Feb 24, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – Guyana puts on a united front when it comes to fighting for the country’s patrimony in the Venezuela Border Controversy, with political leaders casting aside differences and banding together to ensure that every square mile of the country remains intact. That same unity should be applied when it comes to condemning ExxonMobil’s continued flaring, says Dr. Vincent Adams, the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
At a recent press conference, Dr. Adams stated that ExxonMobil will depart Guyana within the next 30 years after extracting our oil, leaving the country to cope with intense environmental damage.
He outlined, “We will be here forever so now is the time for all politicians on both sides of the isle to hold a united front on oil and gas just as we do on the border controversy because I believe it is just as important.”
Dr. Adams added that, “Guyana is relatively a pristine country and if we do not nip this in the bud and this country becomes overwhelmed with pollution, it will not be a good thing for the future generation.”
Currently, ExxonMobil is flaring more than 16 million cubic feet of toxic natural gas daily at the Liza Destiny FPSO due to a recent gas compressor malfunction. While the company said it is working assiduously to repair the damage to return flaring to pilot levels, millions of toxic and carcinogenic chemicals are being released into the air.
And these flaring issues have only since been recorded at the Liza Destiny FPSO, Exxon’s first project. With the oil giant eyeing more ships for the Stabroek Block, Dr. Adams firmly believes that it needs to ensure that it nips flaring in the bud at the Liza Phase One project before anything else.
“We cannot wait until there are 10 FPSOs out there to try to curtail the damage, it will be impossible. If we cannot handle it for one FPSO, how are we going to handle it for 10?” he added.
That standard, he continued, does not only apply to ExxonMobil but to other oil contractors who wish to operate on Guyana’s shores, adding, “I believe the only way we can do that is that politicians from both sides of the isle need to form a united front against Exxon’s illegal activities.”
Dr. Adams has long contended that ExxonMobil is breaching both the Liza One Environmental Permit and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) by continuously flaring while production levels remain at 120,000 barrels per day.
The former EPA head lamented that while ExxonMobil receives no penalties for this, the regulator is stringent when dealing with locals who own farms and other such operations to ensure that they are kept in conformity with regulations.
“We cannot continue to go after the small guys with their little operations with their little chicken farm here or pig farm there. We go after them to make sure that they are in compliance with the regulatory requirements but Exxon is allowed to get away with it even though theirs has a bigger impact on the environment,” Dr. Adams relayed.
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