Local environmentalists weigh in on amended Oban deal

Environmentalists charged Thursday that the government be more transparent with the newly amended agreement between the government and Oban Energies.

Labour Minister Dion Foulkes Tuesday announced that the changes to the $5.5 billion deal , “will specifically cover legal matters as well as environmental concerns.”

Oban has stirred major concerns for environmentalists, who insist they are disappointed firstly that the government brought this idea to the country, and secondly, the group said, making such changes does not negate the harmful environment and human effects the oil refinery will cause.

Bahamas 350 Climate Action President Stacey Moultrie told Eyewitness News yesterday that she is still unclear as to what the actual changes are.

“I need to see what changes were made because he (Minister Foulkes) wasn’t very specific,” she said.

“It was very general; he didn’t go into any detail about how.”

The Environmental Alliance group penned a letter to the prime minister and the Minister of Environment Romauld Ferreira about the concerns they have and, according to Moultrie, there has been no feedback from either of the two.

“I’m hoping that the ‘new’ deal will address all those points we brought up in our letter and I hope they (the government) makes it public so we can see if any of our concerns were addressed,” she said.

“One of the major issues would be that the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) be reviewed and agreed to the mitigation, or if the EIA finds that the project is not environmentally feasible.”

Eyewitness News also reached out to Bahamas National Trust’s (BNT) Executive Director Eric Carey for his feedback, however, he declined comment.