Just for the sake of discussion, as this is a very important issue for Belize, I will play devilís advocate.
As with any decision a country must make, the risk versus reward is a determining factor. In this case it can be argued that the risk involved is not accurately assessed. Comparing the type of wells that I understand would be drilled in Belize to the deep water well in the Gulf is not a valid comparison. There are hundreds of thousands of wells drilled both on shore and off shore that have not caused a problem. And, if a problem presents itself in these more shallow wells, it is much more easily corrected without substantial harm than with the deeper wells.
As to the rewards.where would countries like Mexico, Venezuela, Trinidad, and the Arab Emirates be without there oil revenues? If there were to be substantial oil reserves found and developed in Belize, how could that change the lives in a country of 300,000 people?
I would submit that it would be irresponsible for those in power not to consider developing this resource if it exists. And, I think opposing this before getting all of the facts and understanding the issues, is premature.
Protecting the marine environment is certainly a priority. Although there has already been substantial damage done to that with the development on AC. There are many people in Belize that do not benefit from this resource like those on AC and whose lives could be improved substantially if the country had the additional resource of oil.
I can see where some of those would question why people who visit only AC, or who live on AC,
are so opposed to this option while allowing this destruction of the marine ecosystem that they profess to be so important that others be denied potential benefits because of some undetermined future harm.
Just trying to look at this from the other perspective. I can see both sides and my mind is still open - not for or against at this time.