We are the People Power

29/11/2019

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Last month, Māori leader Mike Smith started legal proceedings in the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Rainer Seele, the CEO of Austrian oil giant OMV, for trial for genocide and other climate crimes against indigenous communities. OMV is one of just 100 companies that have contributed to over 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions since 1988.

Greenpeace is inviting everyone to a 3 day action outside OMV office in New Plymouth. Come along and be part of people power!  Here’s their invitation:

Join us in New Plymouth from the 2nd – 4th December to disrupt business as usual for Austrian oil giant OMV.

While the Government has banned all new offshore oil and gas exploration permits, OMV is determined to drill for oil off Aotearoa’s coasts using permits it received before the ban.  OMV’s relentless search for new oil is throwing fuel on the fire that is the climate crisis, and it’s putting marine animals like blue whales, Hector’s dolphins and yellow-eyed penguins at risk.

There are roles for everyone, from rule-breakers to cake-bakers. Join us just for a day or for longer.”  Register on facebook here or simply show up, anytime 8am-5pm Mon-Wed, 2nd – 4th December, at 167 Devon Street West, New Plymouth.

Some more background info:

In September last year, our group spoke at the EPA hearing to point out the absurdity of OMV’s application for a discharge consent over a supposedly ‘cupful’ of harmful substances, associated with their plan to drill 12 exploratory/appraisal wells across 6 licensed area in the Taranaki Basin.  EPA granted OMV the consent soon after the hearing and the last of all other needed discharge consents that did not involve public hearing last month.  Likewise, EPA granted a similar discharge consent this September for OMV’s drilling campaign in the Great South Basin, despite widespread public outcry in Dunedin and elsewhere in Aotearoa.

Meanwhile, other oil companies like Tamarind Taranaki are going broke, threatening jobs and potentially evading responsibility and $155 million cost for decommissioning the offshore Tui and other oil/gas field infrastructure. Just this week, Tamarind has been instructed by EPA to stop producing from its Tui oil field until the source of the Monday oil sheen is conclusively identified and integrity of the wells assured. The environmental risks and costs will be left to us as companies of this dying industry retreats. We will not accept any government bail out to such companies for their failed obligations.

Onshore, more than 100 abandoned oil and gas wells have not been shut down properly over the past 150 years, six of which has been rated as ‘priority’ with the potential to leak and another eight with inadequate data for proper risk assessment. Currently landowners are liable if anything goes wrong with these so-called orphaned wells. Clearly fossil fuel companies should not be trusted. The boom-bust cycle they create cause far more social and environmental harm than the few unsustainable jobs and meager sponsorships they hand out.

Humanity is risking tipping points that would unleash  abrupt and irreversible climate catastrophes, sea level rise and ecosystem collapse. Surely this demands action and system change at all levels: social, political and economic.

 


Press release: EPA denies Climate Justice Official Information Request

07/11/2018

Tamarind Umuroa Tui field Energyglobalnews

Climate Justice Taranaki has been denied information regarding legal advice sought by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). The advice concerned processing of OMV’s consent applications for its oil drilling programme in the Taranaki Basin.

“At the EPA hearing on OMV’s marine discharge consent application in September, we argued that the application should be jointly processed with all other applications associated with the drilling programme. We asked that legal advice be sought on this matter. Subsequent to the granting of the consent on the 4th October, we wrote to EPA, requesting clarifications and documents relating to any legal advice that EPA might have received. A month later, EPA replied, confirming that there had been legal advice but the relevant documents would be withheld ‘in order to maintain legal professional privilege’. We feel this is not natural justice,” said Catherine Cheung, Researcher of Climate Justice Taranaki.

Tomorrow we will be holding a protest at the Quality Hotel Plymouth International where EPA will hear Tamarind Taranaki Limited’s drilling and discharge consent applications. While Tamarind’s proposed activities are publicly notified, OMV’s application to drill 12 new exploratory/appraisal wells across six licensed areas in the Taranaki Basin is non-notified. According to the Crown Minerals Act, if OMV finds any viable oil and gas, mining licenses spanning decades will be granted. All this is allowed to happen behind closed doors. What about transparency and democracy?” asked Cheung.

“A vast majority of the 6539 submitters on the Crown Minerals Amendment Bill supports the Bill and wants it strengthened, by putting an end to all new and existing oil and gas exploration and mining, on and offshore. The overriding message is loud and clear: Real action to cut greenhouse gas emissions is long overdue.  Time is running out.  We cannot say that climate change is our nuclear free moment while allowing companies to extract more fossil fuels. Climate inaction is not only costly, but constitutes moral negligence,” added Cheung.

“The legislation is full of loop-holes and biased in favour of the industry.  The EEZ Act explicitly excludes consideration of emissions on climate change.  This is crazy, at a time when climate disruptions are threatening our very existence.  We challenge the EPA over its petroleum consenting process which appears to be little more than a tick box exercise,” said Emily Bailey, Spokesperson of Climate Justice Taranaki.

“Fossil fuel companies have no social license to operate here or anywhere.  They are recalcitrant climate polluters, wrecking our life support system.  They cause havoc in rural farming communities, drive social inequality and damage our local environments. They even fuel conflicts and wars.  We want them gone,” concluded Bailey.­

Photo source: Global Energy News

Download slides presented by Dr L DeVantier and CJT at the EPA Tamarind hearing.

Media:

Activists oppose Tui oil field expansion with toasts and song, ShareChat, 8/11/18

Proposed development would extend life of Tui oil field operator, RNZ, 6/11/18


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. Read the rest of this entry »


Press release: OMV plans to drill 12 offshore wells non-notified

02/07/2018

OMV drilling map in discharge consent IA 2018

Climate Justice Taranaki wants the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to hold public hearings on OMV’s exploratory drilling consent application and jointly process it with all related applications. Read the rest of this entry »


99% chance of oil over Marine Mammal Sanctuary if there’s a well blow-out

14/06/2018

Collage Tui Spill Time AnnexF MM sanctuary IA102

Both the South Taranaki shoreline and Marine Mammal Sanctuary had a 99% probability of being exposed to visible floating oil…” according to Tamarind’s modelling of a hypothetical 45-day subsea release of 356,780 bbl of Tui Crude, following a loss of well control at the Amokura-2H well over February to May.

Although Tamarind considers a major incident to be ‘unlikely’ or ‘extremely unlikely’, the consequence on the marine environment would be devastating if it happens. No marine sanctuary could protect our critically endangered Maui’s dolphin, Blue whale (now found to be genetically distinct), Sperm whale and other marine creatures from an oil spill.

Please spare a minute and tell EPA if you don’t want Tamarind to drill more oil wells and discharge harmful substances off the Taranaki coast. Here’s an on-line submission form we’ve prepared to help you do that, or you can go directly to EPA website. Submissions close on Monday 18 June 2018.

With increasing climate disruptions, aging infrastructure and the intensification of activities: more drilling, seismic surveys, fishing, maritime transport, potential seabed mining and other industries in and around the area, the likelihood of accidents and the resulting harm will escalate and become increasingly unmanageable.

Human activities globally have caused rapid changes in sea temperatures and ocean chemistry with cascading effects on foodwebs. Parts of the Tasman Sea have experienced extremely elevated sea temperatures over the past three summers, threatening marine foodwebs and fisheries.

Society’s addiction on fossil fuels for energy, transport, agriculture and luxury goods is risking our own life-support system.

Graphics from Tamarind Impact Assessment Annex F. Oil Spill Modeeling

Here’s CJT’s submission to EPA.

 

 

 


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


Press release: Climate Justice Taranaki vindicated by the Advertising Standard Authority

08/03/2018

Three months after Climate Justice Taranaki (CJT) filed its complaint on the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association (PEPANZ)’s seismic survey website, the Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) announced its Decision today. Read the rest of this entry »