Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. If you’ve been following the news about our recently discovered territory of oil and natural gas in the Med. Sea, then you know that this problem is fast becoming politicized. After all, Lebanon and Israel do not agree on their maritime borders, which is dangerous, given that the two have been in a declared state of war since 1948. This issue has gone to the U.N. for resolution. However, an Iranian oil company has been given the rights to drill in Lebanese waters. And who would have guessed…matters are about to get even more complicated.

 Cairn Energy, an energy firm based in the United Kingdom, has formed a consortium, including the Beirut-based CCC, to bid for the rights to drill for gas and oil off the coast of Lebanon. They plan to bid for licensing by next year. Although they have been cautioned about the political sensitivities around this issue, Cairn Energy CEO Simon Thomson, states that maritime disputes are fairly common and that there’s nothing that’s stopping his company from being interested in this licensing round.

My fellow Lebanese, thus far, we have British, Iranian, Russian, Syrian, and Lebanese hands in involved in our pursuit for using our natural resources. Does anyone find this problematic? Granted, the Levantine basin  holds roughly 122 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas, making it one of the world’s largest richest fossil fuel sources, and that’s why this area is so coveted.  That said, this is leading to a ridiculous amount of foreign involvement in our political affairs. We will not be able to assert our political or economic independence if we rely on foreign private companies to drill in our waters. Besides, we stand to lose in the long run if we invest in sources of energy that are not renewable. After all, sooner or later this source will run out, and what we will end up with is an environment that we have further polluted by air, land, and sea. Using oil and natural gas as sources of energy has permanent environmental consequences, such as disrupting marine eco-systems, polluting our food sources, changes in our weather, and more.  

Lebanon, it is time for us to invest in sources of renewable energy. It’s cheaper, cleaner, and leads to more political independence. Are you willing to increase the amount of foreign involvement in our foreign affairs? Are you willing to risk yet more militarized disputes? Are you willing to live in a dirtier environment that we may not be able to rehabilitate? We can stop this now. Let us invest in renewable energy. We can do it, Lebanon!  

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