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.

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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 »


Press Release: Ocean Killers: OMV, Schlumberger, Amazon Warrior

01/02/2018

“In the last 42 days, the seismic survey ship ‘Amazon Warrior’ has been forced to stop 28 times according to reports from iwi marine mammal observers onboard because the ship has come too close to whales, dolphins or seals.” said Climate Justice Taranaki spokesperson Emily Bailey. “That’s threatened or endangered species in harm’s way every one and a half days in OMV and Schlumberger’s irresponsible pursuit of oil”.

amazonwarrior 01-24-18 at 09.52 AM

Photo: The Amazon Warrior’s path of destruction, from Google Earth KMZ

“Climate Justice Taranaki fully supports the actions of Greenpeace protectors who locked on to the Amazon Warrior’s support ship yesterday in Port Taranaki. We have a proud history of civil disobedience by brave people who are willing to stand up for what’s right. Schlumberger and OMV should be ashamed of their backward operations at a time when our seas are dying and climate chaos has begun.”

“New research has proven seismic blasting kills off zooplankton and krill out to at least 1.2 kilometres from every hydrophone trailed behind the survey ships. These tiny animals underpin whole ocean productivity and are why the Southern Taranki Bight provides important feeding and nursery grounds or migration corridors for some 36 cetacean species including critically endangered Maui dolphins and endangered Blue Whales. It is part of one of the two most biodiverse areas in the world – and a hotspot for commercial and recreational fishers.”

“Together with the Cook Strait, the South Taranaki Bight is also an internationally recognised Important Bird Area, identified by Forest and Bird. Research on our ‘At risk-declining’ Little Blue Penguin has shown that some birds swam all the way from Marlborough to feed in the South Taranaki Bight. A new study on the breeding endangered African Penguin revealed a strong avoidance of their preferred foraging ground during seismic blasting, affecting their reproductive success.”

“The Iwi Chairs and Taranaki iwi and hapu came out in full against this seismic survey along with thousands of New Zealanders who don’t think the destruction of our planet is worth the price of oil. Some Taranaki iwi have also declared they want no more of this industry at all in their rohe and are demanding complete removal of all infrastructure.”

“While two other companies in the seismic industry have just gone bankrupt, Schlumberger has now declared it’s financially unviable to continue seismic surveying but they are to complete their current contracts. OMV nears the end of this survey, coming in close now to Taranaki’s coastal Marine Mammal Sanctuary. It’s time OMV, and next on the list: Todd, pull out of these contracts and do the right thing for the future of Taranaki and our planet.”

 

Sources:
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-06/uot–nrr062217.php
https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/71327531/marlboroughs-amazing-little-blue-penguins
http://www.forestandbird.org.nz/important-bird-areas
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03014223.2017.1302970?journalCode=tnzz20
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-16569-x


Climate Justice Taranaki

http://climatejusticetaranaki.info
https://www.facebook.com/climatejusticetaranaki/


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)