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Joined: Oct 1999
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Citizens Organized For Liberty through Action
Belize City,
Belize, Central America

September 30, 2010

Hon. Dean Barrow
Prime Minister of Belize
Belmopan City
Belize, Central America

Dear Hon. Dean Barrow;

This letter is in regards to the present oil sharing agreement between Government of Belize and Belize Natural Energy (BNE), which is presently responsible for extracting oil in the Spanish Lookout Area. Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) is very much concerned about the inequity in the sharing agreement since we believe that BNE has long made their investment and an equitable amount in profit. COLA believes that our country is not benefiting from the oil as we should. We are very much aware of the contract which was awarded to BNE and are in no way asking you to dishonor that contract. However, we would like to bring your attention to the INCOME AND BUSINESS TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, August 30th 2008, SECTION 125, which speaks specifically about the Threshold Price set in section 122 and it states that the threshold price specific to section 122 which was set at US $90.00 per barrel for existing oil fields and US$100 for new oil fields. It clearly states that the threshold price shall be reviewed ANNUALLY by the Government in consultation with representatives of the petroleum industry with a view to determine whether any adjustments are needed to take into account of any material changes in the prevailing circumstances. This August 2010 will complete two years without a review of the threshold price.

Since your administration took office two year ago, we have not seen any evidence that there has been any annual reviewing of the threshold price and if there were such happenings these were not made public. We have been made to understand that the threshold price was set at US $90.00. COLA believes that setting the threshold price at US $90.00 per barrel was not in the best interest of our nation, Belize.

COLA is calling on your Administration to modify the threshold price which is set at US $90.00 per barrel should be lowered to US$40 per barrel. This new threshold will allow us to start benefiting more from our natural heritage. We are also aware of external factors that you mentioned with regards to United States Congressmen advising your administration not to tamper with the existing tax structure. COLA would like to remind you that we elected our leaders to serve our people and to do what is in our best interest for the development of our nation and our human resources. History is clear to show that those who have served their country and its people's best interest will always have the support of its people. However, it has also shown that those who neglect to create opportunities and adhere to the people's wishes are eventually put aside by the people. We believe that when we start making the equitable revenue from our oil, Belize can provide better access to education, better health care, better infrastructure, better housing and social assistance to those in need without waiting for a donor nation. With this, we will also see a substantial decrease in crime, poverty and ignorance.

We would also like for your administration to review the SURCHARGE system in place, which is a progressive one that will almost never reach its potential. According to the Income and Business Tax (Amendment) Act, 2008, "Rate of Petroleum Surcharge Table on page 13, the Surcharge of 50% would only come in effect if the price of Crude Oil was to reach over US$190.00 per barrel. According to the Petroleum Surcharge Table, we are presently not obtaining any Revenue, since the Surcharge will only start at 15 percent after oil reaches US $105.00 per barrel. We at COLA would like your administration to adjust the Surcharge system as to mach the proposed Threshold price of US $50 per barrel. Hence the surcharge of 50% would take effect when oil is US $50 per barrel and above.

In closing, we at COLA only want to see the Imagined the Possibilities come to reality. We at COLA and the people of Belize only want to see the change Belizeans can benefit from. We look forward to your administration's revision and modification of the Threshold Price and the Surcharge making it more beneficial to our country, Belize. We can work together in doing the right thing to make our nation the most progressive and developed in the region.

COLA would like to thank you in advance for your understanding. I can be reached at 631-6286 for any other information or kindly email at [email protected]

Sincerely Yours;

Moses Sulph
Citizens Organized For Liberty through Action

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 8,868

Joined: May 2010
Posts: 80
Well done Moses. If you review the sites of the big three and their price to continue to support a field is $60..Since BNE does not have anything like their overhead $50 is very fair. We all must hold Gov't to account in this greedy world of powerful oil interests who can and do bring great pressures to bear and expect tough,smart,negotiation from any across their table. After all the Iraq broohaha Petronas/Royal Dutch Shell got the contracts in Iraq. So we must do what is in the Belizean interest and none other.

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