Press release: Petroleum companies under pressure

08/10/2018

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The pressure is building against oil, gas and coal companies in Aotearoa who continue to push for fossil fuel extraction with increasing community calls to curb climate change. Protesters will be gathering outside Todd Energy, Beach Energy and OMV tomorrow Tuesday 9 October.

The proposed amendments of the Crown Minerals Act, while banning new offshore exploratory permits, allows existing permit holders to keep drilling, and for new exploratory permits to be issued onshore in Taranaki. The amendments also take away protection of conservation lands, such as the national park, by allowing companies to conduct so-called ‘minimum impact activities’ within them.

Climate scientists are warning us today that it will take ‘far more aggressive’ efforts to limit warming to just 1.5 degrees and alleviate catastrophic impacts. Yet government policies continue to encourage resource exploitation and ignore the root cause of our climate crisis – economic growth from exploitation of the environment and people. It is up to everyone to turn this around and pressure decision makers and companies to get out of extractive industries,” said Emily Bailey of Climate Justice Taranaki.

Community pressure is rising across the country, with actions by Greenpeace, Oil Free Wellington, Oil Free Otago, other community groups and the Global Frack Down this month. Climate Justice Taranaki is holding weekly protests in New Plymouth, targeting the various oil companies operating here such as OMV, AWE, Beach Energy, Tamarind Resources, Tag Oil, Todd Energy and Greymouth Petroleum.

The message is clear: destroying our future for profit is completely unacceptable. Investors need to pull out of this criminal industry based on exploitation and pollution and give their money to regenerative agriculture, native forest plantings and community projects. These greedy companies have been warring over resources and destroying natural habitats for far too long. Their profit is our exploitation and we will not stand for it.” said Bailey.

Just transition must be genuine. Investing tens of millions of dollars now in hydrogen research and locking in multi-decadal assets for it, is not ‘just transition’ if natural gas is used as the feed-stock and power source. The claim for clean hydrogen is true only when water is used as feed-stock and renewable energies power the process. Sadly, this is unlikely to be the case in Taranaki, as it is not globally. PEPANZ’s statement earlier welcomed hydrogen development and referred to carbon capture and storage. These are unproven technologies that do nothing but prolong the fossil fuel industry.” said Catherine Cheung of Climate Justice Taranaki.

Beware of ‘false solutions’ that waste precious time and resources. What we need now are climate actions that constitute true solutions. The focus must be on substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions, fostering social equity and building community resilience while every aspect of society weans themselves off fossil fuel reliance,” concluded Cheung.

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MEDIA RELEASE: Taranaki climate defenders challenge oil companies at sea

02/10/2018

The Rainbow Warrior continues its journey off the Taranaki coast today carrying crew from 11 nations and Taranaki kuia Kura Niwa from Pukerangiora Hapū and Agnes Wharehoka from Parihaka alongside Emily Bailey from Climate Justice Taranaki. The Greenpeace flagship made a surprise trip to Taranaki to show the world that despite a promise to ban new offshore exploration permits, much drilling is still to happen with over 30 new wells on the cards, and with toxic wastes going overboard.

After visiting the Kupe rig yesterday, the ship arrived at the Maui A and B platforms this morning to deliver a message to the major drilling company OMV from Austria. “Kua nui, haere atu. Leave our waters and our lands and never come back” said Emily Bailey.

The crew on the Greenpeace flagship came up close to Kupe and the Maui oil and gas rigs now mostly owned by OMV. They raised banners and phoned the rig and their OMV headquarters in Austria to inform the company that the whole world is watching their crimes against humanity.

“We have come here today on behalf of our tamariki and mokopuna and the hundreds of thousands of have spoken to leave fossil fuels in the ground” said Kura Niwa. Read the rest of this entry »


MEDIA RELEASE: Rainbow Warrior en route to Taranaki oil and gas rigs

01/10/2018

Climate Justice Taranaki has added a member of their team to the Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior crew this week as they head around Taranaki to take a closer look at the oil and gas rigs offshore. Emily Bailey is joined by two Taranaki kuia: Agnes Wharehoka from Parihaka and Kura Niwa from Pukerangiora Hapū.

CJT member Emily Bailey says: “This is a great opportunity for us to join forces to send a clear message to environmental vandals out there that oil and gas drilling is not wanted any more in Taranaki. Given the global epidemic of forest fires, floods, hurricanes, typhoons, landslides and other extreme weather events, there is no question any longer that climate change has started and the only way to prevent catastrophic climate change is to leave remaining fossil fuel reserves in the ground.”

There are half a dozen installations offshore from Taranaki, actively drilling and producing oil and gas for a multitude of multinational companies. With Shell’s recent asset sell-off, Austrian-based OMV now owns the three largest producing oil and gas fields offshore – Maari, Pohokura and Maui.

“To add insult to injury, OMV has aggressive exploratory drilling plans across five other licensed areas in the Taranaki Basin while Malaysian-based Tamarind Resources plans to side-track drill from old wells in the Tui oil field. They are putting their heads in the sand, ignoring the escalating risks of mega storms on their aging infrastructure and the diminishing economic return as the world finally turns towards a low-carbon future. Meanwhile, onshore drilling, fracking and deepwell injection of wastes are also ramping up, notably with Todd Energy getting ready to drill 12 gas wells at the brand-new Mangahewa-G wellsite near Tikorangi. All these have got to stop if we are to have a liveable climate.” concluded Bailey.

The Rainbow Warrior is heading around the Taranaki Coast for a few days to tell the drilling companies that they are not welcome here and show the world what’s really going on in Aotearoa.

Medienmitteilung auf Deutsch – read more.

Read the rest of this entry »


Press release: Big Taranaki climate polluters to be named and shamed

03/09/2018

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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.

Media coverage:

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

Hearing statements:

You can download and read our hearing statements here.


Media release: Climate Justice Taranaki questions the cause of Sperm Whale Death

28/05/2018

sperm whale Andy Jackson 28May18 stuff AW track mineral permits collageClimate Justice Taranaki calls for a full investigation on the possible causes of injury and death of the 12 sperm whale discovered along Kaupokonui Beach, South Taranaki, last weekend.

It is extremely upsetting whenever whale stranding and death occurs. We know it is very difficult to determine the causes of mass whale stranding and often there is no definitive answer. But with the increasing human activities in our oceans, we must ask the hard questions of whether we have caused or contributed to their demise. The Tasman Sea has been exceptionally hot this past summer, in places more than six degrees Celsius above normal, with cascading impacts on food webs.

There is also ample research that demonstrates direct and indirect harm on marine mammals from seismic testing. Here, we had the world’s largest seismic testing ship, the Amazon Warrior, blasting off Taranaki from north of Mokau to Whanganui for three months, till around the end of March. Could the seismic blasting have injured the whales, displaced them from their feeding grounds or weakened them by added stress?” Dr Lyndon DeVantier, member of Climate Justice Taranaki.

The whales’ bodies were reportedly too decomposed for necropsies, indicating that they likely died at sea en masse. We want a detailed investigation on the possible causes of the tragic death of the whales.

With the government’s recent decision of allowing existing petroleum exploration and mining permits to continue, there will be increased impacts on marine species and ecosystems from seismic blasting and drilling for oil and gas. The Malaysian based Tamarind Taranaki Ltd has already applied for permits to drill new side track wells at the Tui oil field and discharge harmful substances at sea. We encourage everyone who
cares about our marine environment and climate to submit to the EPA in opposition to Tamarind’s applications,” said Catherine Cheung, member of Climate Justice Taranaki.

Graphics: Photo of dead sperm whales at Kaupokonui Beach by Andy Jackson / Stuff 27May2018; Track of Amazon Warrior as of 24Jan2018; Mineral mining permits from NZPAM website.

Media coverage:

Whale stranding unites Taranaki hapu, Maori TV 28 May 2018

Climate Justice whale stranding story, Maori TV 29 May 2018

Harsh conditions for workers as another dead whale washes up, Taranaki Daily News 28 May 2018

‘Extremely unlikely’ seismic surveying linked to death of 12 sperm whales, Stuff national 29 May 2018


MEDIA ADVISORY: Climate Justice Taranaki regrets EPA drilling decision

16/01/2018

“We are deeply disappointed by the Environmental Protection Authority’s decision to grant Shell consents to 2050 for the use of a jack-up rig and discharge of harmful contaminants off the Taranaki coast.

“As we stressed repeatedly at various hearings, cumulative effects from the proposed and existing activities have not been assessed properly. The way applications are assessed in isolation, with no regards to the total harm and consequence on the environment and marine species, is ludicrous.  You can’t keep adding stress to the system and expect it to be fine! Based on the precautionary principle, the application should have been declined” says Catherine Cheung, researcher of Climate Justice Taranaki.

“We are supposed to protect the environment, the marine life and the climate. Drilling for more fossil fuels is the last thing this or future generations need.  Future generations will look back at this time in disbelief as to why we keep putting the future environmental stability of this planet at risk for short-term monetary gain.

Climate change is a reality now. The time for action was three decades ago. So why does the EPA have its head stuck in the sand?  Our group will continue to organise on the front-lines of climate change for a just transition towards an ecological sustainable society” concludes Urs Signer, spokesperson of Climate Justice Taranaki.
Media coverage:
EPA ignores wide picture in Taranaki oil consent (Waatea news, 19Jan18)

Press Release: At Shell-EPA hearing Climate Justice Taranaki urge for no more drilling

02/10/2017

Shell Taranaki Ltd. (formerly STOS) has applied to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for consents to use a jack-up rig for drilling at the Maui gas field and to discharge harmful chemicals at sea.

At the public hearings in New Plymouth, Climate Justice Taranaki will ask that the applications be declined. Read the rest of this entry »