The New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) announced yesterday that the council will be implementing a “locked gate” policy on Taranaki’s landfarms and other farms where oil/gas wastes have been buried (mix-bury-cover sites). In effect, such contaminated land cannot be used for stock grazing or other forms of food production until the district council has conducted the necessary testing and given its clearance. This NPDC decision is a significant step towards enforcing the National Environment Standard for Assessing and Managing Contaminants in Soil to Protect Human Health (NES CS, 2012). Read the rest of this entry »
Photo from Oil Free Otago.
While we at Climate Justice Taranaki were recovering from our various presentations at the EPA Hearing on Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS)’ Maui gas field marine consent application, groups from north to south of New Zealand stood together on beaches, with hands held together, in protest of deep sea oil drilling. Indeed, all oil and gas drilling must cease, whether onshore or offshore, in deep or shallow waters, for the sake of safeguarding our life-supporting climate, not to mention the more immediate threats to people (think of people living next door to oil/gas wells) and marine life (think of the many endangered marine mammals we have). The Hands Across the Sand action received great media coverage, below are a few:
It is encouraging to hear the World Bank calling for a halt to fossil fuel subsidies and a collective international binding agreement for a zero-carbon world by the end of the century. But how a carbon tax will make this happen remains a big question mark. History has shown us that we cannot rely on big corporations to move away from their old habits and lead the change needed for the better: How BP had invested in low carbon technology for decades just to abandon them for greater economic gains is a typical example.
In the mean time, the fossil fuel industry has been found to be operating dangerously in New Zealand, with over 130 incidents recorded in the last two years while the government continues to push for more drilling. They want us to believe that NZ can get rich on oil like Norway did. But even the Norwegians know: “When we wake up from this oil bubble … we will realise we will never have a fairy tale like this again.”
So let us get off fossil fuels and move on to more sustainable, democratic, decentralised energy systems that benefit communities and the planet. “We need a managed and fair transition, not a massive oil shock which could plunge the already fuel-poor into further hardship and breed economic and social pandemonium. If today’s anti-oil social movements continue to strengthen, this could happen: through pressure from shareholders, the erosion of oil companies’ social licence, the physical disruption of operations by local resistance, the boom in renewable energy, and public pressure on governments to take more decisive climate action”.
Google map with site specific information:
Download some notes for your trip here.
Earlier this year, the publicly owned Waterfront Auckland was ordered to pay Mobil nearly $1 million, after losing the High Court battle trying to get Mobil pay for environmental damages. Mobil and several other companies had leased the land for decades, their activities contaminated prime coastal land. The judge ruled that Mobil did not have the contractual obligation to decontaminate the land! Read the rest of this entry »