Our journalists have got to start asking the tough questions

Our journalists have got to start asking the tough questions

Dear Editor,

Very often we take a message on its face value and would quickly be inclined to create a ruckus. If you want to be really analytical, it is wise to look at the messenger and the circumstances in which the message is delivered. The most recent message, creating a national outcry, “Guyana erred when it allowed Exxon to dump toxic water into the Ocean” (KN, November 28th) is based on the pontifications of Dr. Adams, head of the EPA after he was fired. This article in context, is essentially a confession that he (Dr. Adams) had failed Guyana by being the head of the EPA and signing the Lisa 1 and 2 environmental permits for Exxon to “dump produced water into the ocean.”

Dr. Adams cited his 30 years of experience working in oilfields where “every drop of produced water had to be re-injected into the reservoirs.” Dr. Adams as head of the EPA knew what was right, yet he signed Lisa 1 and 2 environmental impact assessments to dump produced water in the environment. Dr. Adams didn’t need to swim to the South Pole to tell the media that he was being pressured into signing something that he knows could be detrimental to the environment. He signed and kept his silence.

The article states that Dr. Adams was asked to – but did get to participate in the evaluation of the Payara FDP- because he was sent on leave and the journalist concludes that, “Once he was out of the way, ExxonMobil, it appeared, got its way.” Our journalists have got to start seeing through these thin veils presented by these technocrats and start asking the tough questions. What is there to convince the public that Dr. Adams, after silently signing Lisa1 & 2 EIA to dump produced water, would have held up his hands against dumping in the Payara project? I see nothing to convince me! What happened to the golden rule of doing a job “without fear or favor?” The evidence suggest that Dr. Adams seems incapable of that.

Speaking of Exxon’s reluctance to invest US 300 million in technology to reinject produced water, Adams made a comparative analysis.
“So what they are saying in other words is that the health, safety and the environment of the people of Guyana is not worth this US$300M.”
If Dr. Adams had said the above before he was fired, I would have been rooting for him to continue as the head of the EPA. The fact that waited until he was fired to do his comparative analysis, presents a skewered version of patriotism by Dr. Adams – an opportunist.

Yours truly,
Rudolph Singh

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