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#431777 - 02/29/12 08:51 PM Oil Drilling Vote Today in Belize and on Ambergris
Chris Offline
So I really thought about this. The ballot was marked "Yes or No" to drilling.

1. I figured that if there were serious oil reserves, enough to produce tens or hundreds of billions of dollars of revenue for Belize which would transform our country to one of the richest per capita on the planet I would vote "Yes" to drilling.

2. I said to myself "If it could be guaranteed that the oil revenue was spent only on the infrastructure and well being of Belize and would turn Belize into a country rich in good roads and high wage earners and eliminate poverty, and would fully compensate and repair damage done to the environment of Belize and the affected people of Belize in the event of an oil spill disaster" I would vote "Yes."

3. Furthermore, I wanted to be sure that the Government of Belize would not siphon oil revenues for the personal gain of themselves or their cronies and were only pushing for this offshore oil drilling in the very best interests of Belize and its people and not for themselves. If I could be sure of this I would vote "Yes."

I figured if two out of three or even one out of three of the conditions above were guaranteed to be met I wouldn't vote "Yes" or "No" at all. I'd just sit on the fence.

So I voted "No"

#431806 - 03/01/12 08:03 AM Re: Oil Drilling Vote Today in Belize and on Ambergris [Re: Chris]
Diane Campbell Offline
No. No. No.

#431809 - 03/01/12 08:28 AM Re: Oil Drilling Vote Today in Belize and on Ambergris [Re: Chris]
denjy Offline
This previously posted image from Marty should have made the choice a "No Brainer" for anyone who could vote! Anxiously awaiting the results.


#431828 - 03/01/12 09:28 AM Re: Oil Drilling Vote Today in Belize and on Ambergris [Re: Chris]
bywarren Offline
Just to further the discussion with an alternate view - not that this is my personal position only an observation: As to your points Chris, all three of those are controlled and dependant on either proven technology, as in determining oil reserves, or by elected officials. So the opposite argument to you is, the up side gain to the people of Belize could be enormous in improving their and their children’s lives. To not use this resource based on the argument that people are not capable doing what you suggest is giving up a potential huge benefit to the Belize people based on what might or might not happen that is in control of the people themselves.
Granted based on past history, the people of Belize are not very good stewards of their country. Both in the election of officials, many who have proven to be in office for personal gain, and not for the protection of the environment. In the name of tourism and job creation, there has been considerable damage to the resources of Belize thru dredging and the clearing of mangroves to manufacture more land, and the strain on the environment with the amount of people attracted to the country without providing the infrastructure to support them.
So I guess my question to you is, do you discount a major resource based on what might happen while you continue support another industry that is arguably doing damage to environment?

#431837 - 03/01/12 10:48 AM Re: Oil Drilling Vote Today in Belize and on Ambergris [Re: Chris]
Bear Offline
Thought provoking as usual byW. My answer to your question,

Considering that Belize has little history and internal expertise in matters of Oil & Drilling oversight, and little enforcement in matters they already have regulated, the potential for a spills currently far outweighs the benefits you mention.

Fortunately Belizeans have had the sense to make this one reason to vote for for rejection. it remains to be seen if this opinion is sufficiently widespread. Your point regarding habitat destruction resulting from the desire to cash in on expanding tourism only serves as an example in proof of this. It is perhaps just not as glaringly obvious to the people as an oil rig on the horizon...

I would point out that even the Deepwater Horizons horrendous spill was under far more enforcement oversight and regulation than one could even begin to hope for in Belize. I've worked around rigs before and I can tell you that the kinds of shortcuts taken by BP occur under the best of oversight. I cant imagine what would occur when the oversight is nearly non existent or on paper only. I would love to see the resulting DOG (Div of Oil & Gas) inspection report from a current rig operation located on inland Belizean soil...I suspect it would be eye opening. When the wolf is left to tend the flock...

Under these kind of circumstances the probabilty of a "rig anomaly" would near certainty. I am not by any means against all oil exploration. However, I am of certain opinion that Belize is not capable of adequate oversight. As such therefore incapable, even on the most rudimentary levels, of preventing an environemental disaster that would most certainly make questionable or even illegal land development pale in comparison. It is not a matter of supporting one over the other, it is a matter of understanding that both will ultimately result in signifcant damage. One by sudden catastrophe, one by death of a thousand cuts.

The catastrophe is plain to see; perhaps the referendum will serve to help wake people up to the dangers of the second. You can replant mangroves, reclaim failed developemnts. You cannot within a lifetime or even several reclaim an entirely collaped ecosystem which as we all know is the bread and butter of Belizean economy.

#431838 - 03/01/12 10:50 AM Re: Oil Drilling Vote Today in Belize and on Ambergris [Re: Chris]
SFJeff Offline
Do we even know if the question is whether or not "to discount a major resource?" My (admittedly limited) understanding of the science of oil exploration is that, even with the most advanced technology in the most capable hands, there is still a bit of a "shot in the dark" element to it. Stress the words "advanced" and "capable..." How many shots are gonna be taken before something unintentional gets hit/happens? The risk Vs reward (especially given the track record of what happens to the use/dispersement of 'rewards' in this country) just does not seem worth it...

Anyone know how the referendum went in San Pedro yesterday? Or are folks busy behind closed doors negating ballots due to sloppy signatures...

#431841 - 03/01/12 11:11 AM Re: Oil Drilling Vote Today in Belize and on Ambergris [Re: Chris]
JZB Offline
They are drilling for oil on land now, they flooded pristine rainforest to build a damn, and they allowed cruise industry to land in Belize. All these things were done to benefit Average Joe Belizean, but I have yet to see any benefit except to a small handful of people with hungry pockets. As for Off Shore drilling, There is NO question that the risks FAR outweigh any benefit.
I voted 'HELL NO!'

#431845 - 03/01/12 11:20 AM Re: Oil Drilling Vote Today in Belize and on Ambergris [Re: JZB]
Bear Offline
Originally Posted By: JZB
I voted 'HELL NO!'

I am impressed that the GOB was sufficiently aware of the passion of the topic to provide check boxes that reflected the varying degrees of dissention... wink

#431846 - 03/01/12 11:20 AM Re: Oil Drilling Vote Today in Belize and on Ambergris [Re: Chris]
Ecoman Offline
There was a total of 2,725 voters in San Pedro that came out to vote. There was I missing ballot, 16 spoiled ballots,42 yes for offshore drilling,2666 no votes for no offshore drilling. Tune in this morning to love fm or tv at 10 oclock for the full stats on the country wide results.

#431848 - 03/01/12 11:36 AM Re: Oil Drilling Vote Today in Belize and on Ambergris [Re: Chris]
Chris Offline
Bywarren, if we had Gulf-esque oil reserves, enough to totally transform the country, I'd reconsider. But, we obviously don't have such riches, they would have been exploited years ago. The people who want to drill are Micky-Mouse amateurs. Case in point:

Andre Cho (Ministry of Natural Resources guy):
"Yeah, what we did, because we don't have personnel that specialize in offshore rigs and drilling, we hired a company and paid them ten thousand US dollars to come and inspect the rig. That's an example of what we do to fill in the gaps, hire international people, people that are trained and qualified to do these things."

In other words "We haven't a clue." The future of Belize's environment resting on a $10,000 "inspection." Truly frightening.

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