This month, Bahamas Petroleum Company is set to begin exploratory oil drilling in Bahamian waters, about 240 kilometers (150 miles) from the Florida coast. Environmental groups have approached the Bahamian Supreme Court, seeking an immediate stay on the company’s drilling operations; they say the government unlawfully granted permits to drill. Environmentalists, many of them based in the U.S., oppose the project citing potential impacts on nearby marine protected areas, fish stocks, and the effect of spills in Bahamian and U.S. waters. The company says that the island nation’s economy, battered by the effects of Hurricane Dorian in 2019 and COVID-19 this year, could rebound on the back of oil revenues and much-needed jobs from drilling. The entry of STENA ICEMAX, a hulking 750-foot drilling vessel, into Bahamian this week signaled that a months-long battle over the blue waters of the Caribbean nation had come to a head. The ship, deployed by Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC), is set to begin exploratory offshore oil drilling in Bahamian waters, 240 kilometers (150 miles) from the coast of Florida, this month. Environmental groups approached the Bahamian Supreme Court on Dec. 10, saying the government’s granting of permits was “procedurally unfair, unlawful, an abuse […]

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