Ahead of the Croatian government’s vote today on offers for the Adriatic Sea tenders, Clean Adriatic Sea Alliance (CASA) was contacted by a reporter from the Wall Street Journal, who’s first question was: ‘Why are you against offshore drilling in the Croatian part of the Adriatic Sea?’ Their answer follows…
As the infographic from Oceana above clearly shows, it’s not the biggest spills that post the greatest threat, but it’s those constant small spills which are just part of the process.
The Croatian government continues to claim to adhere to the highest environmental standards yet moving ahead with awarding tenders for exploration and exploitation today, demonstrates disdain for it’s own minister of of the Environment.
Last month, Croatia’s Environment and Nature Protection Minister Mihael Zmajlović, stated that no contracts would be made without the completed environment impact study. Less than a week later, the Government confirmed that it was ready to release the names of the winning bids!!!
So why, why are we against drilling?
Because Croatia has the cleanest water for swimming in all of Europe. Tested and measured!. And we don’t believe their claims of the ‘highest environmental standards’, because currently they don’t exist.
Because Croatia has numerous marine protected areas, sensitive ecosystems and marine life that would be adversely impacted by oil exploration and exploitation processes.
Because 90% of the Croatian Adriatic sea is up for sale, due to government projections that it will earn $2.5 billion USD over five years. Receiving bids for only ½ the blocks, the price of a critical natural resource is now 50% off.
Because the Croatian government in it’s wisdom is threatening to destroy the $8.5 billion tourism industy, the fishing industry, and the environment for $250 million in annual revenue for 5 years. I am not an economist, but I’m pretty good with math, and this just does not add up.
Because the actions taken by the Croatian government will provide an excuse for other countries bordering the Adriatic sea to pursue the same misguided excuse for an energy policy.
Because we have children, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and neighbors who all depend on the sea in one way or another. It feeds, cools, nourishes and inspires us all in ways that can not be measured in dollars.