Whether we like to admit it or not, the only difference between modern man and cavemen is that we’ve got access to energy other than our own sweat and blood. Left to our own energy (devices?), we’re doomed to nasty, brutish and short lives. The now “developed” world got free energy when they enslaved and dragged millions of Africans across the Atlantic.
Then came steam that used coal – the first “fossil fuel” – to supply the energy to drive all sorts of machines and there was no turning back. We’d heard for years about our “potential” in Guyana…but without cheap and reliable energy, we were never able to realise it. Take sugar…that’s why we never could get it refined to add value. And Bauxite? You need vast amounts of energy to convert it to aluminium…but it was the same old story. Even though we had waterfalls that could supply the energy, Burnham couldn’t complete the Mazaruni Hydro Electric Project and we remained at ground zero.
But finally, we can see the light at the end of (energy) tunnel. Last Friday, Exxon submitted its plans to the EPA for bringing ashore the natural gas it separates from oil in the Stabroek Block for the required Environmental Impact Assessment. A 120-mile-long 12” pipeline will be bringing the gas from the two FPSOs and land it on the West Coast of Demerara near the small sleepy village of La Jalousie. From there, it’ll make several turns and eventually culminate at the Wales Development Authority. There Exxon will be constructing a facility to separate out the components of the natural gas – methane, butane, propane, etc – to be liquified and sold or passed on to the 250 MW Generating Plant the Government has planned.
Now, your Eyewitness doesn’t expect any objections from the populace since the 20-mile onshore pipeline will be crossing just rice and cane fields where private owners will be adequately compensated. No rare species of frogs, etc, will be disturbed! But what will be disturbed is the centuries-old status quo of us being bereft of cheap electricity to exploit our potential!
The energy will be used on some of the gas recovered to produce urea – the fertiliser that’s critical to developing our agricultural potential. Your Eyewitness heard about us going all the way to creating amino acids – the building blocks of proteins. But he is a tad leery of that being accomplished, if he’s to be honest!
We’ll be getting the biggest bang for our buck with bringing our energy costs down to about one-eight of where it is now – about the highest in the Caribbean!
Finally free of our energy shackles!
…without the PNC?
Surveying the disarray into which the PNC has descended, it’s pretty difficult for your Eyewitness to imagine how they can present a credible alternative to the PPP as far as taking over the reins of government. In Guyana, it’s not a matter of a political platform or ideology, since for the past 60 years folks have by and large voted ethnically. But with all ethnic groups now minorities, no party can depend on support from a single ethnic group.
The groups which they can court are basically Indian, Indigenous and Mixed Guyanese.
They’ve alienated the first two groups who won’t vote for a party that shows no remorse for their actions. That leaves the “Mixed”. Now, traditionally, they’re more culturally aligned to the PNC’s base constituency – African Guyanese. And voted PNC.
But the fact that a significant segment switched to the PPP at the last elections means they were teed off at the PNC – even before their bullyism.
They ain’t going back and the PNC’s screwed!
The final straw for your Eyewitness was when the WI were fined for low over rate – after being humiliated by South Africa in the Test Series. Even though they just trashed the Proteas in the first T-20, they’re still not forgiven.