels of
oil and 633 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
This leaves America's energy needs
increasingly at the mercy of foreign autocrats, despots, and maniacs. All the while
worldwide demand for oil ratchets ever and ever upward.

At times you'd swear that Che Guevara's bloody lesson (not to mention Lenin, Mao, and
Pol Pot's) has yet to sink in. Barack Obama, for instance, recently proposed a “windfall
profits” tax on oil companies. Such "hope" that more federal looting of oil producers will
lower prices is not "audacious", it is simply idiotic.

    And that's only part of the idiocy. For those who
    favor evidence over dogma, a lesson in the
    “environmental perils” of offshore oil drilling
    presents itself every bit as starkly, though much
    less murderously. To wit: Of the roughly 3,700
    offshore oil productions platforms in the Gulf
    of Mexico, roughly 3,200 lie off the Louisiana
    coast. Yet Louisiana produces one-third of
    America's commercial fisheries and no major
    oil spill has ever soiled its coast.

    OIL SPILLS FROM TRANSPORTATION,
    NOT EXTRACTION
    On the other hand, Florida, which zealously
    prohibits offshore oil drilling, had its gorgeous
    “Emerald Coast” panhandle beaches soiled by an
    ugly oil spill in 1976. This spill, as almost all oil
    spills, resulted from the transportation of oil—not
    from the extraction of oil.

Assuming such as Hugo Chavez deign to keep selling us oil, we'll need increasingly more
and we'll need to keep transporting it stateside—typically to refineries in Louisiana and
Texas.

This path takes those tankers (as the one in 1976) smack in front of Florida's panhandle
beaches.
Recall the Valdez, the Cadiz, the Argo Merchant. These were all tanker
spills. The production of oil is relatively clean and safe.
Again, it's the
transportation that presents the greatest risk. And even these spills (though hyped
hysterically as environmental catastrophes) always play out as minor blips, those
pictures of oil soaked seagulls notwithstanding.

To the horror and anguish of professional greenies, Alaska's Prince William Sound
recovered completely.
More birds get fried by landing on power lines and
smashed to pulp against picture windows in one week than perished from three
decades of oil spills.

But forget cheaper oil and less pollution for a second. All fishermen and scuba divers out
there should plead with their states to open up offshore oil drilling posthaste. I refer to
the fabulous fishing—the explosion of marine life that accompanies the erection of
offshore oil platforms.

MARINE LIFE FLOURISHES
"Environmentalists" wake up in the middle of the night sweating and whimpering about
offshore oil platforms only because they've never seen what's under them.
This
proliferation of marine life around the platforms turned on its head every
"environmental expert" opinion of its day.

The original plan, mandated by federal environmental "experts" back in the late '40s, was
to remove the big, ugly, polluting, environmentally hazardous contraptions as soon as
they stopped producing. Fine, said the oil companies.

About 15 years ago some wells played out off Louisiana and the oil companies tried to
comply. Their ears are still ringing from the clamor fishermen put up. Turns out those
platforms are going nowhere, and by popular demand of those with a bigger stake in the
marine environment than any "environmentalist."

Every "environmental" superstition against these
structures was turned on its head.
Marine life had
exploded around these huge artificial reefs: A study by
LSU's Sea Grant college shows that 85 percent of
Louisiana fishing trips involve fishing around these
platforms.
The same study shows that there's 50
times more marine life around an oil production
platform than in the surrounding mud bottoms.

An environmental study (by apparently honest scientists)
revealed that urban runoff and treated sewage dump 12
times the amount of petroleum into the Gulf than those
thousands of oil production platforms. And
oil seeping naturally through the ocean
floor into the Gulf, where it dissipates over time, accounts for 7 times the
amount spilled by rigs and pipelines in any given year.

The Flower Garden coral reefs lie off the Louisiana-Texas border. Unlike any of the
Florida Keys reefs, they're surrounded by dozens of offshore oil platforms.

These have been pumping away for the past 50 years. Yet according to G.P.
Schmahl, a federal biologist who worked for decades in both places, "The
Flower Gardens are much healthier, more pristine than anything in the Florida
Keys. It was a surprise to me," he admits. "And I think it's a surprise to most
people."

"A key measure of the health of a reef is the amount of area taken up by coral,"
according to a report by Steve Gittings, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration's science coordinator for marine sanctuaries.
"Louisiana's Flower
Garden boasts nearly 50 percent coral cover. In the Florida Keys it can run as
little as 5 percent."

    Mark Ferrulo, a Florida
    "environmental activist" uses the very
    example of Louisiana for his anti-
    offshore drilling campaign, calling
    Louisiana's coast "the nation's toilet."

    Florida's fishing fleet must love fishing
    in toilets, and her restaurants serving
    what's in them. Most of the red
    snapper you eat in Florida
    restaurants are caught around
    Louisiana's oil platforms. We see
    the Florida-registered boats tied up to
    them constantly. Sometimes us locals
    can barely squeeze in.

America desperately needs more domestic oil. In the process of producing it,
we'd also get a cheaper tab for broiled red snapper with crabmeat/shrimp
topping.
HUMBERTO FONTOVA
    ...U.S. Desperately Needs More
    Domestic Oil

In the early 1960s the law of supply and demand greatly
irked Cuba's “minister of the economy” Ernesto “Che”
Guevara. “No problemo!” he decided one fine morning.
I'll simply abolish it by creating a “new man,” with these
insufferable Cubans as my Guinea Pigs.

The world's intelligentsia applauded deliriously as 14,000
Cubans were murdered by firing squad, 77,000 drowned
or were ripped apart by sharks attempting to flee
Guevara's whim, and half a million were herded into
political prisons and forced labor camps at bayonet point.
This eColumn appears
courtesy of
Humberto Fontova,
author and conservative
columnist who appears
often on leading talkshows
and programs.

Humberto was born in
Havana, Cuba in 1954 and
emigrated with his family in
1961 to New Orleans. He
attended the University of
New Orleans, receiving a
B.A. in History in 1977.
His mentor at UNO was the
best selling
author-historian,
Dr. Stephen Ambrose.

In 1979, Humberto earned
an M.A. in History from
Tulane University. He then
embarked on a 15-year
career in sales and
marketing for Fortune 500
companies, namely Dun &
Bradstreet and its
subsidiaries.

He has been a free-lance
journalist since 1992. His
work has been published in
Sierra, Scuba Times, Men’s
Journal
, Salt Water
Sportsman
, Bowhunter,
Buckmaster, Boating,
Salon.com, Louisiana
Sportsman
and others.

Not wanting to confine his
opinions to the printed
word only, Humberto is also
a bi-weekly guest on two
nationally syndicated
TalkAmerica radio shows
with Lowell Ponte and
Barry Farber.

You have undoubtely seen
him on
"The O’Reilly Factor,"
"Hannity & Colmes,"
"Hardball with
Chris Matthews,"
"The Lou Dobbs Report,"
"Dennis Miller,"
"Scarborough Country,"
"Kudlow & Kramer" and
many more.

His latest book,
Exposing
the Real Che Guevara:
And the Useful Idiots Who
Idolize Him
, pulls no
punches about the
revolutionary leader who
remains the darling of
Hollywood.
Louisiana...no major oil spill has
ever soiled its coast
50 times more marine life
The author enjoying one of his
favorite pursuits!
Click here to visit
Humberto Fontova's
power-packed Website