UPDATE: March 26, 2010
Friends, here we are over two years since they were elected and the DLP Government of Barbados still hasn’t passed their promised Environmental Legislation.
I know it sounds absurd, but in the decades since our independence successive governments never passed even a simple law compelling pipeline owners to make daily measurements and to report any leakage to the government!
How much money in “election donations” has Shell and associated companies provided to the BLP and DLP over the years? How much did Shell or SOL contribute to Environment Minister Lowe’s last election campaign? How much to Thompson’s campaign?
“None of your business” says Prime Minister Thompson and his gang…
Have a read of this BFP article first published in April of 2009. It’s all still true…
1/ Fifteen Years Ago, Shell Spilled At Least A Half A Million Gallons Of Jet Fuel Into The Barbados Water Table. Shell Has Not Cleaned Up The Spill Or Compensated The Immediate Victims
2/Barbados South Coast Water Table Is Contaminated By Jet Fuel. Our Beaches Are At Risk.
3/ After 15 Years, It Is Now A Proven Fact That Citizens Cannot Rely Upon A BLP or DLP Government To Hold Shell Oil Accountable or Force The Company To Clean Up Their Spill
For the last 15 years, Shell oil has been avoiding responsibility for a pipeline leak that spilled at least half a million gallons of jet fuel into our water table. The cleanup effort has been laughable. This jet fuel has not gone away and even now water wells within a few hundred feet of the beach are still filled with almost pure kerosene jet fuel. Shell Oil’s response has been to offer our Barbados farmers less than one hour of Shell’s profits. Barbados farmers were offered US $2 million in total to be spread among the victims – Shell makes approximately US $3 million per hour.
This disgusting abuse could not have happened without the cooperation of our corrupt Barbados politicians from two successive governments – who continued to receive political donations from people and companies associated with Shell Oil while doing nothing for the people of Barbados.
Members of the current DLP Thompson government were happy to appear at the pollution site during the run-up to the election. Prime Minister Thompson, environment Minister Lowe and the rest of the DLP do-nothings promised us environmental legislation. They promised they would hold polluters accountable. They promised new laws and effective enforcement from a revitalized Environment Ministry.
They have done nothing – except of course to receive election funding from the very people and companies that they refuse to hold accountable.The DLP Thompson government of Barbados has not implemented any laws that would penalize polluters and make them pay to clean up their mess.
In 15 years, successive governments never even passed a simple law compelling pipeline owners to make daily measurements and to report any leakage to the government!
Now we read in the Nation paper that the government has formed a new subcommittee “to try to find a settlement of the dispute.” More disgusting smoke and mirrors to camouflage the do-nothing impotence of Environment Minister Lowe and his government.
After two Shell oil pipeline spills and negotiations over 15 years, it is obvious to everyone that both Shell oil and the government are merely pretending. Both are engaged in an elaborate dance designed to give the appearance of activity while doing nothing to disturb the cozy relationship between the politicians and the polluters will fund them.
15 Years of Deceit and Pretense by Shell Oil and Successive Barbados Governments
The Thompson DLP government should immediately do the following:
One: Publicly declare and return political contributions that they have received over the past 15 years from Shell oil or any company or person associated with Shell oil.
Two: Pass environmental legislation that provides for retroactive and severe penalties for polluters, including seizure of assets and prohibiting new business.
Three: Immediately commence an effective cleanup of the Shell oil pipeline spill [after 15 years it’s about bloody time] with the entire cost recovered from Shell Oil through the new environment legislation.
Number four: Immediately pass the promised integrity legislation and conflict of interest rules to prevent future politicians from putting personal profits above the interests of the country.
Prime Minister Thompson, Environment Minister Lowe: stop your foolish talking and promises, subcommittees and do-nothing posturing. For once, just bloody well do something.