On Wednesday the 22 June, the Aljezur “battle bus” departed for Lisbon at 8h00am for our first manifestation in front of Portuguese Parliament where we delivery two A4 Arch Lever files under a scorching sun with hundreds of pages, nearly 27,000 signatures (two petitions) and over 4,000 personal messages to the government objecting to the request for a licence to drill in the Aljezur offshore, requested by the Galp/Eni consortium to DGRM. (You can download some of the docs in the files in the attachment section below)
On arrival we were very well received by delegates from the “Verdes” (Green Party) who were waiting for us outside. Shortly thereafter they were joined by MP’s from PAN, Bloco de Esquerda, PS, a representative of MPT’s MEP and the mayor of Aljezur who took the trouble to join us in Lisbon in support of our initiatives.
All welcomed us with open arms, and shortly thereafter we held a brief press conference.
During the press conference, we were informed that the Parliamentary session scheduled for last Friday to debate and vote on the “oil exploration saga” at the request of the “Verdes / Green Party” in Portugal had been postponed to Friday this week, as a result of requests by various political parties who wanted the opportunity to make specific submissions.
We were further advised that the petition submitted that day by ASMAA together with its supporting documentation would be of great assistance to the MP’s that will be involved in the upcoming parliament debate and vote on upcoming Friday, as it brings new information which will enable them to make more informed interventions backed by the factual data submitted by us.
From there we departed to the offices of the DGRM where we delivered the official opposition documentation set to their management representatives.
We held a meeting with them, during which, ASMAA once again reiterated the fact that a 15-day consultation period was not sufficient time for a proper public consultation process to be effective, just or democratic. Once again ASMAA requested an extension to the consultation timeline. We also requested the appropriate disclosure of documentation to enable properly informed opposing arguments to be made, as these supporting documents were not provided by the ENMC or the DGRM during the 15-day public consultation phase or even following previous requests.
Thereafter we boarded our Aljezur “battle bus” to return home.
When we were halfway in our trip back home we received information that the Minister responsible for the portfolio had issued a ministerial order extending the public consultation period by a further 30-days to 3 August 2016.
As you can well imagine – the bus burst into a party frenzy on receiving such great news just a few hours after our meetings. It was a small victory in this big anti-oil drilling war.
Now that we gained the extension that we fought so hard to get, what can we further do in support of our opposing submission?
Right now, we finalising a socio-economic report, based on a study about the economic and social impact that oil and gas exploration will have on the strong surf tourism experienced in the Costa Vicentina region. In addition we are also analysing ENI’s Scope of Work and Safety documentation that has now been released by ENMC and can be found in the DGRM website, and we will be drafting the appropriate response to it.
What can you do?
Straight away you can write a personal message to the MP’s that will be debating the “oil and gas exploration saga” on Friday where a decision to halt (embargo) the oil and gas exploration in Portugal will take place and will be voted on in Parliament.
Here’s the link that enables you to write to all the MP’s before Friday 1 July 2016. http://www.parlamento.pt/DeputadoGP/paginas/deputados.aspx
You can also continue to share our online petitions, and you can write letters of opposition until the 3rd of August.When writing letters don’t just copy and paste the examples that are running around, we ask that you write about your fears, your feelings and what you personally would like to see happening, and what actions you expect the government to take to meet your various concerns and expectations. But whatever you do, if you write to them and post your letter, or send it via email, please CC us so that we have a record.
If you don’t know what to write then just sign the opposing official petitions if you haven’t done so yet, and spread the word through your friends and family members, either face-to-face or via social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Readers with Fiscal Numbers are still invited to click on this next link, fill in the petition and hit ‘send’
For those without a Fiscal Number, to read and share the petition on social media:
For more Info see support documents annexed below