Are we ready for energy changes?
As a nation we have been pre-occupied with a range of issues. Some are deadly serious, such as the poorly thought out and even more poorly legislated Defence (Amendment) Bill (or whatever is its current name, given the amount of changes it has gone through). Others are plainly inane, such as who has recently become proficient in Spanish. Both sides of the floor are supremely guilty here.
Whilst this is going on our world is experiencing a seismic shift in the area that should matter most to us—energy. Recently within a few days the country lost out on foreign investment projects in the energy sector worth approximately TT$50 billion, with nary a word from the Government.
These projects were loudly touted in recent budgets; now, not a sound. There have also been revelations that the US is even closer to becoming a net energy exporter than was previously estimated, and that the technologies that have allowed this development are soon to be replicated on a wide scale in China and Australia. Japan also recently announced that they have started mining methane from the sea bed.
Not that I am trying to be alarmist, or saying that we should be requesting our final meal, however we do need to start sharing the plans to help us to continue to thrive in this changing world, assuming, of course, that we have such plans. I refuse to think that successive governments would have sat idly by while stunning changes were taking place in the industry that's the life-blood of the country.
Someone should be letting us know what are the markets our new focus will be on; if and how we plan to use the "new" techniques to assist our own oil and gas recovery; what new projects will be coming on stream to replace the cancelled ones and so on.
I hope the thinking behind scrapping SAUTT and the OPVs and replacing them with, ah well, nothing; doesn't extend to the industry that has allowed us to be where we are today. I'm sure that isn't the case. Surely it couldn't be, right?