Bannister discusses possible challenges of offshore oil drilling

Deputy Prime Minister and Min. of Works The Hon. Desmond Bannister

The supreme court ruling handed down earlier this week on the controversial issue of oil drilling was a defeat for environmentalists seeking to stop the drilling of oil in Bahamian waters.

It’s an issue the government agrees with and further ignites the conversation on sustaining the country’s vital environment.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works, the Hon. Desmond Bannister said royalties from any licenses should be publicly revealed, but the common denominator for the government is that there is no endorsement of offshore oil drilling anywhere in the Bahamas.

“You’ll have oil up on your beaches, all those snappers, and groupers and grunts that you like; you’re going to find them washing up on the shores dead.

“All the sea life that we love, we are going to find them spoiled and its going to cost you billions of dollars just to start cleaning up.

“You’ll find that you’ll have a decline in our tourism industry and the things that we know and love about our country would be forever impacted negatively,” Minister Bannister said.

The Deputy Prime Minister also feels that the local and international community realize that the government follows laws, and this move will not tarnish our international environmental reputation.

“There was an agreement that was entered into by a legitimate government of the Bahamas and we have to obey that agreement.

“At the same time there are persons before the courts seeking judicial review. And it will show that our courts are free and independent, and they will make decisions based on the evidence before them also.

“I think the actions of this government are going to show the world internationally, ” he said.