Despite the government’s recent announcement for no new offshore petroleum permits, existing permit holders continue to drill on and offshore, and new permits may be issued onshore in Taranaki. Climate Justice Taranaki spokesperson Emily Bailey says “Enough is enough. We are now launching a new campaign to out these big companies who are profiting from wrecking our planet and putting our children’s very future at risk.” First to be protested will be Austrian company OMV on 4-5th September in New Plymouth.
Megabucks Austrian oil and gas company OMV will be at New Plymouth’s Quality Hotel arguing their case to the Environmental Protection Authority for a discharge consent associated with their plan to drill 12 exploratory/appraisal wells in six licensed areas off Taranaki over the next six years.
“OMV is seeking a consent for discharge of trace amounts of harmful substances from the deck drains of the mobile drilling unit/s which is a notifiable activity. The exploratory drilling itself and the larger quantities of toxic discharges such as drill fluid or production water are not publicly notified. Exploratory drilling is the most risky stage – remember that the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico was exploratory,” says CJT researcher Catherine Cheung.
“The law is wrong – it is cutting the public out and smoothing everything for the fossil fuel companies. The EPA process we get to be involved in is pointless other than to show that the public is involved, never mind how little. It is a rubber stamping process,” she added.
“Climate change is the most pressing issue that is threatening the very existence of all species on this planet, including our own. These companies need to be named and shamed for what they are doing. People don’t need more oil and gas, we need a livable planet. Their profit is our exploitation. They have no social license,” said Bailey.
“We’re tired of arguing over drilling consents and permits, the big issues are climate change and unsustainable resource use. This country’s current laws are not designed to stop climate polluters and we’re running out of time. Let’s take the issue to the public and let the generations who are suffering now, decide whether it’s ok for these companies to hold their future to ransom,” concluded Bailey.
The group plans to protest a different climate polluter every week or so in Taranaki. The public are welcome to join the group’s actions that are advertised on facebook and on our website www.ClimateJusticeTaranaki.info.
Dilution no solution to pollution, Taranaki Daily News 4 Sept 18
Gas company seeks to discharge chemicals at sea, Radio NZ 4 Sept 18
OMV tells EPA that many environmental claims are ‘not legally relevant’ in oil and gas hearing, Taranaki Daily News 5 Sept 18
Context in oil & gas fight, L DeVantier letter to editor, TDN 7 Sept 18
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