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May 27, 2010

Do the economic benefits outweigh the risks of offshore drilling?

Our blog has been overflowing with reaction from viewers on the position taken by Prime Minister Dean Barrow on offshore oil exploration. The PM said on Wednesday that he won’t stand in the way of progress referring to the eighteen concessions granted for exploration on land and sea. We ask viewers: “Do you believe that the economic benefits outweigh the potential risks from drilling on the Barrier Reef?” Get involved by emailing your comments and responses to or by sending a text, using SMART phones only, to 8686. You can also participate in our online poll at

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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10 Responses for “Do the economic benefits outweigh the risks of offshore drilling?”

  1. Christian Bech says:

    The risk outweigh economic benefits many times. The oil income circles within a fairly small group of people, while the benefit for the ordinary man is very small. Some people get a job – yes that is right, but the spill, when it comes will take away the livelyhood for at least 30 % of the population.
    Most likely who will need to pay a many billion $ clean-up, will declare bankruptcy and leave the mess.
    Best suggestion is develope our indland oil resources to be refined here in the country and adjust the production to self consumption. The funds now used to transport oil out of the country and back in when refined should be used for development.
    No oil would pass through the reef – not drilled – not going out neither going in.
    If the price of oil products could be lowered within Belize – it would boost and create financing for real development in agriculture and food for people. This would create jobs many fold of what the off-shore oil- drilling would.
    Invested in long term sustainable production with in the country could bring real prosperty, while the off-shore drilling only represent properity for a few, while putting the basis for our main economic drivers in danger.
    It is not a question if spills happens – only a question about when.

  2. Selena Lucas says:

    No to Offshore Drilling!!!!!

  3. Dr. D. W. Schwerdtfeger says:

    The potential losses to our fishing and tourist industries to say nothing of the loss of quality of life in Belize for our own citizens far out-weigh the potential economic advantages of the oil. Clearly, the risk is significant. We should not be drilling before we have perfected safeguards against leaks. At this point, there is no guarantee that the technology will ever get to that point. Clearly if the U.S. with all its money and experts could not prevent this, little Belize has a slim to none chance of avoiding disaster. For the PM to pretend otherwise is a dis-service to his people and our collective future. Let’s leave something intact and beautiful for our children. We don’t have to destroy it all for short-term profit.

  4. Lillian la Langosta says:

    NO they do not. A spill like the one in the states will destroy the reef, the mangroves and the seagrass. After this there will be no lobster, nno conch or no fish…and no tourists! The sea is the backbone of the Belizean economy. It will be a wise decision not break the back of the country. I like Dean Barrow, however, if there is a spill he will remain wealthy and many Belizeans who make a good living and maintain their families satisfactorily will become skraipdog.

  5. gal from Placencia says:

    In the states those who lost thier livelihoods along the gulf coast have opportunties all across that big nation, they could even come to Belize to restart their life. What choices will be available to Belizeans when fishing and tourism are ruinied? WHERE CAN THEY GO???

    Take a look at how oil companies have made a mess in less affluent places like Nigeria and the Amazon. Is the GOB going to assume that oil compainies will handle all the costs related to cleaning up and mitigating an oil spill disaster? You know what they say about those who “ASSUME”? They make an @$$ out of YOU and ME…

    What is happening to BELIZEANS’ PRIDE? We are the JEWEL in the Caribbean!! Lets keep the jewel shining, a SHINING EXAMPLE of the value of our people over profit!

  6. Elgin Martinez says:

    Barrow don’t mine spilling some oil in Belize because he already have somewhere in the States to live.Furthermore he’s got interest buildingup on his 3.5million.

  7. crime free belize says:

    listen my belizean people,if a big and very wealthy company like BP,can have a break down in their hi tech oil exploration system,imagine what can,or will happen in belize by these new start up companies,they surely wont have the equipment or financial backing in case of an accident.Dean barrow might seem to know what’s good for him to get rich,but not for a country that belong’s to the people of belize.It ‘s sad to see how so many of our politicians is not their to represent the people of belize and their best intrest,but simply to fill their own pockets,have’nt england already raped our country of all the mahogany trees,then ralph and musa,now dean barrow is trying to pollute or land and sea,along with our country that’s aleady polluted by gangs,drugs and crime.Any politician that steal’s from our country,should be shot,i call it crime’s against the people of belize.My people when will it stop,does’nt anyone represent the love for our country anymore,we only have about 300,000. people,there should be enough money to go around for every belizean to live with the basic necessities.people stop aiming your weapons towards each other,and turn them on those at the top that’s reponsible for the suffering of the belizean people,spanish,arab or black politician’s all seem to be there for only one reason,to take and not to give.Violence seems to be the only universal language people will listen to.

  8. Belizean says:

    That’s right. Barrow doesn’t care. If anything major happens, he could run somewhere else to live… He doesn’t care. This is all about money. Who benefits from oil drilling? Just the the thieves in government, i.e. Dean Barrow and every minister in office.

  9. Lindsay Howard says:

    Our government can’t even make people comply with the law now – how many times has BNE gotten into trouble over doing something it’s not supposed to be doing — AFTER it already did it? Why on earth would we think that an off-shore oil company would be any different than on inland oil company – or that the government would do any better job of monitoring and enforcing the law for off-shore oil drilling that it can’t even SEE than it does with inland oil drilling and other matters like . . . crime? Ridiculous.

  10. RedBwai says:

    Benefits? which benefits???……i’m surely not seeing any “benefits” from the Spanish lookout wells, so what makes you think i will see any from any offsore drilling??? There is not and there will never be a single form of economic benefit for any of us now that we have struck oil here in Belize. The only ones benefitting are the outside companies who are raping our country of it’s non renewable natural resources and not paying their fair share back to the people. To me there is no economic benefit at all from oil for the everyday man…so best thing they leave the oil where it is and don’t bother pumping it out the ground because we won’t get a penny out of it anyways.

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