Wednesday, Jul 24, 2019
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Environmentalists should take actionagainst new Clifton power plant

Dear Editor,

It’s amazing how the well-connected individuals in this country are able to escape criticism, no matter what they do. More than a year ago, it was announced that Shell would be building a new power plant at Clifton Pier, right on top of an already disgusting and polluted area that urgently needs to be cleaned up.

Even though they were urged by concerned members of the public to first clean up the land and sea pollution from years of heavy fuel spills before giving anyone a contract to build another plant, the Minnis administration gave the green light to Shell.

It is not surprising that Shell got its way, but what just blows my mind is that the environmental activist community has remained so quiet over the issue. Oil pollution continues to pour out of the existing BPL plant, contaminating the land and sea for miles around, and now the government is going to double down on this serious hazard with yet another power facility at the same site, instead of cleaning it up. And yet not a peep from the environmental activists.

Nowadays, it seems that every time we turn around another project that may damage the environment is being subjected to injunctions and judicial reviews. But not a thing happens when big, bad Shell comes knocking at the door? I guess the old saying “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”, still holds true in The Bahamas. And of course the same goes for the official opposition, who are usually so quick to complain about and condemn any deal this government signs on to. But not a word about this particular project. I wonder why?

Well I say this is simply not good enough. I call on the PLP to do its job as the opposition and look out for the best interests of the population. I call on our usually very aggressive environmental activists to turn their attention to this troubling project and take the government to court if necessary to make sure that the Clifton area is cleaned up before any new power plant is built. Or better yet, if Shell or any other company to make money off charging Bahamians for electricity, let them pay for the cleanup themselves.

– Essy Bootle

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