At this week’s Petroleum Summit in Auckland, Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges announced seven new block offers, encompassing 430,000 sq.km. – nearly half of New Zealand – for petroleum exploration. “Energy companies can – and must – look past the immediate and take a long term view if they are to fulfill world energy aspirations into the future. In short, surety in petroleum production tomorrow requires continued exploration today. I am also confident that the opportunities New Zealand has to offer remain a compelling proposition for both existing and new participants….” said Bridges.
Has he not heard of the fossil fuels that we cannot burn because if we do, there will be dire climate consequences that we cannot deal with? There is no “long term” sustainability of “aspirations” to speak of. The fossil fuel industry is a “sunset industry”. Watch 3 News Unearthing NZ’s mineral wealth for some reality checks on jobs and wealth. Listen to the thousands of protesters who marched in Auckland with drums, as warning to the harm on marine mammals caused by seismic blasting during oil exploration at sea. “People are increasingly impacted around the world by extreme weather events, super storms, wildfires and, of course, the direct impact of the oil industry when things go wrong,” said Steve Abel of Greenpeace.
US Maryland has now declared a moratorium on fracking, classifying it an ‘Ultrahazardous Activity‘ and imposing strict financial liabilities on companies. Across the US, companies wanting to frack on federal lands must now disclose contents of fracking chemicals and allow government inspection of wells.
Since 2010, Climate Justice Taranaki has been fighting the aggressive expansion of the fossil fuel industry, and raising awareness on climate change and social justice issues.
Last month, we wrote a 30 paged submission to the EPA asking them to decline Shell Todd Oil Services’ (STOS) application to further its drilling, production and discharge activities at the Maui platforms for another 35 years.
In our view the proposal does not meet the purpose of the EEZ Act—to promote sustainable management of natural resources. The Maui “field is now in its twilight years … STOS’ focus has shifted from … maximum reliable production, to finding … ways to economically unlock more difficult remaining volumes from the existing reservoirs…” STOS admits.
Drilling 22 side-track wells from existing wells and expecting the aging structures to withstand extreme weather events in coming decades is simply too risky.
We need expert witnesses and legal representation to best be able to present these, and additional arguments, including international obligations. We are therefore asking you for support.
“Tasmania’s primary industries minister, Jeremy Rockliff, said uncertainty around fracking should not put at risk Tasmania’s reputation for producing fresh, premium and safe produce….” This is what NZ should be doing. See the community joint statement calling for a total ban on fracking in NZ - will your group join us? As an individual, please sign the Stop Fracking Now petition. Read full story on Tasmanian here (Guardian, 26 March 2015).
If you’re still not convinced, read “How earthquakes linked to fracking are fracturing an Oklahoma community” (Stuff, 28 Feb 2015)