After staying silent for five years on the transgressions of his own party in the oil industry, Leader of the Alliance For Change (AFC), Khemraj Ramjattan, has finally found his voice to speak on critical issues plaguing the industry.
During a press conference that was held earlier today, Ramjattan was keen to express his displeasure with the fact that the PPP/C administration has sent head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Dr. Vincent Adams, on 126 days leave with immediate effect. This was done in spite of the fact that Dr. Adams has been a key advocate in demanding that ExxonMobil addresses key environmental issues before it can receive its permit for the Payara Field Development Plan.
It has been reported in the media that two of the issues at hand relate to flaring and the disposal of produced water into the ocean.
Dr. Adams made it clear that ExxonMobil should not be allowed to have another permit which allows wiggle room flaring. He had said that the company already has two permits for Liza Phase One and Two which contains such loopholes and he is now working to correct those.
Those permits also allow ExxonMobil to dump water it finds during the extraction of oil, which is believed to be toxic. Dr. Adams wants the company to reinject this water into the ground for the Payara project but ExxonMobil believes this would be too costly for it to do.
Taking this into consideration, Ramjattan said that the move by the PPP/C is one that ought to be condemned. “Sending him home is a most egregious development especially in the midst of negotiations in connection with the Payara FDP…In view of the fact that we know of better methods today that can avoid environmental issues, and yes it will cost more to put systems in place, but let us spend, regardless of whether they say they will take their money elsewhere…,” the AFC leader said.
Ramjattan also expressed his disappointment with the fact that the person leading the Payara FDP review team is a former Premier of Alberta, Alison Redford who comes with serious ethical question marks on her background. Guyana Standard would have reported that Redford was found by the authorities of her province to be improperly spending taxpayers’ money.
Ramjattan said that it is a grave day for the environment and all the issues surrounding oil and gas. The AFC leader said that these concerns are further exacerbated by the fact that the EPA is now being managed or led by a replacement who has no experience in oil and gas.