Latest update March 22nd, 2023 12:59 AM
Mar 13, 2023 Editorial
Kaieteur News – The women of Guyana are feeling the squeeze, they know about pain and fears, what it is to worry about family, about the state of the home. Guyanese women still possessing some amount of self-respect are concerned about what the Guyana Government is doing as it relates to protecting this country should a destructive oil spill occur in ExxonMobil’s offshore oil operations. The fact that those operations are over a hundred kilometers away does not provide any comfort, for when a serious oil spill happens, it is as good (or bad) as taking place right on one’s doorstep, with damaging consequences sharply felt. This is why some Guyanese women are taking to the streets, and for the simplest of reasons. They want protection, the security blanket that proper insurance offers in event of an oil spill.
We at this publication commend and support these brave women of Guyana, from the Red Thread organization, and others, long known for devoted service to this country. They have been tireless and fearless before. It is encouraging to note, that they have not lost a step when boldness is called for, when truth is a necessity that cannot be overlooked nor played games with, as circumstances dictate.
The truth is that Guyana needs as much protection as it can get so as not to be left holding a big bag of liabilities that it cannot afford to pay. In other words, we are staring at so many liabilities in the local and regional realms that the specter of national bankruptcy hovers. The women protesting in the streets of Guyana are worried about intensifying operations by ExxonMobil at its offshore production facilities. They are concerned that the vitally required robust full liability coverage from Esso Guyana’s parent company, ExxonMobil, is not where it should be, which is signed, sealed, and in effect.
The PPPC Government has been all talk, lots of hot air, and not much else whenever full liability coverage is among the issues raised. PPPC leaders, spearheading the nation’s oil sector, have been too hesitant, too complacent, and too resistant to frank discussions on where this country really stands with ExxonMobil. Unknown, is how much pressure is being applied to the company to get the insurance needed, to give us some peace of mind. Peace of mind, because Guyana would not be on the hook for devastations from a catastrophic oil spill, which could negatively impact the national economies of other countries in the region. Peace of mind that we ourselves would have something in place to see us through any damage, any loss, any expenses that could all be part of the kind of oil spill feared, with us left naked and hanging.
Full coverage liability protection is not a kindness from ExxonMobil, it is a nonnegotiable obligation of the company, and of that there should be no ifs, ands, or buts. It must be a done deal, with no more of this waffling and wiggling around by Vice President Bharat Jagdeo. Guyanese are getting more disgusted and more upset with the PPPC Government, with VP Jagdeo, and ExxonMobil for fooling around and dancing around for so long, with this straightforward and clear-cut issue of full liability coverage. As we noted in our March 9th edition, the women protesting in the streets are unhappy, as one woman made clear for the little group: “We…are concerned and we are angry and we mad that they take they eyes and pass us and we fed up of this eye pass because they on the one hand reporting how much billions they are making in oil profits from Guyana and yet they eyes so pass us, that they are not offering us full liability coverage.”
It is time that Guyanese, both women and men, get mad and get going for what they should get from ExxonMobil for this top quality, bargain oil that it is grabbing from Guyana by over a million barrels weekly. Full liability coverage is only a start. Royalties and taxes are others in a list of demands. We must demand of ExxonMobil, and if it does not respond favorably, then Guyanese must get out in the streets to get ExxonMobil to agree to our demands. Or, there is the alternative: get out of Guyana.
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