What interests you about politics?
I have always subscribed to the saying “to whom much is given, much is expected.” As a young child I had the pleasure of having a stepfather who was heavily involved in national politics at a senior governmental level. This allowed my formative years to be blessed with significant and frequent interactions with some of the greatest minds of my nation. I remember spending many nights in the television room pretending to engaged but secretly eavesdropping on conversations in the adjacent balcony of my house. These conversations included then and future Prime Ministers such as A.N.R. Robinson, Basdeo Panday, and Patrick Manning; in addition my exposure was compounded by significant interaction with other brilliant political and legal minds such as Karl Hudson-Phillips, Martin Daly, Ken Gordon, Anthony Smart, Bhoe Tewarie and Selwyn Wilson. I was also gifted with an two exceptional uncles in Bernard Dulal-Whiteway and David Dulal-Whiteway both whom have become stalwarts in the business community and have been in charge of Neal and Massy and Republic Bank respectively. All of this exposure, coupled with my keen intellect, thirst for knowledge, and natural curiosity have led me to become the person that I am today. That person is one who believes soundly in the opening words of this paragraph, one who believes that it is my social responsibility to take what I have learnt, project what I have absorbed, and shoulder my responsibility to utilize my knowledge to the benefit of my fellow citizens.
What interests you about Oil & Energy?
Somewhere along the line in my life I realized the world economy is directly and significantly related to energy production and consumption. The reality is that we have chosen fossil fuels as the source of such energy because of their impressive power conversion ratios and their flexibility of use. The upsurgence of plastic and plastic based products combined with increased worldwide vehicle ownership has only served to further strengthen this dependence. I was also fortunate to be born in an oil and natural gas producing nation, and even more fortunate that my stepfather was once the Minister of Energy in said nation. During his tenure he was the major protagonist behind choosing to diversify our economy by pushing for a focus on natural gas production; a move that history has proven to have reaped significant and countless rewards for our burgeoning economy.
What is your stance on Oil and Energy today?
I think my stance on this topic is quite unique. It is my belief that we need to get to a threshold where both environmentalists and oil companies are at a happy medium. There is certainly something to be said about the over-drilling of oil from our precious Earth and, more specifically, the horrific practice that is Fracking. Conversely there is also something to be said about utilizing oil for its versatility and high latent power capability. I am in support of the Middle Eastern strategy to continue at full production until the fracking companies decide to call it quits. I am certainly not claiming to be a staunch Prius-driving environmentalist but if one were to observe firsthand the horrible effects that fracking has on the “fracked’ area, from severe contamination of run-off water to the destruction of the actual earth on said area, then perhaps you would easily understand my position. Wait, I just realized that I DO drive a Prius, but that was more a result of economics than any innate environmental Angelina Jolie-ness (** not sure if we could include this in the blog for light heartedness lol). At any rate, reality dictates that we will always use oil for certain things (plastic etc) and it will remain the go-to source of fuel for certain applications such as aviation or rocket fuel. However, I believe that once we drive the fracking companies out of business, there is going to be a medium where the price is in what I call the sweet spot. This sweet spot is a high price which provides maximum profit per barrel such that a smaller daily global supply provides equivalent economic gain for oil producing countries as higher production at lower prices. My hope is that this unattractive price point shall limit usage by consumers and manufacturers to only what is absolutely necessary while still providing economic gain for conventional producers. As a fortunate ancillary benefit it would make recycling current plastics more attractive to consumers and manufacturers as the price of new production would be increased. (depends on you if to include this, don’t have any reference sources even though it’s a personal opinion blog…) I read once that we may have enough plastic bottles and containers on the planet currently such that if all were recycled it would limit new plastic production to 3% of its current amount! Another interesting fact is that the US EPA has stated that recycling 100 bottles or cans could light your bedroom for two whole weeks!
What inspires you most in politics?
Besides the obvious familial inspiration; the fact that you as one singular person, or as part of a small team, can contribute so significantly to the enhancement of the everyday lives of millions of people is my main inspiration. I firmly believe that those who can, must. Somewhat ingrained in my belief system is the need for “social responsibility” as termed by Adam Smith. I believe that politicians are entrusted with shouldering the responsibility to lead their countries to make the world a better place for all. I respond to the word inspiration in a most cautious term as the reality is that most politicians don’t realize that politics is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration and when that stark reality hits them they unfortunately resort to a dreaded homonym, corruption. I hope that as us millennials begin to enter office we can change the path on which current politicians and political systems seem to have embarked.
Have you always been passionate about politics?
Yes, my passion for politics began somewhere between 7 and 9 years old. I was always an early study and began reading newspapers and political stories as early as age 3. My early exposure to politics from my parents has certainly fueled my inner politician. At this stage of my life I am unsure that I would ever pursue a frontline political career but I hope that one day that my knowledge and contributions can be of great benefit and assistance to a, or some, politician/s in my chosen party.