Shiel-Rolle: Drilling for oil will not benefit the Bahamian people

Drilling for oil in The Bahamas will not benefit Bahamians, founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Young Marine Explorers (YME) Nikita Shiel-Rolle said recently, adding that the government should focus on beating its goal of 30 percent renewable energy penetration by 2030.

Shiel-Rolle, who is also a founder of the Cat Island Conservation Institute, explained that the use of fossil fuels is what is destroying the environment and causing global warming.

She added that The Bahamas cannot hold the international community to account for its role in global warming if this country allows oil drilling.

“Who is this benefiting, drilling for oil, because it’s not benefiting the Bahamian people, because what we have as Bahamians are our natural resources; what is killing us is oil,” Shiel-Rolle.

“Oil is killing us because it is the act of extracting oil that is causing the excess carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the environment. That is causing the oceans to get warmer and for these hurricanes to get stronger, so who is this really benefiting, because drilling for oil in The Bahamas is not benefitting us.”

She added that there is a global shift away from the use of fossil fuel.

“There is going to be a handful of people who will make money and all of us are going to suffer,” she said.

“This is not okay. The model needs to change and this drilling for oil is part of the injustice that is fueling climate change.”

Shiel-Rolle explained that The Bahamas has to become a leader in the region when it comes to renewable energy penetration.

“It’s no longer good enough to be like everyone else,” she said.

“What everyone else is doing is killing us. So we have to say yes it’s hard and that means that some people are going to lose a lot of money, but the days of a handful of people making money on the backs of the masses must end. That is the colonial system and it’s not okay. We cannot in good faith ask the international community to change its ways, but here we are doing the exact same thing,” she said. “It’s difficult, yes, but this is what being a leader means, it means we have to make the tough decisions to move forward.”

JUMPLINE: ‘What everyone else is doing is killing us’

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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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