Regulations Check Economic Expansion/is safe
US-Latin America cooperation is key to improving environmental regulations
Inter-American Dialogue 12 April 2012, Inter-American Dialogue, “Remaking the Relationship: The United States and Latin America,” http://www.thedialogue.org/PublicationFiles/IAD2012PolicyReportFINAL.pdf, The Inter-American Dialogue is the leading U.S. center for policy analysis, exchange, and communication on issues in Western Hemisphere affairs. The Dialogue's select membership of 100 distinguished citizens from throughout the Americas includes political, business, academic, media, and other nongovernmental leaders. Sixteen Dialogue members served as presidents of their countries and more than three dozen have served at the cabinet level. In addition to economic and financial matters, Brazil and other Latin American nations are assuming enhanced roles on an array of global political, environmental, and security issues . Several for which US and Latin American cooperation could become increasingly important include: As the world’s lone nuclear-weapons-free region, Latin America has the opportunity to participate more actively in non-proliferation efforts . Although US and Latin American interests do not always converge on non-proliferation questions, they align on some related goals . For example, the main proliferation challenges today are found in developing and unstable parts of the world, as well as in the leakage—or transfer of nuclear materials—to terrorists. In that context, south-south connections are crucial . Brazil could play a pivotal role. Many countries in the region give priority to climate change challenges. This may position them as a voice in international debates on this topic. The importance of the Amazon basin to worldwide climate concerns gives Brazil and five other South American nations a special role to play. Mexico already has assumed a prominent position on climate change and is active in global policy debates. Brazil organized the first-ever global environmental meeting in 1992 and, this year, will host Rio+20. Mexico hosted the second international meeting on climate change in Cancún in 2010. The United States is handicapped by its inability to devise a climate change policy. Still, it should support coordination on the presumption of shared interests on a critical policy challenge. Latin Americans are taking more active leadership on drug policy in the hemisphere and could become increasingly influential in global discus sions of drug strategies . Although the United States and Latin America are often at odds on drug policy, they have mutual interests and goals that should allow consultation and collaboration on a new, more effective approach to the problem. Even as Latin America expands its global reach and presence, it is important that the United States and the region increase their attention to reshaping regional institutions to better align them with current realities and challenges and to make them more effective. The hemisphere’s institutional architecture is in great flux, and there is growing need for decisions about priorities and objectives
US-Latin American cooperation is key to solving climate change
O’Neil et. al. 8 (2008, Shannon K. O’Neil et. al, The Council on Foreign Relations, “US-Latin America Relations: A New Direction for a New Reality,” http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=14&ved=0CEEQFjADOAo&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cfr.org%2Fcontent%2Fpublications%2Fattachments%2FLatinAmerica_TF.pdf&ei=g9_tUaPRNfGgyQHViIDgAQ&usg=AFQjCNFVs4KlGST0Y7EWbpXCt4-ATVom4A&sig2=KRi2FDeB9S3qK_5UabNlnQ O’Neil holds a BA from Yale University, an MA in international relations from Yale University, and a PhD in government from Harvard University. She was a justice, welfare and economics fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University; and a Fulbright Scholar in Mexico and Argentina.
As the United States and other nations look to diversify their energy sources and reduce dependence on oil, Latin America presents a unique opportunity for engagement and cooperation. Latin America already leads the United States in the production and use of hydroelectric power, which supplies 23 percent of its energy needs (as compared to less than 3 percent in the United States).50 The region has also made investments in solar- and wind-powered technologies, particularly in Argentina, Brazil, and Chile. Cooperation on alternative energy research and production could become an important component of U.S.-Latin America relations in the years ahead. Partnering with Latin American nations in the development of alternative energy sources would allow the United States to build and deepen diplomatic relationships through joint initiatives on development, climate change, and environmental sustainability. Two areas in particular—biofuels and nuclear energy— present important and immediate opportunities. Only in the past several years have scarcity in oil markets, environ- mental awareness, scientific advances, and proactive subsidy policies combined to make biofuels, notably ethanol and biodiesel, reasonably price competitive with petroleum products on a wider scale. Biofuels now provide an opportunity for Latin America and the United States to assume global leadership in a sector of future competitive and environmental value (namely, decreased greenhouse gas emissions). Brazil and the United States are currently the largest producers of ethanol in the world (with 38 and 50 percent of global production in 2007, respectively).51 Brazil has become a global leader in the promotion of sugar-based ethanol usage through the implementation of flex-fuel technology, mandatory fuel blends, and infrastructure investment. In 2006, domestic consumption of ethanol accounted for nearly half of Brazilian passenger vehicle fuel supply by volume.
US methodology and financial resources are key to effective environmental regulations in Latin America
(November 2004, Carla Sbert , “Towards Effective Environmental Compliance and Enforcement in Latin America and the Caribbean,” http://unisfera.org/IMG/pdf/New_approaches_to_environmental_protection_vfinale3_ajout_.pdf, Carla Sbert is a Mexican lawyer who will soon be co-ordinating the Environment and Sustainable Development Law Programme at Unisféra International Centre in Montreal. Focusing on environmental law and policy, she has worked in the Mexican government, in a New York City law firm and in Mexico's state-owned oil company, Pemex. She was trained in law at ITAM and obtained a Master of Laws degree from Harvard Law School) Since the entry into force of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, trade liberalization agreements signed by Canada and the United States with several countries of the Americas have been accompanied by commitments to enhance environmental protection and strengthen environmental management regimes (EMR). In this trade liberalization context, effective environmental enforcement has become an international obligation, aimed essentially at preventing countries from establishing competitive advantages for producers or service providers within their borders at the expense of the environment. Countries are free to set their own levels of protection and are encouraged-but not obligated-to increase these levels and upwardly harmonize environmental protection measures. They are, however, required to effectively enforce the environmental laws they choose to establish. Complying with these enforcement related obligations poses considerable challenges for countries of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), given the scarcity of human and financial resources and the structural, operational and cultural obstacles that are often also present to make the task even more difficult. The fact that countries have committed themselves or are willing to commit themselves to the effective enforcement of existing environmental laws, rather than to implementing effective environmental regimes is understandable: the latter obligation would potentially raise too many issues in terms of sovereignty. In other words, countries are unsurprisingly reluctant to open their policymaking, legislative and regulatory actions to scrutiny for determining whether these are effective in protecting the environment. However, enforcement is no guarantee of environmental performance: effective enforcement of ineffective measures does not advance environmental goals. Similarly, ineffective environmental policies, laws and regulations are often unenforceable. This is likely to be the case for environmental laws and policies that are unrealistically ambitious and have not been adopted pursuant to an assessment of the feasibility of their compliance by the regulated community and of their verification and enforcement by the environmental authorities. Environmental enforcement is an essential component of any effective environmental protection effort. An environmental management regime implies government action to verify and secure compliance with the law. However, compliance verification and enforcement may be expensive and cumbersome, compromising an otherwise appropriate choice of policy instruments, especially in the context of LAC countries where governments face scarce human and financial resources. For this reason, it is important that the resources, expertise, time, legal authority and technical ability needed for enforcement be taken into account at the design stage of environmental management instruments.
The wealth that market expansion creates incentivizes environmental protection
Ostfeld and Keesing 13 (Richard S Ostfeld, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, NY, USA, Felicia Keesing, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, USA, Elsevier Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, “Biodiversity and Human Health” http://ac.els-cdn.com.turing.library.northwestern.edu/B9780123847195003324/3-s2.0-B9780123847195003324-main.pdf?_tid=e3f0ac3e-f33b-11e2-8ded-00000aab0f02&acdnat=1374545112_3c915724869f82f0aad33f3288a1e075) BC Whether or not the emergence of the market economy may be blamed in whole or in part for the biodiversity crisis, there is increasing interest in harnessing markets to halt biodiversity loss. The ways in which this might be done comprise the topic of the remainder of this article. Let us make one more observation before turning to that topic, however. It is commonly observed in the economic literature that environmental improvement is a normal good – that people manifest a greater concern for environmental protection when their incomes increase (see, e.g., Kolstad, 2000). There may yet be some hope, then, that even if the emergence of market economies is to blame for the decline of biodiversity, the wealth such economies have produced may also be channeled into preserving what is left of the natural world.
CO2 output from oil drilling can increase global biodiversity
Solomon 8 (Lawrence Solomon, “In Praise of CO2,” June 7, 2008 http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/06/08/surprise-earths-biosphere-is-booming-co2-the-cause/, Lawrence Solomon is one of Canada's leading environmentalists. An advisor to President Jimmy Carter's Task Force on the Global Environment (the Global 2000 Report) in the late 1970's, he has since been at the forefront of movements to reform foreign aid, stop nuclear power expansion and adopt toll roads. Mr. Solomon is a founder and managing director of Energy Probe Research Foundation and the executive director of its Energy Probe and Urban Renaissance Institute divisions. He has been a columnist for The Globe and Mail, a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, the editor and publisher of the award-winning The Next City magazine, and the author or co-author of seven books.) The results surprised Steven Running of the University of Montana and Ramakrishna Nemani of NASA, scientists involved in analyzing the NASA satellite data. They found that over a period of almost two decades, the Earth as a whole became more bountiful a whopping 6.2%. by About 25% of the Earth’s vegetated landmass — almost 110 million square kilometres — enjoyed significant increases and only 7% showed significant declines. When the satellite data zooms in, it finds that each square metre of land, on average, now produces almost 500 grams of greenery per year. Why the increase? Their 2004 study, and other more recent ones, point to the warming of the planet and the presence of CO2, a gas indispensable to plant life. CO2 is nature’s fertilizer, bathing the biota with its life-giving nutrients. Plants take the carbon from CO2 to bulk themselves up — carbon is the building block of life — and release the oxygen, which along with the plants, then sustain animal life. As summarized in a report last month, released along with a petition signed by 32,000, U. S. scientists who vouched for the benefits of CO2: “Higher CO2 enables plants to grow faster and larger and to live in drier climates. Plants provide food for animals, which are thereby also enhanced. The extent and diversity of plant and animal life have both increased substantially during the past half-century.”
Venezuela currently working on solutions to lessen Oil footprint
IPS 12 (Inter Press service, “Nanotechnology Could Lighten Venezuela’s Oil Footprint”, November 14, 2012, http://www.ipsnews.net/2012/11/nanotechnology-could-lighten-venezuelas-oil-footprint/) BC Venezuela is studying the use of nanotechnology as a means of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases caused by the oil industry.Nanotechnology operates at the sub-microscopic scale: a nanometre is a unit of measure equal to one billionth of a metre. “We are seeking to use nanoparticles of metallic salts, such as iron, nickel or cobalt nitrates, as catalysts in oil-related processes that produce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Sarah Briceño, a researcher at the Centre for Physics at the Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Research (IVIC).Catalysts are substances used to speed up chemical processes, “and our goal is to develop catalysts adapted to Venezuelan industry that will make it possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from activities such as oil refining and fuel consumption by motor vehicles by up to 50 percent,” Briceño told Tierramérica*.Venezuela, a founding member of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), extracts close to three million barrels of oil a day and has over two billion barrels of heavy crude oil reserves.There are six refineries in the South American country that process a total of 1.1 million barrels daily.Related IPS ArticlesA Crusade Against NanotechnologyControversy Surrounds 'Nano' MatterMeanwhile, according to OPEC figures, the country consumes 742,000 barrels of different types of fuel daily, of which 300,000 barrels correspond to the gasoline used by more than six million motor vehicles.The Ministry of the Environment reports that Venezuela is responsible for 0.48 percent of worldwide emissions of greenhouse gases and 0.56 percent of one of these “villains”, carbon dioxide.During the experimental phase, “we have observed with scanning electron microscopes the chemical reactions between the metallic salt nanoparticles and the surfactant agents (which influence the surface tension between substances) involved in these processes,” said Briceño.Since the concept of nanotechnology – the manipulation of matter at the molecular and atomic level – was first introduced in 1959 by U.S. physicist Richard Feynman (1918-1988), winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965, it has been developed in a wide range of fields including medicine, pharmaceuticals, energy, electronics, metallurgy and environmental conservation.“The entire periodic table (of elements) can be taken to the nano scale. We are focusing our research on how Venezuela, with its technology and infrastructure, can make this environmental contribution through its work with hydrocarbons,” explained Briceñ“Our emphasis is on the reduction of emissions of nitrous oxide and methane, two of the most potent greenhouse gases,” she added.The research is expected to yield results in 2013. Putting these to use in industry will be a long-term objective, given the scale of work in the laboratory: at the IVIC results are obtained in masses of particles that weigh 0.1 grams, while oil production in Venezuela in a single day equals 400,000 tons.The relationship between energy and the environment provides fertile ground for nanotechnology, as demonstrated by the research undertaken at the U.S. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where nanoparticles containing iron have been mixed with oil in order to make it possible to clean up offshore oil spills with magnets.“The energy demand will increase in coming years, and we need to be able to generate cheap, abundant energy with the lowest possible environmental impact. Fossil fuels are not an adequate alternative, but even worse is using them badly when there are incredible opportunities to make them so much more efficient,” said Javier García Martínez, director of the Nanotechnology Laboratory at the University of Alicante, Spain.Nanotechnology “offers the opportunity to generate new materials and processes, and in the field of energy there is great potential to improve the efficiency of the photovoltaic cells that make up solar panels,” Venezuelan consultant Juan Carlos Sánchez told Tierramérica.Sánchez is a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 jointly with former U.S. vice president Al Gore (1993-2001).“The development of processes through nanotechnology aimed at greater and more effective use of solar energy isn’t necessarily in the interests of the big oil producers, whether companies or countries,” said Sánchez“Any technology that reduces greenhouse gas emissions is bad for their business, since the demand for oil would decline with an increase in the use of solar energy,” he explained.In his opinion, Venezuela should direct its efforts towards other technologies that reduce the emission of greenhouse gases associated with oil industry activity, “such as so-called sequestration of the carbon dioxide generated in the refineries, in order to sink it in the subsoil of oil wells and keep it from entering the atmosphere.”Other OPEC members are moving forward with this type of research, including Saudi Arabia, Algeria and the United Arab Emirates, as a response to the fingers of blame pointed at the oil-producing countries as being responsible for global warming, said Sánchez.Venezuela could use its thousands of old, abandoned oil wells for this purpose, burying carbon dioxide more than 1,000 metres underground.Briceño, meanwhile, thinks that the results achieved through the research at the IVIC could help to promote studies for the application of nanotechnology to other environment-related areas of the Venezuelan oil industry.One example is the use and disposal of petroleum coke, a solid waste byproduct of oil refining with a carbon content of over 90 percent. Venezuela produces 20,000 tons of petroleum coke daily during the upgrading of heavy and extra heavy crude oils to make them light enough for most refineries.The dust from the resulting mountains of coke affects communities in eastern Venezuela who live near the crude oil upgrading facilities. Perhaps at some point in the future, the impact of this waste could be lessened through treatment with nanoparticles.
Structures in place to curb Environmental Impacts
Storrs 6 (K. Larry Storrs Specialist in Latin American Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division, CRS Report for Congress, “Mexico’s Importance and Multiple Relationships with the United States” January 18, 2006
http://assets.opencrs.com/rpts/RL33244_20060118.pdf) BC Established under the North American Free Trade Agreement of 1993, the Border Environment Cooperation Commission is a joint U.S.-Mexico international organization with a mandate to assist border communities in developing environmental infrastructure projects, and to certify the feasibility of these projects for the purpose of receiving loans from the sister institution, the North American Development Bank (NADBank). The BECC is governed by a Board of Directors, with members fromU.S. and Mexican public and private sectors, and is located in Ciudad Juarez,Chihuahua. In 2004, the mandate of the BECC and NADBank were expanded toinclude communities in Mexico up to 300 kilometers from the border, and toestablish a joint Board of Directors for both institutions. Funding for the U.S. sidecomes from the International Commissions section of the Department of State appropriation in the Commerce, State, Justice Appropriations. The BECC has alsoreceived funds directly from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Mexico’s Ministry of Social Development (SEDESOL), and has provided more than $30.2 million to aid in the development of 230 water, sewage, and municipal wasteprojects in 131 communities on both sides of the border. Since the establishment of the BECC, it has certified 105 environmental infrastructure projects for funding in Mexico and the United States worth $2.4 billion. Established by the trilateral North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC) of 1993, a companion side agreement to NAFTA, the Commission was formed to strengthen environmental cooperation between the United States, Mexico, and Canada, and to consider complaints of non-compliance with environmental law brought by various non-governmental groups. The Commission is governed by aCouncil composed of the environment ministers (or alternative representatives ) from each of the three countries, who receive outside input from National Advisory Committees, Governmental Advisory Committees and the Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC). At the most recent Commission meeting, on June 22, 2005, the Ministers adopted the Strategic Plan 2005-2010 for cooperating on environmental protection matters. More recently, the Commission, in November 2005, issued the first ever trinational conservation plans for six wildlife species, and in December 2005, made public the factual record developed in response to a Mexican nongovernmental organization’s complaint that Mexico was failing to enforce environmental laws in the Sierra Tarahumara.13
Mexico moving towards more stringent emissions laws
McDermott 12 (Mat McDermott, Editor, Business & Energy / New York City Mat edits the Business and Energy sections of TreeHugger, as well as writing about resource consumption, animal welfare issues, and the response of religious communities to our current environmental problems. He holds a Masters degree from New York University's Center for Global Affairs, where he concentrated in environment and energy policy. His Bachelors degree from Burlington College (Vermont) is in Writing & Literature, with research focused on the work of Rabindranath Tagore, Bengali devotional poetry, and the Beat Generation., http://www.treehugger.com/environmental-policy/mexico-new-climate-energy-law.html) BC Somehow this one passed us by, a pretty glaring omission: Mexico has passed a serious climate change and renewable energy law. It's just the second time that a nation has put long-term climate targets into national law. Some of the highlights of the legislation, passed unanimously, BBC reports: 30% lower emissions compared to business-as-usual by 2020, and 50% lower by 2050, with a national reporting scheme, covering various economic sectors, planned. 35% of all energy must come from renewable sources by 2024, with government agencies obliged to use renewable energy sources. Note that those emission reduction targets are not actually emission reductions, per se, rather they are reductions in the rate of increase. A bit of fiddling while the planet burns perhaps, considering that even Mexico's comparatively modest carbon emissions are likely above where we need to get to collectively. The link above has some decent background analysis of why the law has such wide support in Mexico. One quote in particular jumps out though. Munoz Ledo of the Democratic Revolution Party and head of the Foreign Affairs Commission: Mexico is aware this is the end of the oil era, so we need to implement this fiscal reform, and if we go through it, we'll be able to do without this oil. Power for the US is based on the army and energy and oil. In 1989 you had [George] Bush senior coming into office from an oil background; if you go through Clinton and Obama, they serve the oil interest first. We're talking about the politics of neo-liberalism here which is based on oil interests and indebtedness - this is why so many in the US don't accept climate change, even though it's based on scientific evidence. Essentially an accurate summation of both US foreign policy and why US politicians lag so far behind the world in just accepting that climate change is happening, let alone doing something about it.
The U.S. is working multilaterally with Cuba on oil safety
Werner 12 (Johannes Werner, “U.S. to work indirectly with Cuba on oil safety,” January 10, 2012, http://www.cubastandard.com/2012/01/10/u-s-to-work-indirectly-with-cuba-on-oil-safety/, Werner has worked for 20 years as a business/economic journalist in Europe, Latin America and the United States. His award-winning articles cover a wide range of beats. Werner, who has been traveling to Cuba since 1999, has a master’s degree in Latin American history from Freie Universität Berlin.)
Avoiding direct bilateral contact, the United States will continue to work with Cuba through an international forum, the Department of the Interior said in a press statement.
“The United States is participating in multilateral discussions with the Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica and Mexico on a broad range of issues, including drilling safety, ocean modeling, and oil spill preparedness and response,” said the press release, issued to report the completion of a U.S. inspection of a Cuba-bound drilling rig. On Dec. 7-9, U.S. and Cuban officials participated in a meeting of the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Information and Training Center (REMPEITC) in Nassau, Bahamas. The participants talked about regional cooperation in preventive regulatory frameworks, safety standards for drilling platforms, and best practices in oil spill containment. The announcement came as personnel from Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the U.S. Coast Guard completed an inspection of the Scarabeo 9 oil rig on Jan. 9, as it was anchored off Trinidad and Tobago. The review followed an invitation from the rig’s operator, Repsol, before it will move to Cuban waters to begin exploratory drilling.
The platform is now ready for its last leg of the trip to Cuba, where it is expected to begin drilling by the end of next week, according to sources close to the project. The U.S. inspectors reviewed vessel construction, drilling equipment, and safety systems, including lifesaving and firefighting equipment, emergency generators, dynamic positioning systems, machinery spaces, and the blowout preventer. “U.S. personnel found the vessel to generally comply with existing international and U.S. standards by which Repsol has pledged to abide,” the BSEE statement said. The Florida Coast Guard sectors Jacksonville, Miami, Key West and St. Petersburg are also updating area contingency plans, “to ensure readiness to respond to any potential oil spills in international waters that could potentially affect U.S. waters and coastline,” the BSEE statement said.
Repsol drilling in Cuba makes spills inevitable – the US increasing economic engagement and taking away the embargo is key to solve
Clayton and Bert 12 (March 2012, Captain Melissa Bert and Blake Clayton, Council on Foreign Relations Press, “Addressing the Risk of a Cuban Oil Spill Policy Innovation Memorandum No. 15,” http://www.cfr.org/cuba/addressing-risk-cuban-oil-spill/p27515, is a military fellow (U.S. Coast Guard) at the Council on Foreign Relations, Blake Clayton is fellow for energy and national security at the Council on Foreign Relations. He received a doctorate from Oxford University, where he studied business economics and strategy. The recipient of the University of Chicago Endowed Fellowship, he holds dual master's degrees from the University of Chicago and Cambridge University. He is a regular contributor to Forbes.com.) The imminent drilling of Cuba's first offshore oil well raises the prospect of a large-scale oil spill in Cuban waters washing onto U.S. shores. Washington should anticipate this possibility by implementing policies that would help both countries' governments stem and clean up an oil spill effectively. These policies should ensure that both the U.S. government and the domestic oil industry are operationally and financially ready to deal with any spill that threatens U.S. waters. These policies should be as minimally disruptive as possible to the country's broader Cuba strategy. The Problem A Chinese-built semisubmersible oil rig leased by Repsol, a Spanish oil company, arrived in Cuban waters in January 2012 to drill Cuba's first exploratory offshore oil well. Early estimates suggest that Cuban offshore oil and natural gas reserves are substantial—somewhere between five billion and twenty billion barrels of oil and upward of eight billion cubic feet of natural gas. Although the United States typically welcomes greater volumes of crude oil coming from countries that are not members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), a surge in Cuban oil production would complicate the United States' decades-old effort to economically isolate the Castro regime. Deepwater drilling off the Cuban coast also poses a threat to the United States. The exploratory well is seventy miles off the Florida coast and lies at a depth of 5,800 feet. The failed Macondo well that triggered the calamitous Deepwater Horizon oil spill in April 2010 had broadly similar features, situated forty-eight miles from shore and approximately five thousand feet below sea level. A spill off Florida's coast could ravage the state's $57 billion per year tourism industry. Washington cannot count on the technical know-how of Cuba's unseasoned oil industry to address a spill on its own. Oil industry experts doubt that it has a strong understanding of how to prevent an offshore oil spill or stem a deep-water well blowout. Moreover, the site where the first wells will be drilled is a tough one for even seasoned response teams to operate in. Unlike the calm Gulf of Mexico, the surface currents in the area where Repsol will be drilling move at a brisk three to four knots, which would bring oil from Cuba's offshore wells to the Florida coast within six to ten days. Skimming or burning the oil may not be feasible in such fast-moving water. The most, and possibly only, effective method to respond to a spill would be surface and subsurface dispersants. If dispersants are not applied close to the source within four days after a spill, uncontained oil cannot be dispersed, burnt, or skimmed, which would render standard response technologies like containment booms ineffective. Repsol has been forthcoming in disclosing its spill response plans to U.S. authorities and allowing them to inspect the drilling rig, but the Russian and Chinese companies that are already negotiating with Cuba to lease acreage might not be as cooperative. Had Repsol not volunteered to have the Cuba-bound drilling rig examined by the U.S. Coast Guard and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement to certify that it met international standards, Washington would have had little legal recourse. The complexity of U.S.-Cuba relations since the 1962 trade embargo complicates even limited efforts to put in place a spill response plan. Under U.S. law and with few exceptions, American companies cannot assist the Cuban government or provide equipment to foreign companies operating in Cuban territory. Shortfalls in U.S. federal regulations governing commercial liability for oil spills pose a further problem. The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90) does not protect U.S. citizens and property against damages stemming from a blown-out wellhead outside of U.S. territory. In the case of Deepwater Horizon, BP was liable despite being a foreign company because it was operating within the United States. Were any of the wells that Repsol drills to go haywire, the cost of funding a response would fall to the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (OSLTF), which is woefully undercapitalized. OPA 90 limits the OSLTF from paying out more than $50 million in a fiscal year on oil removal costs, subject to a few exceptions, and requires congressional appropriation to pay out more than $150 million.
Cuban drilling is safe – access to technology and safety standards prove
Sadowksi 12 (Richard – Managing Editor of Production of the Journal of International Business and Law Vol. X, J.D Candidate at Hofstra University, “Cuban Offshore Drilling: Preparation and Prevention within the Framework of the United States’ Embargo”, 2012, http://digitalcommons.wcl.american.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1497&context=sdlp) Fears that Cuban offshore drilling poses serious environmental threats because of the proximity to the United States and the prohibition on U.S. technology transfer are overblown. Cuba has at least as much incentive to ensure safe-drilling practices as does the United States, and reports indicate that Cuba is taking safety seriously. 64 Lee Hunt, President of the Houston-based International Association of Drilling Contractors, said, “[t]he Cuban oil industry has put a lot of research, study and thought into what will be required to safely drill,” and that “they are very knowledgeable of international industry practices and have incorporated many of these principles into their safety and regulatory planning and requirements.” 65 Thus, while the economic embargo of Cuba restricts American technology from being uti - lized, foreign sources have provided supplemental alternatives. 66
Cuban environmental regulations
Rasha Maal-Bared 6 (Works at Institute of Resources, Environment and Sustainability, Library Processing at University of British Columbia “Comparing environmental issues in Cuba before and after the Special Period: Balancing sustainable development and survival”,April 2006,http://www.sciencedirect.com.turing.library.northwestern.edu/science/article/pii/S0160412005001741)
Following the Earth Summit in 1992, Cuba designed and implemented a variety of programs, administrative structures, and public awareness activities to promote sound environmental management and sustainable development. This came shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union and the strengthening of the US blockade in 1990, which resulted in a 35% drop in Cuban GDP. This period, referred to as the Special Period, witnessed a decrease in many environmentally damaging activities both by choice and by necessity, but also resulted in many decisions to resuscitate the Cuban economy. The purpose of this work was to compare and rank the environmental risks Cuba faced before and during the Special Period (1990–2000) using two Comparative environmental risk assessments (CERAs). To do so, an ecosystem integrity risk assessment matrix was constructed with 42 risk end points. The matrix assessed the risk posed by 17 problem areas including air pollution, water contamination, solid waste sites, pesticides and ecosystem degradation. The risks were calculated using five criteria: area affected, vulnerability of affected population, severity of impact, irreversibility of effect and uncertainty. To construct this matrix, both literature reviews and expert interviews in Cuba were conducted in 2000. The results showed a general decrease in risk scores during the Special Period. Before the Special Period, high risks were posed by: terrestrial degradation and industrial wastewater and sludge, followed by freshwater degradation, surface water stressors, and pesticides. After the Special Period, industrial wastewater and sludge and pesticides were no longer high-risk areas, but municipal wastewater and marine coastal degradation ranked higher than previously. Also, the risk endpoints most stressed after 1990 were affected by activities controlled by the government, such as mining and tourism, and lack of infrastructure. Therefore, the claims that public environmental education is the main pathway to sustainable development in Cuba seem uninformed and other management practices should be evaluated.
Cuban environmental regulations in place
José Antonio Suárez 12 (Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of the Orient, “Energy, environment and development in Cuba”, June 2012, http://www.sciencedirect.com.turing.library.northwestern.edu/science/article/pii/S1364032112001177)
In Cuba, since 1959, the energy, environment and socio-economic development have been given high priority in national development plans.¶ Fifty years later, the Cuban people have achieved a society with notable advances in literacy and education, health, culture, sports, social security and per capita of the gross domestic product (GDP), which has permitted the attainment of a sustainable development, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report in 2006.¶ The energy sector has been evolving constantly in the last 50 years, achieving as the main result the distribution of electricity to 97% of the country, the growth of domestic oil production to achieve about 47% of the total consumption, the introduction of the distributed generation of electricity reaching 40% on the generation, rehabilitation of the electric appliances, systematization of the Cuban Electricity Conservation Program (PAEC), the Energy Conservation Program of the Ministry of Education (PAEME) and rapid introduction of renewable energy technologies, with good results in demand side management, energy efficiency and energy education.¶ Actually, soil degradation, deforestation, pollution, loss of biological diversity and lack of water have been identified as the main environmental problems; several plans and projects have been applied, in order to reduce their impact, following the policy expressed in the National Environmental Strategy.¶ However, challenges exist for future development in Cuba in coming years, from an economical point of view will be necessary the enhancement of the economic relations with the American and European countries, to solve internal problems such as insufficient productivity, correspondence between the level of activities with the financial, material and human resources, to promote growth in the levels of exports and to achieve the substitution of imported basic food; the energy sector need to achieve growth in the levels of prospection and exploitation of domestic oil, to diversify fossil energy and energetic technologies suppliers, energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy; the protection of the environment will demand to develop research about adaptation and mitigation of climate change, conservation and rational use of natural resources, in particular, the lands, water and forests. Cuba is a developing country which emerged, half a century ago, from nearly 450 years of Spanish colonialism followed by 60 years of neocolonialism until the Cuban Revolution of January 1st, 1959.¶ The energy, the environment and socio economic development have been strategic objectives of the Cuban policy, in order to improve economic growth and quality of life of the population. In this regard, different economical and social plans have been implemented during the past five decades, achieving progress in the field of social developments in spheres such as health, education, culture, employment, sports and social security, among others. The Cuban economy has reached important growth in the production of food, electricity, nickel, petroleum, biotechnological and pharmaceutical products and tourism. The implementation of the National Environmental Strategy, since 1997, has contributed significantly in bettering the main environmental problems of the past, in addressing present problems and in avoiding any further degradation of the environment. Protection of the environment and the rational use of natural resources have been a common heritage of Cuban society.¶ ¶ The first National Environmental Strategy (NES) was adopted in 1997, and represented the results of efforts that were spearheaded by the Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment (CITMA), which was created in 1994 as the lead agency for the activity, together with a number of other Cuban institutions and bodies that are involved in the economic and social development of the country.¶ ¶ At present, the environmental policy and management in Cuba are based on the National Environmental Strategy 2007–2010, approved in 2007, this is supplemented by the National Biodiversity Strategy; the National Strategy for Environmental Education; the National Action Program against Desertification and Drought; and the National Strategy for Biological Safety. Other instruments include the 1997 Environment Act; the sectoral strategies of the Organizations of the State Central Administration (OSCA) of the period 1997–1998; and the Territorial Strategies of the same period .¶ ¶ Within the framework of the integrated management of natural resources there are: the Mountain Ecosystems which are special regions for sustainable development; the Hydrographic Basins; the National Council of Hydrographic Basins constituted in 1997 and contains Provincial Councils; the National and Provincial Groups for Bays and Harbours, directed towards integrated management; and the Beaches, Swamps and Protected Areas which fall within a National System, resulting from a Global Environment Facility (GEF/UNDP) project which has been continued under another project entitled: Strengthening of the National System of Protected Areas, which will preserve many representative associations of four eco-regions of the country that will enjoy world wide recognition. The reforestation effort carried out after 1959, received wide support from the population and led to an increase in the forest cover to 127,500 ha during the period 1999–2001, at an approximate rate of 30,000 ha per year. Total forest cover currently stands at 24.5%, as against a potential level of 28%. At present, the National Environmental Strategy incorporates actions to address the problem of deforestation and to improve forest management; a combination of educational and legal tools for the infringement of the legislation in force; support for forest restoration in mountainous areas and fragile ecosystems; and provisions for an increase in the volume of forests for power generation. Cuba has adopted a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, the main activities of this strategy that are currently being implemented are the development of programs for the management and restoration of Hydrographic Basins; the strengthening of the National System of Protected Areas; the rehabilitation of biodiversity in degraded areas; the strengthening of air, water (marine and coastal) and soil pollution controls.¶ ¶ Areas identified for priority attention include the preservation of germoplasm banks; the regulation and control of risks from the use of genetically modified organisms; and special programs for the conservation of species in danger of extinction.
EE does not lead to environmental destruction, and as LA countries develop economic independence, environmental reforms will follow
Vogel 99 (David Vogel Haas School of Business
University of California, “Environmental Regulation and Economic Integration”, Prepared for a Workshop on Regulatory Competition and Economic Integration: Comparative Perspectives Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy October 1999, http://iatp.org/files/Environmental_Regulation_and_Economic_Integrat.pdf)BC Contrary to the fears of many environmentalists, increased economic interdependence has not led to a weakening of either product or process environmental standards.1International trade as a proportion of GNP has significantly increased in every industrial nation since the late 1960s, yet during this same period, environmental regulations have become progressively stricter in all industrial nations and a number of ndustrializing ones as well.2Virtually all nations now devote substantially more resources both in absolute and relative terms to environmental protection than they did in 1970.Since the early 1970s few major economies have experienced a greater increase in their exposure to the global economy than the United States: between 1970 and 19803 both its imports and exports as a share of GNP more than doubled.3At the same time, American regulatory standards have become substantially stronger during the last quarter century. The proportion of America's GNP devoted to pollution control stood at 1.5% in 1972; it has been higher every year since, averaging more than 1.7% between 1980 and 1986 and increasing to 2.2% in 1992.4 Annual expenditures on compliance with federal environmental regulations totaled $90 billion in 1990 and increased by approximately $30 billion following passage of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments.5In Europe, the goal of creating a single market was in large measure motivated bythe interests of business managers and political leaders in making European industry more competitive in the global economy. Yet the Single European Act also authorized and has contributed to a significant strengthening of EU environmental regulations. In recent years, the EU has emerged as the world's pace-setter for environmental innovation, led by Germany, its largest and most important member state. Since the early 1970s Japan has been both a major international exporter and has significantly increased its environmental expenditures.6The strengthening of domestic environmental standards has not been confined to the world's richest nations. In recent years, Taiwan, South Korea. Israel and Singapore - all major exporters - have committed substantially more resources to environmental protection.7The compatibility between increased exposure to the global economy and the strengthening of domestic regulatory efforts is also borne out by the experience ofMexico. Since 1986, Mexico has significantly opened its economy, while between 1988 and 1991, government spending on environmental protection increased ten fold.8The United States itself provides the clearest example of the compatibility of strict4 regulatory standards and economic interdependence 9 However it is important to note that concerns about the impact ofenvironmental regulation on firm growth, profitability and employment would exist evenin the absence of pressures from foreign competitors. Strategic considerations are not the only reason why a government might hesitate to impose stricter environmental standards on domestic firms.13 In short, an increasingly integrated and competitive global economy has not interfered with the ability of many governments to enact both product and process regulations regulations stricter than those of their trading partners. Why hasn’t increased regional and international integration not led regions, nations, or sub-national governments to compete with one another by enacting less stringent environmental regulations? How can we account for this phenomena? For example, why did the Single European Act, which was primarily enacted to strengthen the competitiveness of European firms, also contain provisions facilitating the6 strengthening of European environmental standards? Why have various Member States sought to impose stricter environmental standards than those of other Member States with whose products they compete? Why have many American states enacted more demanding environmental standards than those of other states? Why have those central European nations who have applied for membership in the EU strengthened their environmental standards? Why did Mexico both strengthen its environmental standards and improve their enforcement prior to opening up its market to Canadian and American products? One important reason is that for all but a handful of industries, the costs of compliance with stricter regulatory standards have not been sufficient to force relatively affluent nations or sub-national governments to choose between competitiveness and environmental protection. In marked contrast to labor costs, the overall costs of compliance with environmental regulations have to date been modest. According toMartin Houldin, the environmental director at the consulting firm KPMG Peat Marwick in London, "The international differences in the cost of labor are generally so much more important that the environment pales into insignificance.14 This is not to say that such7 costs are non-existent: many expenditures to improve environmental quality do reduce output and lower the rate of productivity growth and employment and in particularsectors these burdens can be severe.15 But in the aggregate, increases in national levels of pollution-control expenditures have had little effect on the growth of economic output.16Nor have American states with stronger environmental policies experienced inferior ratesof economic growth and development.17 While production standards obviously can and do affect corporate plant location decisions, for most industries the effects are not significant.18"22 In addition, just as industrial production often imposes public costs, so doprotective regulations produce public benefits. Thus expenditures on air pollution mayincrease agricultural output while improvements in water quality may result in betterfishing yields or increased tourism. Equally importantly, improvements in environmentalquality can improve the health, and thus the productivity, of a nation's work-force, in Not only has national, regional and international competition not forced aweakening of environmental standards, but in some respects, economic openness andcapital mobility have actually encouraged nations to enact higher standards than theywould have in the absence of increased economic interdependency.There are a number of ways in which open markets can strengthen regulatory