After five years of abhorrent failure in the energy sector, it is time the Prime Minister end his political charade on misleading the country on its true state of affairs as the facts show that the energy sector is in the most deplorable, despicable and crumbling state it has ever been.
This week’s announcement that this country’s largest ammonia producer Nutrien has closed its Number One plant, worsening the crisis at the Point Lisas Industrial Estate, is a clear indication that the Prime Minister misled the country in his Mid-Year Review contribution when he said: “We are in a much better position today in energy than when we came into Government in September 2015”.
The reality, despite the Prime Minister’s attempted political gimmicks in the Parliament is that our energy sector is in a crisis as never seen before with six petrochemical plants being shut down at Point Lisas in the last six months adding to the massive closures of YARA, Arcelor Mittal and other Methanol Holdings (MHTL) Plants in previous years which have all occurred under the watch of this government.
It is nothing but dishonest for this Government to blame COVID-19 or the global demand for the downfall of these plants as since 2017 the haemorrhage of petrochemical plants began. Today, the millions lost in revenue and hundreds of job losses at Point Lisas are all as a direct result of the Rowley regime’s poor negotiations with up streamers which have resulted in higher uncompetitive natural gas prices, a problem which down streamers have been complaining about in recent years.
It is shameful that the Prime Minister in an attempt to cover up the fact that this Government has not matched the oil and gas production of the period prior to 2015 even misled the Parliament by saying that gas production now averaged 3.8 billion standard cubic feet per day when Ministry of Energy figures show the actual figure to be 250 million standard cubic feet per day less for the calendar year 2019.
Even more damning than his attempts to mislead on gas production were his misguided attempts to take credit for the deep-water exploration success which were all as a result of the deepwater blocs approved by the former Kamla Persad Bissessar administration while his government has failed to undertake a single deepwater bid round in five years and the sole shallow water bid round undertaken failed.
Instead of peddling untruths to mask his regime’s failure, the Prime Minister must tell the population, where is the Dragon Gas he promised? After five years where is the new fiscal regime and incentives they promised to stimulate growth in the energy sector? After two years why is the Petrotrin refinery still shut down and thousands of former energy sector workers still on the breadline?
It is time the Rowley regime ends its electioneering untruths and admits that their incompetence has plunged our once robust energy sector into crisis. The Rowley regime has not only failed on its energy sector promises made five years ago but has harmed our energy sector so much that decades of hard work has been destroyed.
Member of Parliament for Pointe a Pierre