DNA on Earl Deveaux Response to Oil Exploration
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 5, 2012
DNA on Earl Deveaux’s Response to Oil Exploration
When questioned about oil exploration off of Bahamian shores recently, Environment Ministers Earl Deveaux and Phenton Neymour said “oil is not something they want to explore.” They proceeded to claim that the governments stance on oil drilling “has not changed” and that they “could not respond further until they saw the DNA’s release.”
We, in the DNA, believe this response is disrespectful and inadequate given the magnitude of what is at stake. We are prepared to hold these elected officials accountable and challenge the media not to be dismissed with answers meant to curtail any further inquiry.
On behalf of the Bahamian people, the DNA demands that the Free National Movement (FNM) government answer the following questions:
1. Specifically, what is the government’s position on oil exploration in the Bahamas?
2. Does the moratorium referenced by Mr. Deveaux apply to Bahamas Petroleum Company’s (BPC) existing permits or are they allowed to proceed as their website claims?
3. Who are the 12 undisclosed companies that BPC has been petitioning to drill for oil in the Bahamas? DNA Montagu candidate, Ben Albury and the DNA understand that most of these companies are of Chinese origin.
4. Is it true that a deal was negotiated that allows the Government of the Bahamas to receive 12.5% of the proceeds of oil, while the other 87.5% goes to the oil companies? If true, the DNA believes this to be another sweetheart deal that the FNM has configured for a foreign company.
5. What is FNM Government doing to ensure that the environment of the Bahamas is protected in the case of an oil spill?
Reports estimate that the oil reserves in the Bahamas are worth over $1 trillion. The DNA wants FNM Government to know that this will not be another BTC (Bahamas Telecommunications Corporation) situation. The DNA urges the FNM Government to be transparent with the Bahamian people and explain the full details of the oil deal with the Bahamas Petroleum Company and how the lives of Bahamians will be affected.
If the FNM Government fails to demonstrate adequate answers to the listed questions then the DNA is prepared to take bold and decisive action. Ben Albury, DNA Candidate for Montagu, has begun an online petition of Bahamians prepared to demonstrate their disapproval through protest. We hope to avoid this course of action.