Jan 26, 2021 Letters
Reference is made to the article titled, “EPA demands no studies for five projects dealing with hazardous oil & gas chemicals -Agency lacks capacity to do testing” (KN January 25th). Instead of putting pointed questions before the public, like I usually do, today I take some hard positions, through a few conclusions reached. I expect PPP partisans to do their customary retreats from truth, and PNC (meaning the coalition) partners to join them in what is now a brokered silence on things related to oil. As for the PPP leaders – His Excellency and the Hon. Vice President – both will take comfort in hiding behind the local fortresses erected, and Fortress America, too.
For some time now, it has been undeniable that Guyana’s EPA stands in name only, and nothing else. This state agency does not even make an attempt, a pretense, at doing its job properly, and representing the interests, safety, and reputation of this country. After all, a couple communities negatively impacted, and a couple thousand Guyanese sickened, are nothing to get agitated about, to lose sleep over. That is why in project after project, the settled position of Guyana’s EPA has been the equivalent of ‘no objection.’ I think it would be more accurate to label its mindset and operations as no interest, no concern, no problem. In Guyanese lingo: doan tek wurreez. Or: wha dah gah fuh duh wid wee? It does not matter that the hazardous and extremely alarming are involved, the EPA’s leadership remains unmoved and uninterested.
In fairness to the EPA’s management, it is not responsible for its shabby record. What it does or doesn’t do-go near to-is not for it to decide. To say that it is the stooge of Exxon and bending over backwards to comply with the company’s dictates is only partially accurate. That is not how things work. For checks would confirm that there are no fingerprints, thumbprints, or palmprints of Exxon to be found on Guyana’s EPA. But go above the local EPA and there is the real story and tragedy of Guyana. The president and Vice President cannot undress quickly enough for Exxon. The abuse meted out to those two Guyanese luminaries is apparent from their hesitant steps, their hollow voices, their body language that speaks of men beaten into ground, where they grovel to every whim and caprice of Exxon. I submit that part of the grand bargain finalized with Mr. Pompeo (and the industrious and ubiquitous, but now chronically laryngitis-prone resident American Ambassador) is the command to go easy on Exxon.
I think that this explains why the agency “lacks capacity to do testing” as the subhead of the article stated. When the PPP leadership collaborators strangle the agency of funds, then it cannot do its work. It is tested strategy that fulfills concerns about troublesome regulations, which the president himself did make a firm promise to dismantle, several times, and which he has delivered in aces. The EPA stands as a visible and transparent and irrefutable instance of the handiwork of Guyana’s president, who insist that he has his country’s interests at heart. Maybe like me, he is a dual citizen, so it is anybody’s guess which one he means. But if the EPA is not funded appropriately to engage in comprehensive protective programs for the benefit of Guyana’s environment and Guyana’s peoples, then it is helpless, toothless, and completely useless. It is not enough for me to say that the EPA is gutted and castrated, it has been rendered totally useless, where oil and gas exposures are concerned.
I do not place any blame on the current head of the EPA. She knows her role, which is to be figurehead and placemat. Regrettably, she and the agency now stand as ragged and malodorous doormats. His Excellency and the Hon. Vice President have both seen to that, and of which result they offer the fatuous, or nothing at all. It was why they got rid of that likely difference maker, Dr. Vincent Adams. This was what Exxon wanted, and the PPP leadership duet ensured that they both warbled the same tune, as composed, arranged, and directed by Exxon. Here is a Guyanese reality: a long time ago, control of this country had passed into the hands of the kingpins involved in a certain trade; that was compliments of the same PPP leadership, which is now been rearranged in a pretended bow before constitutional provisions.
Editor, I say that control of this country today has passed again, and this time it is to Exxon. The president and Vice President should give themselves medals for their contributions. And after that, they can then travel to America to collect their additional pieces of silver for their conspiracies. There they are, with the enslaved EPA standing as monument to their leadership sellouts to Exxon (and America).
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