Press release: Petroleum companies under pressure

08/10/2018

protest-outside-todd-2oct18-kc.jpg

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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Game-changer

04/11/2017

NZPAM Schlumberger Taranaki and NZOG Barque Clipper Whale CO2 trend combined

NZ Oil and Gas (NZOG) recently described a one-in-five chance of striking gas in the Barque field off Oamaru as a ’game-changer’. It made glowing claims on its potential economic and environmental benefits. Climate Justice Taranaki rejects these claims completely. Read the rest of this entry »


Exploitative verses sharing economy

05/05/2017

blasted home colorado 9News phosphate sharing combined

Photos: Explosion at a Colorado home on 1 May 2017 (photo 9News); Phosphate mining in Western Sahara (photo AFP); Sharing economy infographics

On 17th April, a home in Colorado was blasted to the ground, killing two people. The home was 178 feet (54 metres) from a recently restarted old gas well operated by Anadarko. The cause of the explosion: gas leak from a cut flow line off the gas well.

Such a loss is both terrible and preventable.  Many questions need to be answered: Read the rest of this entry »


A “diddly squat” and the “really chunky hard part”

06/05/2016

bottled water web

The recent Radio NZ interview with Environment Minister Nick Smith offered some interesting insights into the current government’s view and approach to the management of water.

Many argue that water is the most valuable and contestable natural resource of the 21st century. According to the United Nations, forty-one countries experienced water stress in 2011; ten of them are close to depleting their supply of renewable freshwater and must now rely on non-conventional sources. By 2050, at least one in four people worldwide are likely to be affected by recurring water shortages.

New Zealand is blessed with rich water resources, some 500 trillion litres of it flowing through our lakes, rivers and aquifers. Yet not every region is as ‘rich’, and even the ‘rich’ regions can be ‘poor’ at times.

In the interview, the Minister was adamant on two points:

  • No one owns water
  • No price will be put on water

Read the rest of this entry »


Why the ETS should be axed

19/02/2016
  1. The ETS has not reduced greenhouse gas emissions
  2. The ETS should not be the main policy tool for reducing emissions
  3. The ETS offers perverse subsides to polluters
  4. Carbon credits are permits to pollute and the ETS is little more than a scam
  5. We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them

More on the above, read our submission to the Ministry for the Environment.


Low-skilled fracking jobs, divestment, climate debt and neoliberalism

20/07/2015

As the oil and gas fracking industry spreads across a nation, increasingly high school teens are being lured to drop out and take up low-skilled jobs, as demonstrated in a recent research in the US.  The authors of the study warned, “fracking raises the risk that some workers at the bottom of the skills and education ladder may end up being stuck there, because they made bad schooling choices in a rush to be part of the industry“. Read the rest of this entry »


Fossil fuel economics – a fairy tale

17/04/2015

It is encouraging to hear the World Bank calling for a halt to fossil fuel subsidies and a collective international binding agreement for a zero-carbon world by the end of the century. But how a carbon tax will make this happen remains a big question mark. History has shown us that we cannot rely on big corporations to move away from their old habits and lead the change needed for the better: How BP had invested in low carbon technology for decades just to abandon them for greater economic gains is a typical example.

In the mean time, the fossil fuel industry has been found to be operating dangerously in New Zealand, with over 130 incidents recorded in the last two years while the government continues to push for more drilling. They want us to believe that NZ can get rich on oil like Norway did. But even the Norwegians know: “When we wake up from this oil bubble … we will realise we will never have a fairy tale like this again.”

So let us get off fossil fuels and move on to more sustainable, democratic, decentralised energy systems that benefit communities and the planet. “We need a managed and fair transition, not a massive oil shock which could plunge the already fuel-poor into further hardship and breed economic and social pandemonium. If today’s anti-oil social movements continue to strengthen, this could happen: through pressure from shareholders, the erosion of oil companies’ social licence, the physical disruption of operations by local resistance, the boom in renewable energy, and public pressure on governments to take more decisive climate action”.