Fight to keep Gulf of Valencia oil-free

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THE list of opponents to oil exploration in the Gulf of Valencia continues to grow. Jose Mas, president of Calpe’s Royal Yacht Club is also president of the Association of Valencian Community Yacht Clubs.  All members oppose the surveys planned by Cairn Energy, he said.

Mas emphasised the need to fly the flag and defend the Valencia coast at a recent meeting with Ana Perez, local councillor for Land Protection.  He was accompanied by Juan Perez who heads Calpe’s fishing guild which, like all Marina Alta guilds, is fighting the exploration.

Calpe Town Hall has challenged Cairn Energy’s environmental impact assess-ment, Perez assured them.

Authorising the prospections means “a life sentence” for the sea, she said. Earlier Antoni Joan Bertomeu, mayor of Teulada-Moraira, joined the chorus of protests from Denia and Javea.

“Our coast must not suffer, bearing in mind its natural wealth, the fragility of its biodiversity and the harm to tourism and fishing,” Bertomeu said. Benissa Town Hall also rejects the Cairn Energy project in a fight that is uniting the Marina Alta, regardless of local political aims and ideology.

1 COMMENT

  1. These are laudable sentiments that should mean something but the sad fact is that unless the minds of central government can be changed this exploration will be steamrolled through one way or another. Oil companies have huge reserves of cash to spread among those who need to be influenced. The high incidence of corruption in Spain means, in all likelihood, the oil company will win and when they do others will follow.

    The principal reason for all this, as I previously wrote, is money. The oil company wants it and to get it, it has, effectively, to take it out of the pockets of the tourist and fishing industries who will lose and the oil company employees, shareholders and directors will win.

    The tourist boom of 2103 produced €59 billion, which might cause politicians to think about what is at stake. However, if those politicians and the army of hangers-on are not directly benefiting from that boom then they will care little for the consequences of oil exploration off their coast. They will choose to line their own pockets. That is human nature and, lamentably, the way of politics.

    Ecological arguments have seldom won over corporate greed. Morality is not a corporate keystone; in fact it is a hindrance to profit. The legal system affords little protection because, as has been widely reported over many years, those within the legal industry can be bought as easily as a bottle of wine in a supermarket.

    The protesters need precedent and to find that they are going to have to do a lot of research. They also need massive support to combat the massive power of oil companies and they will need a very well coordinated battle plan, which it appears they don’t have as they are reacting to events not creating them. The clock is ticking.

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