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Columns : Letters to The Editor Last Updated: May 7, 2019 - 8:49:28 PM


Essy Bootle: Environmentalists should take action against new Clifton power plant
May 7, 2019 - 4:30:01 PM

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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.

Now, everybody knows who Shell's local representatives are. It's hard to imagine a better connected or powerful group of individuals, with ties on both sides of the political divide. It is not surprising that Shell got their 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 'Its not what you know, its 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? Could it be because a number of senior PLPs are set to make a pretty penny off this deal?

Well I say this is simply not good enough. I call on the PLP to do their 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.

Kind regards,
Essy Bootle

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