Beaches Under Pressure

Palapas at Eagle Beach
Beautiful Eagle Beach at sunset

Many don’t realize just how vulnerable Caribbean island nations in reality are in terms of environment, economy and weather to mention a few. Many times economic and environmental interests collide. And sometimes weather comes down hard on already devastated islands.

There is enough negativity in the world to go around, therefore I tend to skip the negativity and focus on the positive. Leave negative energies for others. In this case I find myself obligated to comment on an incident that happened last week.

Together with other islands in the area, some beaches in Aruba were polluted by something that appeared to be crude last week. The blame-game started quickly and the first suspect is Valero Aruba Refinery, located in St. Nicolas. Others suggest that tankers on the open sea are to blame or perhaps nearby oil-rich Venezuela. We will never know. The beaches have since been cleaned up by Valero’s clean-up team and local officials are satisfied with Valero’s efforts.

Valero’s head office has been trying to find a buyer for this 80+ year old refinery for months now. Reportedly Valero is asking $2.8 billion for the 275.000 barrel-a-day refining capacity facility. No word yet of a potential buyer, though, it has been rumored that Brazil’s state-owned oil giant, Petrobras, is interested. Regardless of the ownership of the refinery I don’t expect much to change at the refinery.

Valero owns a large chunk of real estate on a prime beach front location on the south-east part of Aruba (click on image for larger view)

By Gabriel

Informing travelers about Aruba since 2007, and trying to provide value to Aruba visitors.

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