Wednesday, September 12, 2012

NO to oil drilling in Bahamian waters...

Caution needed on the oil drilling issue

Dear Editor,

With the recent announcement that Bahamas Petroleum Company has been granted a three-year license extension, it seems as if this government is moving full steam ahead with plans to facilitate a referendum which, if passed, will allow oil drilling in our waters.

I sincerely hope that if this happens, we will not allow the possible financial gains to cloud our judgment.  When making decisions, the wise thing to do would be to look at the risks versus the rewards.  In this case, I think the risks far outweigh the rewards.

Not so long ago, we witnessed first-hand the worst oil spill in history in the Gulf of Mexico and saw the catastrophic results it has brought on the environment.  Here are some horrifying facts to think about:

1. It is estimated (conservatively) that between 17 and 29 million gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf.

2. The National Wildlife Federation reports that already more than 150 threatened or endangered sea turtles are dead, and 316 sea birds, mostly brown pelicans and northern gannets, have been found dead along the Gulf Coast as a result of the spreading oil.

3. As much as we’d like to forget it, we live in a hurricane zone, and if a storm blows in, the result could be devastating.  The presence of oil could lead to a more powerful hurricane because crude accumulating at the surface could be raising the temperature of the surrounding water.

4. Approximately 70 cents of every dollar we spend is derived from tourism.  If we were to have an oil spill in our waters, this would devastate the tourism industry.

5. The great United States of America with all the technology and resources available to it could not contain this oil spill for months.  Could you imagine what would happen in our case, with little to no resources to deal with this kind of catastrophe?

With this knowledge, it is mind-boggling that any Bahamian government would even consider this undertaking.  I understand that this administration is under tremendous pressure to create jobs, but please don’t allow the greedy oil companies to destroy this country.  Future generations are depending on you, Mr. Prime Minister to make the right call on this one.


– Ervin Missick

Sep 12, 2012