U.S. lawmakers worry embargo could impact oil spill cleanup in Cuban waters

A group of U.S. lawmakers with ties to Cuba wants assurances from the Obama administration that it will work to prevent oil and gas drilling off the Caribbean island.

The federal officials, who included the head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Republican Florida Representative Illana Ros-Lehtinen, sent a letter to President Barack Obama complaining that he is not doing enough to stop the drilling by Repsol, a privately-owned Spanish company, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Massachusetts Democratic Representative Ed Markey told the news agency that the group of lawmakers is worried that that trade embargo will prevent U.S. cleanup companies from responding immediately to any oil spill in the region. He noted that once the semi-submersible rig the SS Scarabeo 9 enters Cuban waters it will be off limits to U.S. regulators.

“It will be as if it has crossed into a Bermuda triangle of safety,” Markey noted.

Repsol has agreed to allow the Coast Guard and Interior Department to inspect the Scarabeo 9 that will drill the well before it crosses over into Cuban territory.

Using products such as Impact Absorbents’ XSORB Oil Select Boom can help clean up oil and absorb toxic substances that float on water after a hazardous materials spill.

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