My husband and I are US citizens who are honored and excited to be planning a one of many return trips to Andros to bonefish the unique waters of your country.
It is with great grief that we read of your looming tragedy, the arrival of the Stena IceMAX oil exploration drilling ship.
Why The Bahamas government would gamble your fisheries and your pristine waters and your way of life for the last gasp hope that the dying Big Oil industry holds promise of more than pollution and empty promises seems strange given what we all know.
Big Oil is on the way out. The world is turning to sustainable power.
Big Oil is still powerful enough to grab as much money as they can while they can. Big Oil is still almost above the law. Big Oil goes where it can suck up the most oil with the least regulations.
The Bahamas has no big funded Department of the Interior to demand that the secretive and speak little Bahamas Petroleum Corporation will run a clean operation.
No one can show you how the pollution that will fill your waters will fill your pockets with money. We do not have to pray and hope there will be no big spill on land or at sea.
The daily operations of drilling are dirty enough. Drilling fluids are required in rotary drilling to remove sediments, metal shavings and other cuttings, to control pressure, and to cool and lubricate the drill. Where does all this go?
Your clear waters will have sediments, drilling fluids, lubricants, metal filings, and lethal and sublethal chemicals discharged into them. Maybe there will be Bahamas oversight to specify recycling of these fluids as much as possible, and maybe deep-sea disposal will be demanded, or not?
Cost of disposal favors onsite disposal. Your waters will be protected only if there are laws in place to do so. Since this is the first exploration and neither the oil company nor your government is talking, do you know what will happen to the muds and the chemicals and the sediments of drilling?
Will daily drilling wastes just go into the water at the site? And then what? This all happened so fast that there really is little environmental impact study to tell you what science predicts will be left of your Bahamas after the oil drilling.
Why was The Bahamas chosen for this get rich quick project?
Do you have suspicions this might be too good to be true? At what cost?
There are abandoned oil discoveries everywhere. Lots of communities have been promised the moon and the stars and were left with nothing.
Rich guys are deciding your future for you and saying you will benefit. Do you believe it? Are you willing to risk a cloud a sediment choking your conch and your pristine estuaries, your reefs?
Is that a fair trade for driving away your environmental tourists and your bone fishermen and your scuba and deep sea divers?
The West Coast of Andros Island is known throughout the angling world as “The Land of Giants”!
Your marine life is your legacy.
Are you willing to gamble it all on a Big Oil boom into your waters? It’s still not too late.
I am just one person. You are just one person. You live there. Speak up and save your beautiful Bahamas, please, please, please.
Kathy Becker, RN
Chef Myron Becker