The Prime Minister’s recent statement on oil exploration in protected areas is causing a firestorm. Last week the PM said that while he had not decided on the future of offshore exploration, he supports drilling by Capital Energy in the Sarstoon Temash National Park. Earlier today, the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage issued a statement in support of SATIIM’s opposition to oil exploration in the Sarstoon Temash National Park. According to the Coalition, “the minimal economic benefits that the people of Belize are receiving from tax revenues from oil exploitation do not outweigh the high risk of an oil spill in ecologically sensitive areas during the exploratory or exploitation phase.” The Coalition also rejects the Prime Minister’s position that oil exploration and exploitation should be allowed in protected areas. Its release ended with a call on the Government to rescind that policy as well the exploitation in protected areas through the cancellation of leases issued within these areas.