BREEF on oil drilling: We need to be a leader in alternative energy

In the wake of an oil spill at Equinor’s South Riding Point oil storage and transshipment terminal caused by Hurricane Dorian and the disastrous effects this country could face as a result of climate change, Executive Director of the Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation (BREEF) Casuarina McKinney-Lambert explained that The Bahamas should not move forward with any projects related to oil.

McKinney-Lambert said Hurricane Dorian has clearly exposed The Bahamas’ vulnerability to increasingly intense hurricanes and lamented the government’s inaction in pulling back on the exploration for oil that the Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC) hopes to begin next year.

“The Bahamas is in a state of climate emergency and it is completely inappropriate to move forward with extracting fossil fuels out of our waters,” McKinney-Lambert said.

“We need to be a leader in alternative energy, not the newest kid on the block in the industry that is doing so much damage to our planet. The Bahamas is one of the countries most vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change.

“I do hope that this will be addressed and some major changes made in the direction that our county takes. The future of all of us and future generations depends on it.”

McKinney-Lambert explained that it is hypocritical of a country like The Bahamas, which is extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change, to continue to carry out fossil fuel exploration.

“Fossil fuel is hurting us and other small island developing states,” she said.

BPC announced last month that it is preparing to drill an exploratory well with or without a farm-in partner next year, having secured a framework agreement with deepwater drilling contractor Seadrill for the use of a drilling rig and the services of renowned oil field service company Halliburton to provide equipment and a drilling plan.

The company added that it will raise the $25 million to $50 million in order to move ahead without a farm-in partner, especially given that the company is obligated under its licensing agreement with the Bahamas government to drill an exploratory well in its licensed area in the southern Bahamas before the end of 2020.

McKinney-Lambert said BREEF has not had any recent discussions with the government on environmentalists’ concerns related to oil drilling.

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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