St. Eustatius: How ‘Green’ is the Golden Rock?

Those rare and endemic species include three small reptiles, the endangered Red Bellied Racer snake and several birds that breed in limited areas; including the Red Billed Tropicbird – said to number only 7,500 worldwide.

Those rare and endemic species include three small reptiles, the endangered Red Bellied Racer snake and several birds that breed in limited areas; including the Red Billed Tropicbird – said to number only 7,500 worldwide.

Part III of a multi-part series originally published on Ecology.com.

By Betsy Crowfoot

Even as St. Eustatius (Statia) was putting the final touches on its Spatial Development Plan last spring, NuStar Energy LLP was forging ahead with preparations for a second oil terminal on the small central-Caribbean Island.

Already the Fortune 500 company has more than 60 storage tanks on the north end of Statia: their largest terminal, according to NuStar’s annual report. And the company hopes to add 30-some additional tanks to an island roughly five miles long by two miles wide. However, their preferred site – a 10-minute walk from downtown Oranjestad – was not zoned for industrial use as such. [Read more...]

St. Eustatius Residents Fear Losing Their Island to Expanded Oil Terminal

Part II of a multi-part series, published at Ecology.com

Oranjestad Bay with ruins of the old waterfront in foreground, vacationing sailboats and tanker in the distance.

Oranjestad Bay with ruins of the old waterfront in foreground, vacationing sailboats and tanker in the distance.

By Betsy Crowfoot

ORANJESTAD, SE – Kenneth Cuvalay, Coordinator of the St. Eustatius Awareness and Development (SEAD) Movement, sat at a restaurant along St. Eustatius’ (Statia) historic waterfront with several opponents of NuStar Energy’s proposed oil terminal expansion.

The informal gathering took place at a spot where 250 years ago the Caribbean’s most prosperous harbor flourished. Now, the potholed street was lined with the ruins of once-flush warehouses, their crumbling stone foundations melting into the black sand and sea. [Read more...]

The Spill Seekers: Sailing into the Gulf after the BP oil spill

Originally published on Outside.com

In the aftermath of the Big Leak, the author wrangles a skipper, a conservationist, and the real Forrest Gump to hoist canvas and sail into the mess that is the Gulf of Mexico. But here’s the crazy part: While stewing in America’s worst environmental disaster, he has a hulluva lot of fun.

Dolphin's Waltz in deep water surrounding the Gulf oil rigs.    Photographer: Andy Anderson

Dolphin's Waltz in deep water surrounding the Gulf oil rigs. Photographer: Andy Anderson

[Read more...]

Can they really Fix BP’s Big Fix?

Oil on Michelle Rodriguez advertising for the film The Big Fix. Photo:Magda Rod

Oil on Michelle Rodriguez advertising for the film The Big Fix. Photo:Magda Rod

Originally published on Triple Pundit.

By Carol Pierson Holding

BP is putting a lot of money behind a TV commercial that opens with “This was the Gulf’s best tourism season in years.” In the sixty-second spot, businesses in Gulf cities like New Orleans and Panama City Florida invite tourists to come back. The ad is gorgeously filmed. Sparkling blue water. Giant flocks of birds. Sumptuous dishes of local fish. It’s the second wave of a campaign to restore tourism hurt by the BP oil spill and just one of BP’s efforts at restitution for regional businesses. [Read more...]

Post-spill, Republican candidates, voters view drilling differently

Originally published by Tallahassee Times.

By Kimberly Blair, Pensacola News

Before black, gooey, and stinking crude oil from the BP rig explosion in the western Gulf of Mexico washed up on the beaches of Florida’s Panhandle last year, residents seemed only mildly concerned about expanding drilling for natural gas or oil in federal Gulf waters.

At that time, one of the most frequent worries was about the impact drilling might have on the flight-training missions of the military bases in Northwest Florida, especially from Eglin Air Force Base. [Read more...]