“Green the wells” – oxymoron or more industry spin?


How can drilling wells and fracking for oil and gas possibly be made “green”?

The industry says, by using more efficient technologies “to make sure that wells are used to their full potential”, “to look after the rocks at the nano level” and “if you must frack, do it with a non-damaging fluid“. Read the rest of this entry »

Pope Francis’ Encyclical: Laudato Si – On Care for Our Common Home


Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.”

The release by Pope Francis of his recent encyclical Laudato Si – On Care for our Common Home (1) has drawn some controversy with suggestions he clean-up his own house before attempting to save the planet.

In keeping with environmental statements issued from other leading church figures such as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Patriarch Bartholemew (2) and the Dalai Lama (3) personal issues on religion and doctrine should be set aside and this document must be viewed as a strong message from an important world figure which sends a challenge to such others in the lead to the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris later this year. Read the rest of this entry »

Media release: No STOS Maui Appeal but CJT mission lives on


Climate Justice Taranaki (CJT) will not file an appeal on the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA)’s decision to grant Shell Todd Oil Services a 35 year consent to expand its operations at the Maui gas field.

This is in no way an endorsement of EPA’s decision. Legal opinion we have received indicates that there are arguments on which we could appeal on a point of law.

During the submission and hearing processes, we articulated strongly to the Decision Making Committee the extensive scientific, logical and ethical grounds on which to substantially limit the consent duration, to require a bond and indemnity insurance and to develop a decommissioning plan. None of these were included. How can the Ministry of Environment possibly claim that EPA is being too precautionary?” asked Catherine Cheung, Climate Justice Taranaki.

As the recent performance reviews on EPA pointed out, a large number of staff don’t know what the organisation’s mission is. Many also believe that EPA exists to support applicants, ministers or decision making committees, not the public which it is ultimately accountable to.

No wonder the current political climate and ‘justice’ system are so hostile to us and others who want change for public good,” said Cheung.

Given the high costs and how weak and disjointed current environmental laws are, we decided not to appeal, but to regroup, gather forces and continue our work. Our mission is to change the system to one that speaks truth to power, recognizes the limits of our planet, and empowers communities to become sustainable and resilient to the impacts of climate change,” concluded Emily Bailey, Climate Justice Taranaki.




STOS drilling permit reckless


“It is aFeatured image real disappointment that the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) decided to grant Shell-Todd Oil Services (STOS) the full 35 years consent for more drilling, extraction, dumping and other damaging activities at the Maui gas field off the Taranaki coast” says Emily Bailey, member of Climate Justice Taranaki. “To allow more drilling from the aging wells – many of which have already passed their ‘best before’ dates – is reckless. Despite our detailed submission, the EPA did not insist on a bond that would ensure that wells are maintained, suspended and abandoned in a safe manner. There is also no condition requiring a decommissioning plan or liability insurance should something go seriously wrong.” Read the rest of this entry »