JIS News

Minister of Information, Senator Burchell Whiteman, has called on members of the public to conserve on energy, as the country’s annual oil bill was too high. Speaking at the post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House on Monday (May 10), Senator Whiteman said while attempts were being made to have the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), increase its oil production so as to lower prices, the country needed to play its part.
“The signs are not yet looking positive but we are always on the look-out for breakthroughs where some of the major players will make decisions that will influence that action, but I think we have to address our own situation and see how we can best protect ourselves,” he said.
The Minister emphasised that Jamaicans needed to conserve on energy in whatever way they could. “I think that the time is coming when we have to look individually, as well as Government itself and its own operations, at how we conserve,” Mr. Whiteman said.
Senator Whiteman pointed out that the Minister with responsibility for energy, Phillip Paulwell, would this week address the House of Representatives on the country’s response to the crisis.
“The Minister responsible for energy will be speaking in Parliament this week and I have no doubt that the matter will be addressed. It continues to be a matter of concern and attention. We are very aware and we have been speaking about this and taking as much steps as we can,” he said.
World oil prices last week soared to US$40 a barrel, the highest level for 13 years, on fears of terrorist strikes on oil facilities in the Middle East and concerns over tight stocks of US gasoline.
Last calendar year, the country’s oil bill was US$813 million, and if current trends continue, the bill for this year could be close to US$1 billion.

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