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)
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MEDIA RELEASE: Seismic survey monster not welcome in Taranaki waters

17/11/2017

Antarctica-Sea-Ice-Melting-NEWSHUB-1120 Nov monthly sea ice extent since 1978plus CO2 emissions fossil fuel

“The seismic survey monster boat ‘Amazon Warrior’ is not welcome in Taranaki waters” says Emily Bailey, spokesperson for the community group Climate Justice Taranaki.

The 125 metre long ship is currently on its way to Aotearoa, having left South Korea earlier in the month.

“The boat is returning to Aotearoa to conduct a 3D seismic survey for Schlumberger, a multinational oil and gas giant. While we probably won’t get to see the boat, it is of huge concern to our beaches, the marine life, all the whales and of course our climate. Scientists have just warned that the unprecedented ice melt in the Antarctic could be the tipping point, disrupting global and New Zealand climate. It is time the government step in and stop this madness of allowing profit-driven companies to continue causing havoc.”

“The offshore permit, still under evaluation, which covers over 18,000 square kilometres of ocean (that’s 2.5 times as big as the Taranaki region), is exactly where a blue whale feeding and nursing ground was discovered. Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage, recently confirmed that ‘one of the goals in the Green Party’s confidence and supply agreement with Labour was to look at establishing a Taranaki blue whale sanctuary.’ We challenge the new government to do just that and as a first step, stop this seismic survey ship and deny granting Schlumberger’s permit.”

“In order to create a just ecologically sustainable future, we all know we need to transition away from fossil fuels. The time for action on the frontlines of climate change is now” concludes Emily Bailey.

 

Graph source (left): Newshub in ‘Daunting’ Antarctic sea ice plummet could be tipping point

Graph source (right): Global Carbon Project in Bad News: Global carbon emissions have suddenly started risen again (New Scientist 13 Nov 2017)

 

Media coverage: Greenpeace issues warning to seismic survey ship (Radio NZ, 19 Nov 17)


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 »


Media release: STOS oil drilling must stop

20/06/2017

Climate Justice Taranaki are calling on submitters to once again tell Shell Todd Oil Services(STOS)to stop drilling for oil and gas in the South Taranaki Bight – home and feeding ground to many marine mammals including the Maui’s dolphin and the Blue Whale. A submission form is available on their website at http://www.climatejusticetaranaki.info/stop-stos

At 5pm Monday 19 June submissions close on STOS’ consent applications to bring in a jack-up rig to the Maui gas platforms that will drill 22 more wells and discharge harmful substances at sea. STOS says it is too early to tell the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and the public what chemicals will be discharged. EEZ law, under which EPA acts, cannot stop incomplete consent applications.

“These companies are not seeing the writing on the wall. To be straight up the government and fossil fuel companies just need to be told again and again that the fossil fuel age is over and climate change must be considered. The oil and gas industry is a dying industry that’s taking the whole planet with it” says Climate Justice spokesperson Emily Bailey.

STOS will later apply for an additional marine discharge consent to cover other harmful substance discharges – the public will not be notified on this. “They are plying the old ploy of gaining consent bit by bit so a proper assessment of cumulative impacts cannot be made. This approach makes it harder to turn down new consents once existing ones are granted. What makes it worse, is just this week laws on marine discharge consenting were repealed leaving gaping holes in legislation just when we need them most” said Bailey.

STOS still haven’t confirmed what rig they may use – which vary a lot in size, range and disturbance of the seabed. They haven’t confirmed what operational and drilling chemicals they will use, many of which can be eco-toxins, biocides or carcinogens. STOS should be ashamed. This is consent by stealth. A company that damages the planet with its product and at all stages of its operations should no longer be able to operate in this day and age. It’s time for the fossil fool industry to move on” said Bailey.

A consent was granted in 2015 for STOS to re-drill wells in the Maui field for another 35 years despite the company admitting that they don’t expect more than 20 years of production. Shell has started to sell their NZ assets but there is no culturally and environmentally acceptable decommissioning plan for these sites nor sufficient insurance in place for any major accidents.

It is a well-known scientific fact that to avert runaway climate change we must stop extracting fossil fuels now. We have renewable technologies and sustainable agriculture methods to replace fossil fuels. The industry is getting more desperate. We should give them the final boot rather than putting our very future at risk by bending legislation to suit them and being left to clean up their mess when the waning boom hits bust” concluded Bailey.

Media coverage:

Climate Justice spokesperson Emily Bailey, Waatea News 19 June 2017


Press release: CJT call for independent investigation on the risks of extreme weather and earthquakes on aging oil and gas infrastructure

25/11/2016
maari_platform-image-source-caprari

Source: Caprari

Climate Justice Taranaki says an independent investigation is critical to determine the cause and extent of damage on the OMV Maari oil platform and associated infrastructure, and to assess the risks of aging oil and gas installations failing.

Wild weather and heightened earthquake risk have prompted OMV to evacuate its staff off the Maari oil platform where a crack was discovered during a scheduled underwater check. Read the rest of this entry »


Government’s ludicrous petroleum proposal

22/09/2016
nzpam-proposed-block-offer-sep16-taranaki-basin-all

NZPAM website, 21 September 2016

The New Zealand government has just proposed to release half a million square kilometres of our land and sea to petroleum exploration.

The Taranaki Basin offer encompassed a third of the West Coast Marine Mammal Sanctuary, designated for the protection of the nearly extinct Maui’s Dolphin. The government says this has been re-introduced due to commercial interest in the area”.

So rather than upholding New Zealand’s international obligation to protect endangered species and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the government does what corporations want – providing a stable and predictable regime”.   Read the rest of this entry »


New MPA Act gives certainty to industries but not to future generations

09/03/2016
Poor knight reserve first light travel nzpam maps combined

Poor Knight Island Reserve from First Light Travel. Maps from NZPAM.

The new Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Act excludes the entire EEZ, continental shelf and all areas under petroleum and mineral licenses, from MPA consideration. The Ministers say this is to give certainty to industries, but what about certainty for future generations to have a healthy ocean to thrive on?  Please tell the government what you think. Send submissions by email to mpaconsultation@mfe.govt.nz before this Friday 11 March 5pm. Be sure to include “MPA Act consultation”, your name, address, tel and email. Alternatively use Forest & Birds’ online form.  Below are our key points you may like to cover in yours.

Key Points of CJT Submission

  1. Climate Justice Taranaki Inc. (CJT) welcome a reform of marine protected areas legislation.
  2. The new Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Act places economic growth well above environmental conservation and ignores the fact that the so-called ‘balance’ has long been tipped.
  3. The Act must include the entire marine areas of New Zealand, including territorial seas, the Exclusive Economic Zone and continental shelf (EEZ-CS), to be fit for purpose.
  4. Areas under petroleum and mineral licenses should not be excluded from MPA consideration. There cannot possibly be a representative and adaptive network of MPAs when the EEZ and all licensed areas are excluded.
  5. The foundation and emphasis of the Act should be full protection of marine areas with significant conservation values, as ensured under the Marine Reserve Act.
  6. The regulations and management of other MPAs, notably existing marine mammal sanctuaries and the proposed seabed reserves, require substantial strengthening to offer adequate species protection and opportunities for recovery of threatened species or communities.
  7. Recreational fishing parks do not enhance, protect or restore marine biodiversity and ought not be introduced into the MPA Act. Conflicts between recreational and commercial fisheries are best managed under the Fisheries Act.
  8. CJT support meaningful recognition of the Treaty of Waitangi and customary rights and values in the Act.

Read this media story: Anton Van Heldon: Govt failing in duty to marine life (NZ Herald, 8/03/2016)