Tasmania extended fracking moratorium to protect clean produce reputation

01/03/2015

“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)

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Media highlights (July 2014)

07/07/2014

Failure to deal with ethics will make climate engineering ‘unviable’  (Guardian, 31 July)

Dolphin’s policy costs ‘billions’  (TDN, 31 July) – more unsubstantiated claims and overestimates of the real worth of Taranaki’s oil and gas industry

Dairy farms rigorously monitored (TDN, 29 July) – “Taranaki Regional Council issued 125 abatement notices in the year 2013/2014 for dairy effluent disposal lapses – the most in the country. … “

Dirty dairying offences declining  (TDN, 28 July)  – “17 regional councils successfully prosecuted 21 dairy effluent offences in the year to July 1, resulting in fines of $847,600…”

Greens campaign on clean seas  (TDN, 27 July) – “National Secretary Joe Fleetwood said there had been 35 “near miss” incidents since the Rena grounding in 2011 and it was only a matter of time before another grounding occurs. … Compulsory shipping lanes were already in place in nations including the UK, Norway and Canada. Measures to ensure the oil industry had to pay for any spills and efforts to improve the capability of Maritime New Zealand were also overdue, he said.

River swimming goal undoable  (TDN, 25 July)  – more spins from TRC although “The Green Party has dismissed the new bottom lines as “weak” and argues the measures mean rivers will only have to be clean enough for wading or boating. ”

Why the next climate treaty is vital for my country to survive  (Guardian, 12 July)

A group representing half a billion Christians says it will no longer support fossil fuels  (Climate Progress, 11 July)

No-go areas for seeking oil/gas  (Gisborne Herald, 5 July)

Anadarko’s drill decision by October (Otago Daily Times, 5 July)

Dead whale washes up on beach  (stuff national, 4 July) – a blue whale on Tapuae Beach, Taranaki

Whales flee from military sonar leading to mass strandings, research shows  (Guardian, 3 July)

Oil exploration in Maui Dolphin Protection Zone  (Scoop Politics, 3 July) – Dr Slooten says that having observers on oil survey vessels are “virtually useless” and do very little to protect whales. “Overseas research has shown that observers on the seismic testing ships only see around ten percent of whales and dolphins in the area. … Seismic survey noise can be heard for at least 80 kilometres, but the observers can see whales and dolphins for only one or two kilometres, and then, only when they surface.”

Greens want landfarm inquiry widened  (Radio NZ, 3 July)

Waste water from energy extraction ‘triggers US quake surge’ (BBC, 3 July)


Media highlights: 4-22 April 2014

08/04/2014

Is the U.S. shale boom going bust?  (Bloomberg, 22 April) – “…the average decline of the world’s conventional oil fields is about 5 percent per year. By comparison, the average decline of oil wells in North Dakota’s booming Bakken shale oil field is 44 percent per year. Individual wells can see production declines of 70 percent or more in the first year. Shale gas wells face similarly swift depletion rates, so drillers need to keep plumbing new wells to make up for the shortfall at those that have gone anemic. This creates what Hughes and other critics consider an unsustainable treadmill of ever-higher, billion-dollar capital expenditures chasing a shifting equilibrium. …”

Dairy industry inquiry wanted [by Fish and Game]  (Radio NZ, 19 April)

Sustainable farming granted $9.9 million funding  (NZ Farmers, 18 April)

Fracking-earthquake link may impact insurance policies  (Columbus Business First, 18 April) – “Fracking falls into the “man-made” part of typical earthquake insurance coverage, the same category that includes injection wells. More than one-third of companies polled by the Ohio Insurance Institute in 2012 said their earthquake coverage wouldn’t cover losses from fracking-related movement.”  NZ insurers won’t cover that either.

Fracking study gets [Colorado] House OK  (GJSentinel, 17 April)  – “The bill directs the department of public health and environment to conduct an analysis of human health and quality of life within the counties of Larimer, Weld, Boulder, and Adams with the intent of understanding any possible effects of oil and gas operations on communities within these counties.” NZ should follow suit with focus on Taranaki.

Brian Fallow: Curbing emissions is vital – Any delay could make adjustment to a low-carbon economy more costly  (NZ Herald, 17 April) – An interesting read from an economist’s point of view.

California hydraulic fracturing moratorium bill approved by state senate committee  (Hydraulic fracking blog, 16 April)

Gas finds key to methanol peak  (TDN, 16 April)

What to do if oil and gas companies come calling  (Wairarapa Times-Age, 16 April) – Federated Farmers’ reasonable advice

EPA drastically underestimates methane released at drilling sites (Los Angeles Times, 14 April) – This again debunks the notion that natural gas is a clean, transition energy – it is not, because of the huge amount of fugitive gas, none of which is being accounted for here in NZ.

Ohio geologists link small quakes to fracking  (AP, 11 April) – “Under Ohio’s new permit conditions, all new drilling sites within 3 miles of a known fault or seismic activity of 2.0 magnitude or higher will be conditioned on the installation of sensitive seismic-monitoring equipment. Results will be directly available to regulators, Simmers said, so the state isn’t reliant on drilling operators providing the data voluntarily. If seismic activity of 1.0 magnitude or greater is felt, drilling will be paused for evaluation. If a link is found, the operation will be halted.”  No such regulation in NZ.

Greens want ‘land farm’ meat tested for contamination  (TV NZ One News, 11 April) Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye says there is no evidence of any risk, and “Milk testing is a lot quicker, sheep and beef testing would require huge control samples, it would take a lot longer and I think we should only do that if we actually see something showing up in the milk …” In stark contrast, in 2010, Pennsylvanian Agriculture Secretary quarantined 20 cows for 6 months and 8 calves for 2 years after suspected ingestion of drilling waste, for fear of contaminated meat.

DEP issues Chevron nine citations in fatal gas well blast  (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 10 April) – “In addition to the violation for not allowing access, the state cited Chevron for seven violations for failure to operate a well properly and failure to prevent venting of gas, and a violation for a discharge of well production fluids onto the ground.” Yet TRC routinely issues consent for the discharge of “treated produced water” onto land and into tributaries.

Minister didn’t know park was in drilling plan  (3 News, 8 April)

Report shows 61 dangerous petroleum incidents  (3 News, 7 April) – Must watch!

Maps leave pa beset on all sides  (Wanganui Chronicle, 4 April)  – quoted cjt media release on new block offers


Media release: Deepwell injections cause earthquakes

01/04/2014

OnShakyGround-FINAL1 coverClimate Justice Taranaki warns of the growing earthquake risks from deepwell injection (DWI) of waste fluids from oil and gas fracking and production. The Minister for Environment condemns the disposal of such waste on land but advocates for DWI instead, apparently unaware of the risks.

“It’d be good if the regional council follows the Ministry’s new Guidelines and stops issuing new consents (or extending the current ones) for the discharge of waste fluids from wellsites onto land. But is it safe to keep having more DWI around us?” asked Catherine Cheung, researcher of Climate Justice Taranaki.

Read the rest of this entry »


Media highlights: 16-31 March 2014

22/03/2014

Wayne Brittenden’s counterpoint (NZ Radio, 30 March) – re the secretive TPPA (Trans-Pacific Partnerships Agreement) trade deal; well worth listening to!

Government sets best-practice fracking guidelines  (NZ Herald, 28 March)

Fracking guidelines by the government for hydraulic fracturing warn that fracking fluids need to be controlled so they don’t contaminate drinking water  (MSN, 28 March) – Download from MFE website

Fracking’s earthquake risks push states to collaborate  (Bloomberg Business Week, 27 March) – “Rules that took effect in Ohio last year ban injection wells in certain formations and let the state require seismic monitoring…”  .

Obama is negotiating an agreement that could unleash fracking across the world  (Policy Mic, 26 March)  – the same could happen here in NZ through the secretive trade deal – TPPA (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) currently being negotiated

Cracks showing in industry built on shaky ground (NZ Herald, 22 March) – Must read!  It gives good summary of the latest research and investigations into deepwell injection of drilling wastes and earthquakes.  CJT has mapped 19 deepwell injection sites in Taranaki.

Expanding search for hydrocarbons gives some the jitters (Otago Daily Times, 22 March) – CJT mentioned in last of the series

Cooking with gas (Otago Daily Times, 22 March) – second of the series of 3 articles

Taranaki knows the drill (Otago Daily Times, 16 March) – first of a series of 3 articles on Taranaki’s oil and gas (pros and cons)


MEDIA RELEASE: New Evidence Calls for PCE to Ban Fracking

14/08/2013

“There is inadequate scientific evidence and technical capacity to ensure safety at all stages of oil and gas production involving fracking. The associated risks—elevated seismic hazards, water contamination, soil degradation, air pollution, contamination of food chain and health impacts on nearby residents—are far too great to justify further expansion,” wrote Climate Justice Taranaki (CJT) in their latest submission to the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment. Read the rest of this entry »


Media highlights (16-31 July 2013)

17/07/2013

Chief scientist calls for better gas drilling data  (Brisbane Times, 31 July)

New Zealand pushing plans to drill Middle-earth as Hobbit filming ends (Guardian, 29 July)

Gangplank to a warm future (NY Times, 28 July)

Internal EPA report highlights disputes over fracking and well water  (Los Angeles Times, 27 July)

Woman denied chance to speak [at TRC consents & regulatory meeting] (TDN, 24 July)

Council ready to process TAG application for Te Karaka well (Gisborne Herald, 22 July)

Distant quakes rattle fracking sites (16 July) – Read the Science article also