Kaieteur News – Dr. Vincent Adams, former Executive Director of Guyana’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is neither pulling any punches nor taking any prisoners. Dr. Adams is naming names, and he has identified some senior people in his short list. They are men of standing in this country who were present in discussions and developments relative to this burningly dangerous issue of full liability coverage by ExxonMobil in the event of an oil spill occurring (“Bank of Guyana, Insurance Association, must come clean on oil spill coverage talks -Former EPA Head accuses Govt. of deliberately keeping documents from citizens” -KN July 28). And he has also gone as far as reminding a foreigner, an ExxonMobil Country Head in Guyana, as to his presence and role in the exchanges over full coverage liability for an oil spill.
Dr. Adams is asserting that Dr. Gobin Ganga, Governor of the Bank of Guyana, was present at the talks about oil coverage insurance. He notes also that Mr. Bish Panday of the Insurance Association of Guyana was at the gatherings. And, the former EPA chief pointed out that Mr. Rod Henson, the then Country Head of ExxonMobil’s operations in Guyana was very much part of the same discussions. Guyanese born Dr. Adams is calling out two of his fellow Guyanese and a very senior American who once led the way here for his company.
Now we have some questions for all those involved, who should be paying the closest attention to all of these development on full liability coverage, as continually highlighted by this publication. First, who has it right, meaning, in terms of memory and accuracy? Second, and more specifically, who was there or not there, regarding their participation and, hence, full knowledge? Third, is Dr. Adams making up stories and smearing others, who may be totally out of the know with those deliberations? Fourth, is he exaggerating or polishing up his narrative to suit his own interests, and no caring about who is besmirched in the process?
What we do know falls into a certain pattern. It is not the first time that Dr. Adams has made such claims, laid out what took place, and where he stood. In fact, he has challenged this government on more than one occasion to come clean, and present the facts, as they unfolded. It is precisely the same thing that he is doing today, with one significant difference. Dr. Adams has actually gone to the trouble of naming names, the names of those who were present, who were active participants in the discussions, and who cannot claim not to know.
We don’t think that the former EPA head is either cocksure, or that he is suffering from any spell of delusion. Rather, it is our belief that what he has placed in the public domain frankly and fearlessly stand on the merits. The records should attest to the truths (or falsity) of what this bold Guyanese who was there is claiming. The documents surrounding the meetings ought to be present. As Dr. Adams has said time and again, there should be several email chains, there must be electronic calendars with schedules of meetings planned and that did occur. In addition, one would think that the archives from several years ago would have their own disclosures to make.
While there is a time for secrecy and confidentiality, and the protections both provide, there are those occasions that call, if not demand, that the record be set straight, and that it be done publicly. We understand that some issues are so sensitive that the standard is that it is better not to leave any paper trail, any evidentiary chain, that could come back and hurt badly. It goes without saying that meetings and discussions about full oil spill liability coverage, as to be absorbed by ExxonMobil doesn’t fall into such category. More tellingly, there is the gravest dangers posed by a potentially massive oil spill, something which no Guyanese in his or her right mind would wish for this country and its neighbours. This is why we say the names mentioned and the Guyana Government all must come clean and speak up to confirm the truths of what was discussed.
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