Thursday, April 27, 2006



We reject the ALUTRINT EIA process because it has violated the National Environmental Policy. As a result the EIA is deeply flawed.

To date information required by law to assess the cost and benefits of the ALUTRINT smelter has not been forthcoming, even though the period for public comment closes today April 28, 2006. What is more troubling is that even the Joint Select Committee of Parliament has not had access to this information in a timely manner.

The true costs of smelters, of both the ALUTRINT and ALCOA smelters and the dangerous industries planned at the Union Industrial Estate are not being properly counted. We may not even be able to count them. What is at stake for Trinidad and Tobago is not only the giving away of our natural gas, which accounts for 20% of our GDP, and the dangers and damages that will be caused by these industries, but also our precious fresh water aquifers and lost opportunity to develop an agro-industries, eco-tourism, fisheries and a genuinely sustainable country.

The social injustice to the people of Union and the South in general is unacceptable. They are being made to accept this industrialization which comes with highly dangerous risks in a most undemocratic fashion. The old vulgar political machinery of our society is being used to distract people from understanding how they will be affected and from acting as they ought to be free to act in a true democracy.

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago is betraying its citizens. Its vision is uniformed and perverted and represents a break down of democracy in our society.

Everywhere outside of Trinidad and Tobago, we are being seen as hypocrites. We are going to be the Small Island Developing State, which will break from its brothers and sisters to behave recklessly while we look for sympathy in the world for our vulnerability to sea level rise and hurricanes. We fought down Barbados for flying fish but will give Alcoa our natural gas. Alcoa claims to be a socially responsible company but have begun to interfere in our democracy through their advertisements in our news papers and attempts to influence our minds even before the proper EIA process has begun for their proposed smelter.

We have no problem with the Prime Minister’s vision for a modern industrial society, but that does not have to be built on the most dangerous industries in the world. We have alternatives. Let us invest in the industries that will benefit Trinbagonians in manner that is equitable and does not destroy our other possibilities in our fisheries, tourism, recreation, agro-industry, sustenance from our forests and sense of decency towards each other.

We are not on a path to becoming a modern industrial society. We are going down the road to being a modern industrial colony.


Blogger Jacqueline said...

Hmmm - dammed if they do and if they don't - If they talk about the smelter before the process calls for discussion, they are "interfering in our democracy". Don't talk about it until the process calls for public meetings - they are trying to hide and do things in secret.

10:14 AM  

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