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Calls On Minnis To Cancel Oil Exploration Licences

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

ACTIVISTS and business owners have written to Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis urging him to “immediately cancel” all existing oil exploration licences, reject all proposed renewals and impose a permanent ban on fossil fuel exploration within the country’s borders.

Yesterday’s 16 letter to Dr Minnis was signed by more than 50 NGOs and businesses who all oppose oil drilling.

They are throwing their support behind the Our Islands, Our Future coalition which has filed an application for judicial

review in the Supreme Court, hoping to halt Bahamas Petroleum Company’s planned exploratory oil well.

This comes as BPC’s drilling ship, Stena IceMAX, anchored out to sea between the Berry Islands and Grand Bahama on Tuesday. BPC plans to begin drilling its first exploratory well in waters 90 miles west of Andros on Sunday.

“Opening our Bahamian waters to offshore oil drilling leaves us vulnerable to disasters that pose an unacceptable risk to our oceans, beaches, coastal communities, marine life, national parks, barrier reef and to the livelihood of the many Bahamians who depend on healthy waters for fishing, recreation and tourism dollars,” the letter, which was also sent to local media, notes.

“Drilling in our waters would mean that The Bahamas would shoulder all the risks, while most of any profits would be exported out of the country. The first location where Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) seeks to drill off western Andros Island is just outside the ecologically important Cay Sal Marine Managed Area and the Andros West Side National Park. This area is a marine mammal hot spot filled with dolphins and other marine life, and it borders the important commercial fishing grounds of the Great Bahama Bank and the world-famous bonefishing flats of Andros.

“In the last decade our region was severely impacted by the catastrophic Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Deepwater rig was an exploratory well like the one that BPC is currently seeking to drill. Even a partial repeat of that disaster would devastate our tourism, commercial fishing, diving and marine recreation industries. Tourism alone generates 50 percent of our gross domestic product, while these other industries are vital to the survival of many far-flung communities.

“Simply put, drilling threatens our very way of life.”

The letter was signed by several local NGOs/businesses such as Bahamas National Trust, Bahamas Plastics Movement, Bimini Biological Field Station Foundation, Paradise Cove Beach Resort and Earthcare Bahamas, among others, and co-signed by several international environment groups.

Comments

mandela 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I wish all you NGO's and the rest, good luck in trying or thinking Mr. PM will stop anything ha, ha, ha. No, he won't, he will blame it all on the PLP now and if/when oil is found he will be cutting the ribbon smiling.

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ColumbusPillow 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Please publish a list of countries that have banned oil exploration. I do not know of any. Enough hysteria,

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Porcupine 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Your ignorance is stagerring. Look up New Zealand, France, Denmark, Belize, Costa Rica. Costa Rica proclaims "The tide has turned on fossil fuels, and there is widespread political support for a just transition to renewable power." Add Ireland. Columbo, are you ignorant of this or are you a liar? Is this an "out of bounds question? And, why do you refuse to address my questions on the UN Director urging ALL countries to declare a climate emergency? Is this another hoax to you?

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Porcupine 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Columbo, I can tell you are somewhat "educated" by the English you use. Which brings to mind Upton Sinclair's observation that, "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon him not understanding it" This seems to apply to you.

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moncurcool 2 months, 2 weeks ago

So these so called activists want the PM to cancel a legally binding contract. Let's looks at countries that did that. Cuba. Venezuela. Rhodesia/Zimbabwe. I guess I see what these so called activists want the Bahamas to become.

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Porcupine 2 months, 2 weeks ago

You know moncurcool, activists are the only ones who seem to get anything done. Think about history. Is there someone you admire who wasn't an activist? I can think of quite a number just off the top of my head. What your so called activists like me want is for some thought of our children. If you can't see what is coming step out of the way and let the adults take charge. The Bahamas is well on its way to the bottom you describe. Read the UN remarks, and then present an intelligent response. It is simple. It only takes a few decades of education to be able to understand it.

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tribanon 2 months, 1 week ago

Effectively bribing key governments officials to enter into any contract is fraud thereby making the contract null and void for all intents and purposes.

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Bahama7 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Please cancel the legal contracts and hand Bpc $10 billion in damages. Thank you.

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Porcupine 2 months, 2 weeks ago

You get more jokey each day. And, the report from the UN, banana? Would you like to expose our identities? Just here to throw rocks, hey?

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tribanon 2 months, 1 week ago

LOL. Now you've moved on from faudulent contracts to outright extortion.

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Voltaire 2 months, 1 week ago

Come try and get it. We welcome the challenge. no court in this country would give you 10 cents much less $10 billion Mr BPC. And the Americans agree with us. What are you tired old imperial want to be is going to wheel out to try and get that done? Especially since bpc is a worthless shell company you wouldn't even be able to afford lawyers. Who are you trying to intimidate little man?

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TigerB 2 months, 1 week ago

Brave made sure that contract was airtight.. the PM can't do thing!

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Bahama7 2 months, 1 week ago

10 billion was a joke obviously.

Any contract needs to upheld, that’s the point.

No need for rock throwing or anything else, I can just spot a great economic project for the Bahamas when I see it.

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ColumbusPillow 2 months, 1 week ago

Well said, especially considering the $9.5 debt load we are carrying.

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tribanon 2 months, 1 week ago

You fellas need to go back to spinning numbers online to passify your urge to get rich quick. LMAO

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Porcupine 2 months, 1 week ago

"We"? How many weeks a year do you visit from Canada?

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CuriousGeorge 1 month, 2 weeks ago

By 2030 - will we be seeing electric-powered super cruise liners docking at the islands?

In the meantime, we will be seeing the same old dirty engines bringing folks to the beautiful unspoiled beaches.

Though hang on a moment - Covid is ripping the heart out of hospitality and tourism at the moment. The islands rely around 50% on tourism - what will happen once all the savings are spent? Savings? What savings have the folks on the breadline got?

The 5% GDP coming from fishing is now in a quandary with the new fishing bill and will need sorting quite quickly.

Controversy still exists over the $20,000,000.

Can this government stand to the pressure from its people?

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CuriousGeorge 1 month, 2 weeks ago

I see the Bahamias Christian Council bishop Delton Fernander, being interviewed on Eye Witness News, wants to see the results of the exploration as did Fred Mitchell who said "it would be foolish for any government not to consider"

Bahamian Evolution want the Bahamian people to benefit from the oil Their video highlights the potential benefits and also highlights the many everyday uses of oil and not just for Gasoline and Polluting vehicles - food, plastics, machines, makeup - almost everything we touch has a trace of oil in it. https://youtu.be/0WKQdLjx0E8">https://youtu.be/0WKQdLjx0E8

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