Thursday, January 19, 2012

January 19,2012 ~ Not My Usual 'STUFF'

I try. I try really hard to keep my cool and NOT vent some of my political views and dissatisfaction here in this space. My intention with this blog was to make friends and promote my writing. Today there is something I have to talk about.

Yesterday, my little island, and the country it comprises along with two even smaller islands, were dealt an economic blow that they may never recover from. I live on the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  We are a U.S. Territory. Kind of like a colony. The U.S. government pushes us around, but we have no vote or say in what happens in the States or what the Feds do to us. I’m a U.S. citizen. The U.S. issues my passport, but I will not be allowed to vote in YOUR Presidential election. When it’s convenient for the U.S. to claim us, they do. Otherwise, we’re kind of like the poor relations nobody wants to talk about. This isn’t the point of this post, just a little background.

The island of St. Croix is the home to Hovensa. Hovensa operates the second largest oil refinery in the U.S. (this is one of the times when the U.S. likes to claim us, so they can say this), the third largest oil refinery in the world.  Hovensa is a joint venture between Hess Oil, Big Oil in the U.S. and Petroleos de Venezuela S.A., a national company headed by the Venezuelan government or none other than Hugo Chavez. Are you surprised? Didn’t you think that Uncle Hugo (he’s referred to like that down here) was not necessarily a friend of the U.S.?

Anyway…maybe you have heard or maybe not, but Hugo has been up to one of his old tricks; saber rattling at the U.S. He’s signed contracts to ship much of his oil to China. He’s trying to build stronger alliances with other (Arab) OPEC Countries and recently the Pres. of Iran visited and they joked about nuclear weapons for Venezuela (isn’t that a sobering thought).

Yesterday, Hess Oil announced to the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands that they will close Hovensa in thirty days (mid-February) because it is losing money and is not ‘economically feasible to be kept functioning’. Interesting that the oil business, particularly Big Oil is losing money. What are you paying at the pump?

Regardless, of all the political rhetoric, this will economically devastate our country and more particularly our island. The Governor and other politicians are already making all kinds of promises and predictions but, unfortunately, these are promises and predictions they couldn’t keep even if they were honest and above board. Like most governments in the Caribbean they take political corruption seriously and to places you cannot even imagine.

This probably won’t even make for a small byline in newspapers in the States or other countries,  but for us in the Caribbean it is a disaster of astronomical proportions. The Caribbean, like Africa, is a place where nobody really cares what happens. Certainly, there’s more behind this than an oil refinery not being economically feasible. The citizens of the U.S. might want to take note, this type of thing could possibly be a foreshadow of things to come in the ’boom’ states of oil exploration and development. It would be in everyone’s best interests to not be caught ‘asleep at the wheel’.

My income does not come directly from Hovensa, but something this big, leaving our economy, will affect us all. 

Just thought you might want to know.


  1. Thanks for the information. I'll have to look into that. On a happy note... I'm your 100th follower!

  2. Wow, I had no idea! And how on earth can an oil company be losing money?

  3. This is obviously terrible for St Croix, but not very surprising.

  4. I hadn't heard a thing about this. All that's been on the news is Super Bowl preparations and the cruise ship that crashed. I believe we should be told these more important stories.

  5. Alright, Woo-Hoo! Back in the business of commenting it seems.

    For now, just a quick note:

    No problem with the Andy/Kelly name mix-up. The fact is, his real name was Kelly but he eventually began going by "Andy" instead. I think it was because he liked the alliteration of "Andy Anderson" and he probably didn't like Kelly because it's a girl's name too.

    I found it difficult to call him "Andy" because I knew him for many years before that as Kelly. Plus, I like the name Kelly far better than I do Andy. (I like it for both his and hers!)

    So, for years I still called him by the real name, but finally trained myself to go with Andy because he was such a good friend and it's what he preferred.

    Since he's been gone, I refer to him at different times as both Kelly AND Andy. So your confusion was understandable. Nothing to feel the least bit bad about, and in the future, feel free to refer to him by either name (I'll know who we're yakkin' about.)

    If you want to please him, use "Andy"; if you want to please me, use "Kelly". Either way, it'z all good!

    Yak Later...

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  6. It's all about greed. Someone somewhere wasn't making enough money so they shut things down. Sorry that you don't get a say in the states' election but honestly, it's all done by electoral votes and only the big states matter.

  7. Im sorry to hear this. Losing money...probably because they have been making so much and living the high life any thing less seems like a loss.

  8. Thanks guys, I appreciate your comments. There's not much to say here, it's just what is going on around the world.

    Two days later and the whole island is still in shock. I don't think people really believe it will happen. the native islanders are used to 'taking it on the chin' they have survival skills that we could all learn from. I guess I'm gonna.