Media Release: Climate Justice Taranaki seek oil/gas prohibition in sensitive areas to protect human health and safety

21/06/2016

This morning, Climate Justice Taranaki spoke at the Proposed South Taranaki District Plan hearings. Below were our key points:

Hundreds of scientific studies concerning oil and gas development have been conducted internationally in recent years. A vast majority (84 percent) of such research has revealed signs of health impacts on nearby communities. Notably, a detailed study in Colorado concluded that residents living within 800m from gas wells were subject to almost twice the cancer risk than those living beyond 800m. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dirty Secret Is Out – Groups Say Ban Fracking Now!

03/02/2015

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“ Taranaki’s dirty secret is out! “ says Catherine Cheung, Climate Justice Taranaki.

More than 80 people from across New Zealand gathered in Taranaki last weekend to experience the impacts of the oil and gas industry on local communities and the environment, and to discuss ways to a better future. The conference, titled “Taranaki’s Beauty and the Beast” was co-organised by the Environment and Conservation Organisations of Aotearoa, Sustainable Whanganui Trust and Climate Justice Taranaki. Read the rest of this entry »


Media release: Drilling near Norfolk school threatens community health and safety

26/05/2014
Oversized trucks on Inland North Road near Tikorangi school (photo by Fiona Clark, June 2013)

Oversized trucks on Inland North Road near Tikorangi school (photo by Fiona Clark, June 2013)

Climate Justice Taranaki is extremely concerned about Tag Oil’s plan to drill for oil and gas less than 700 metres from Norfolk School. Despite the close proximity to the proposed wellsite, Norfolk School is currently not considered an ‘affected party’ by New Plymouth District Council.

“Peer-reviewed health studies in the USA have demonstrated increased cancer and other health risks among residents living within 800 metres of gas wells; and links between human birth defects and the density and proximity of gas wells, for up to 16 km radius. We are appalled by the company’s and council’s apparent lack of concern for community safety, particularly involving school children, parents and teachers.” said Catherine Cheung, Climate Justice Taranaki.

Read the rest of this entry »


Media highlights (23-30 April 2014)

01/05/2014

US EPA study may soon impact fracking litigation  (Oil and Gas Investor, 30 April)  – “The study’s primary research questions focus on the following five stages of the “hydraulic fracturing water cycle” to evaluate potential impacts on the quality and quantity of drinking water…”

With no health registry, PA [Pennsylvania] doesn’t know the impact of fracking on health  (Public Source, 30 April)  -“Health departments in both New York and Maryland, which also lie atop the Marcellus Shale, are working on health studies. Those studies are funded by their respective state governments and their governors have refused to allow fracking until the studies are complete….While there is no state-funded health research of shale operations in Pennsylvania, there are some hospital initiatives, academic projects and smaller, community-centered health projects in the works….”

Le canton de Neuchatel vote un moratoire sur les forages d’hydrocarbures  (RTS, 30 April) The parliament of the district of Neuchatel (Switzerland) voted in favour of a 10 year drilling moratorium! British company Celtique Energie has wanted to start fracking in the Val-de-Travers. After a petition with over 10,000 signatures, the MPs voted 73 to 35 in favour of a moratorium.

Oil secrets stolen (TDN, 30 April)  – “Earlier this month, Cadenhead told the judge-only trial in the New Plymouth District Court that Watchorn deliberately targeted and downloaded seismic and geotechnical information from Tag’s server which revealed the highly successful methods used by his company to find oil and gas in Taranaki.”  Assuming such secrecy also bars governments from access to such information, how can regulators scrutinize the industry?

Close-up view of seabed mining hearings  (TDN, 29 April)

In landmark ruling, Jury says fracking company must pay $3 million to sickened family  (Think Progress, 23 April)

Work at wells pause  (TDN, 23 April) – “According to an Origin Energy spokesman, production at the company’s Rimu, Kauri and Manutahi well sites was suspended two weeks ago as part of a routine operational review. “


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 highlights: 1-10 March 2014

03/03/2014

MPI leaves landfarms risks to farmers  (Radio NZ, 6 March) – Note comment from CJT with audio here (from 2:00′)

Australian doctors have raised a health red flag over coal seam gas developments  (Business Insider, 3 March)


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