Green coalition renews call for government transparency and nationwide ban on oil drilling – Eye Witness News

“If the hands of the government were tied before, they are certainly not now”

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Our Islands, Our Future coalition yesterday renewed its call for a permanent nationwide ban on oil drilling in the Bahamas.

In a letter reportedly delivered to Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis, the group called for full transparency and accountability over the oil drilling debacle of the Bahamas Petroleum Company (BCP), now Challenger Energy Group (CEG). , Perseverance #1.

Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) Perseverance #1 exploration well.

The coalition reiterated its previous demands for a full tally of oil drilling licenses and fees, including unpaid amounts, as well as drilling reports and compliance data for the failed oil well drilled in early 2021 in the Bahamian waters southwest of Andros.

He also pointed to his earlier, and yet unfulfilled, calls for the release of documents and full implementation of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

According to the group, Perseverance #1 put the entire country at risk and failed to generate a commensurate source of revenue for the Bahamas.

Chris Wilke of Waterkeeper Alliance said: “If fully mined in the quantities claimed by CEG, it would have exceeded the total carbon footprint of the Bahamas and 18 other small island nations in the Caribbean over a 20-year period.

“Rather than fueling the climate crisis and flirting with planetary destruction, the Bahamas now has an opportunity to reject fossil fuel extraction and build a green economy.”

This insane project has put our entire country in danger.

– BREEF Executive Director Casuarina McKinney-Lambert

Casuarina McKinney-Lambert of the Bahamas Reef Environmental Educational Foundation (BREEF) said, “This insane project has put our entire nation at risk.

“There is little evidence that there was adequate insurance or adequate oil spill preparedness. Instead, all we got was empty insurance without details.

Rashema Ingraham of Waterkeepers Bahamas said, “It is time to close this chapter once and for all and declare a ban on oil drilling nationwide. If the hands of government were tied before, they are certainly not now.

The coalition also referenced the growing importance of climate action amid increasingly dire scientific projections, particularly in vulnerable countries such as the Bahamas, which are threatened by rising levels of sea, hurricanes and damage to coral health.

The coalition again implored the government to institute a lasting ban “instead of simultaneously fulfilling the dual role of climate casualty and fossil fuel colony for investors”, saying the Bahamas has an opportunity to show resilience. true leadership.

McKinney-Lambert said, “We are a country of leaders and we can continue to develop a sustainable blue economy to support entrepreneurs in the Bahamas, based on a healthy environment that does not include oil rigs.

“But it has to be real. It needs to include a ban so we can fix this once and for all.

Ingraham added: “We need the certainty of a ban. Unless we have a ban, it will always potentially be on the table, dividing us.

The group is committed to helping the government move forward with a ban and supporting the growth of a sustainable tourism economy to benefit all Bahamians.

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