Today, the permit for developing and exploiting the Lisa 1 field in the Stabroek Block by the Exxon Consortium – which includes Hess and CNOOC (Chinese) – expires. And as sure as the sun rises in the East, up popped this lady Melinda Janki demanding – yes demanding – that the EPA refuse to extend the permit and bring the entire operation to a sputtering halt!!
But while your Eyewitness – like any other red blooded Guyanese patriot – would so like us to get a bigger piece of the oil pool, don’t the EPA have to show some reason why it should take that action? Flaring and polluting the air? Well, the EPA did negotiate with the consortium on that issue and has imposed a fine for continued flaring? a and have collected $1.7billion to date?? Possible spills and accidents? Haven’t the EPA insisted on insurance and are continuing to insist on more comprehensive policies that incorporate the parent company’s responsibilities??
But your Eyewitness wants to remind Jankie (does she live in Guyana or in the US along with Exxon?) that in order to get Exxon to open up her purse strings, the easiest way is to show that the contract had an element of fraud. And all goes back to that fella Trotman, who negotiated it on behalf of the PNC government, which he’d help install via “Operation Nassau”!! When he was treated to first class travel, chauffeur-driven limousine rides, stayed at a pricey hotel and dined at the company’s exclusive Wolfgang Puck Restaurant at Exxon’s expense at a time when negotiations for the deal were ongoing in Houston- along with his entourage – wasn’t he “undue influenced”?? Surely any Court will grant that plea once they were informed of the grubby life of Trotman in Guyana!!
Then there’s the matter of Trotman betraying his fiduciary duty to his country -and his office – by not accepting expert advice that was available to him before the signed the contract. Didn’t that international corruption watchdog say, “the report, titled ‘Signed Away: How Exxon’s exploitative deal deprived Guyana of up to US$55 billion’, state:
“Trotman also failed to capitalize on Guyana’s strong bargaining position. During negotiations, he knew that the company was analyzing a new possible oil find. Trotman even knew the company would announce its results on a specific day: June 28 2016. But the minister did not wait for these results, which would have allowed Guyana to assess Stabroek’s true value and which turned out to be one of the world’s largest recent finds. Instead, on June 27, Trotman signed Exxon’s license”.
But these so called watchdogs are all part of the cabal who believe that only their class can run Guyana! Even as – like Burnham – they’ll take Guyana back to the Stone Age.
President Ali reciprocated Barbados PM Mia Mottley’s visit to our Agri-Expo by attending hers that followed immediately. There were a number of Guyanese exhibitors and this is as it should be since all our plans for food security and “25 by 25” – cutting a CariCom’s US$billion food bill – will go awry, if not torpedoed, unless all CariCom territories put their shoulders to the wheel. And that wheel is the rebooted Jagdeo Initiative 2.0!! But where were the other CariCom leaders?
In addition to opening a wharf facility that can accommodate some 45 containers of food products simultaneously, Pres Ali announced an even greater initiative – offering 50 acres of land for Bajan youths to practice their food growing skills. Now your Eyewitness is sure someone out there will be mumbling about that.
But where’s the other CariCom leaders?? Why don’t they persuade their businesses accept our offer to develop acreage in our intermediate savannahs that Guyana can provide?
God helps those….
After 1000 temporary jobs; 200 small business $250,000 loans; the Wismar Bridge and other infrastructure fixed and 5000 scholarships…what say the naysayers now??!!