It was quite easy to remain silent on the geothermal hype that has been the topic of numerous discussions here on Nevis for approximately the past two years.” Refusing to voice opinion on the subject was simply a matter of awaiting the next episode because of the soap-opera type interest that came along with it. For those of us who followed the series Dallas with J. R. Ewing, the other Ewing family members, the Barnes family and others on that cast, Nevis geothermal with some of its players strike a similar platform in this different decade.” I was, however, forced to fast-forward this working article because of questions asked by my five-year-old son when he awoke to the steam and noise pollution in the Estate Hamilton area on Monday morning.” His queries on Monday night on the same subject drove me to the computer to write.” Residents of Hamilton, the close-by Carino Hamilton Development Villas, upper Government Road and surrounding areas must have also been apprehensive about the activities taking place with the ongoing expedition. Christmas is not far away and we are long past the days of our Boxing Day “Sagwa”, “Bazzading” and “Nearga Bizness” entertainment. However, I’m sure those good old guys would have had a few lines thrown in regarding this geothermal situation.” With the Nevis Island Administration contemplating purchasing two new generators for NEVLEC, the chatter seems serious enough to justify some sober response. Let me state that my only knowledge of geothermal is what I”ve read from various websites and other news items. Using that limited information and formulating my own commonsensical views, I”m inclined to state some opinions on this very important topic. Geothermal was rarely heard about here on Nevis before this present government started advertising their find on files. I must confess I heard very little about it before then, similar to not hearing much about so many things that happened and presently happening on our beautiful little island.” The fact about geothermal being introduced and read in the House of Assembly in December 2005 is undisputable.”” Proof of it also being discussed at other forums should be enough for us to rest the notion aside that CCM was silent on the matter. However, with all the uncertainties surrounding this highly technical and fragile expedition, one can now appreciate the wisdom of CCM proceeding cautiously and with profound care.” Although geothermal prospects might be great and we might have our own pot of gold resting miles beneath us, there has been no guarantee from anyone about the final outcome.” So many variables, so many avenues in which to venture, so many things have do be accomplished with precision between drilling, harnessing and the time the finished product is ready to be distributed. It would only be foolhardy to boast about supplying and exporting geothermal energy, as it have already been done by those who supposedly hold the keys.” A bid was made by West Indies Power to supply the U.S. Virgin Islands with 130 Kg of geothermal energy.” Anguilla was also approached on the matter and at least one representative from that island came to Nevis to investigate.” Others have been approached and offered as well.” Why take the chance and push the intangible so hard when so many rivers are to be crossed and so many corners are to be passed before reaching the bridge?” It certainly seems like desperate egos grasping for unearned recognition gratification. Numerous worrying concerns exist surround this geothermal saga and some will be addressed in a subsequent edition.” The character of some of those involved causes one to wonder very seriously. When one of the main players indicate that the source of funding for this drilling expedition cannot be revealed by him even if he wanted to, makes it very suspicious regarding the entire project. When secrecy surrounds the awarding of contracts and the fact that drilling actually started months before Nevisians were publicly informed about the licensing agreement and other vital aspects of the undertaking, shows novices at work. When the minister responsible declares publicly that he makes no apologies for granting permission to West Indies Power to drill without a license, it shows arrogance in office and makes one wonder how many more feel above the laws of the land and this federation. Part two of some general concerns will be forthcoming shortly. Perhaps the ongoing budget debate in the House of Assembly will shed some plausible light on the subject.
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