The decision by the PPP/C government to send the Head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Dr Vincent Adams on leave immediately while he was in the midst of important decisions on the operations of ExxonMobil is deeply disturbing and raises serious questions about whether President Ali’s government is truly committed to ensuring the robust protection of the environment.
While as Head of the EPA, Dr Adams distinguished himself by enlivening an organisation that had not performed its wide-ranging tasks with any verve or dedication for years. Indeed, it was under consecutive PPP/C administrations that the EPA had been left to atrophy.
It is no secret that while as Head of the EPA Dr Adams stepped on toes in the interest of the protection of the environment, no matter how influential the companies were and this earned him powerful adversaries. The last thing that this administration should encourage is wholesale debasement of the EPA Act at the behest of marauding private sector interests.
President Ali must explain this decision and provide the requisite assurances that environmental protection will not be undermined by Guyana’s foray into the arena of oil and gas or of any other endeavour for that matter.
There can be no compromising on environmental protection. The wages of such are and will be astronomic.