EDITOR, The Tribune.
Bahamians have tried to diplomatically convey that we have nothing to gain and everything to lose by drilling for oil in The Bahamas. Nevertheless, Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC), which is not Bahamian, refuses to listen. So here we go again.
“A BPC shareholder” recently wrote “Views Of An Oil Shareholder” to the Editor of The Tribune. This is a response to the letter.
BPC shareholder: Thank you for your letter. We are happy to hear that you and your family have visited The Bahamas. We hope you had a wonderful time. Although your letter is insulting, hypocritical, self-absorbed, and all about money, we appreciate hearing your perspective about your company drilling for oil in our country.
In your letter you ask: “How many of the influencers and financial backers of the campaigns to stop exploratory drilling and eventually production, are connected to The Bahamas? Do they have conflicts of interest? Are they attempting to delay the drill or financially hurt BPC and its shareholders for personal gain? Based on the timing is there malice involved? And for those vocal objectors who are Bahamian, is it really about the environment or merely a conduit for political protest?”
BPC shareholder, WE ARE BAHAMIAN. Our families have been here for many generations. We have endured an endless supply of empty promises, lies and corruption by government and foreign investors. We have watched our people and our country suffer; and we are sick of it!
We are not “influencers” or “financial backers of the campaigns” and we do not have “conflicts of interest.” We are not trying to “financially hurt BPC and its shareholders for personal gain.” Ironically, however, in your quest to make money, you want to drill in Bahamian waters even though an oil spill would be catastrophic for our country.
We want to protect the ocean. It is the crown jewel and golden goose of The Bahamas. The ocean provides us with everything and more. Our desire to stop oil drilling is not “a conduit for political protest,” as you suggest. This is about our lives, our livelihoods and our responsibility to protect our country. Why is that so difficult for you to understand?
You write that you question the political leaders in your country and you participate “in informed debate” to make your nation “a better place and a fairer place to live.” Are we not allowed to do the same?
BPC shareholder, you also write: “In the extremely unlikely event of an accident that cannot be contained, the ocean currents off northern Cuba head to Florida and not The Bahamas anyway.” Are you really this ignorant and callous? Do you realise that the northern part of The Bahamas is a stone’s throw from Florida? Besides, we do not want the people of Florida or Cuba or anywhere else to be affected by an oil spill. And we certainly do not want to risk damaging the environment that countless amazing animals and life-forms depend on.
You acknowledge that we have had “the dire misfortune of having to deal with a terrible hurricane and pandemic.” So surely you understand that drilling for oil in an area prone to hurricanes is a very bad idea, and that we have no desire to add “oil spill” to the list of our dire misfortunes.
And as for the BPC trolls like “ColumbusPillow” and “Bahama7,” your posts in the “Comments” section of oil related articles are rude and condescending to Bahamians who oppose oil drilling. Furthermore, referring to “Porcupine” as “Porky Pie” and writing that “Voltaire” is “IRRELEVANT in the grand scheme of things” is not only arrogant but also reinforces our distrust of BPC.
Since being polite and professional has not worked when expressing our desire to stop oil drilling in The Bahamas, let’s explain it in Bahamian dialect fa da foke at Bahamas Pe-troleum Con-pany: BPC, we dun talkin nice wit yinna peeple who tink eryone dum n’ currup in da Bahamas. You ain’t care ‘bout us. So why we shud care ‘bout you? We ain’t want ya penny stock or ya nappy add-tude. Is time ta carry ya hip, carry ya boongie, an carry ya earl rig n’ ting outta our country.
In plain English for the folks at BPC: GO HOME. Go home now and take your oil rigs with you. And while you are at it, remove the word “Bahamas” from the name of your company. BPC is not Bahamian. It is registered in the Isle of Man and primarily run by foreigners who care about money instead of The Bahamas and the Bahamian people.
We are Bahamian. We are many. You are few. Go home BPC.
FORWARD, UPWARD, ONWARD, TOGETHER
November 30, 2020