Fracking plans send ‘Shock Waves’ into targeted farming community.
New Oil and Gas Permits Threaten Dannevirke, Palmerston North and the entire East Coast.
On December 9th 2014, Mosman Oil and Gas -an Australian Company listed on the London stock market, was granted three of 15 exploration permits by the NZ government. Covering some 667 sq. km, one permit is approximately 150km north east of Wellington on the east coast of the North Island. Mosman was granted two other permits in the west coast of the South Island as well.
Local farmer and member of Clean Earth League (CEL) Donald James, was shocked to see a new oil permit issued right on top of Dannevirke and merely 12 km from Palmerston North. “This could threaten the health, welfare and water supplies of both rural and urban people.”
In Taranaki, oil drilling and fracking consents are not notified to the public. Taranaki Regional Council fails to protect children in their school environment. Norfolk School is within 600m of a well site. The school is not considered affected by council, even though TAG Oil, has been consulting with the school Board of Trustees regarding the safety of the children and needing an evacuation plan in case of an emergency;
Lorraine Stephenson, Tararua district dairy farmer and CEL member asks, “Why is NZ embracing this at a time when, throughout the rest of the world, it is being banned as a result of its disastrous consequences? The bulk of the oil dollars will flow overseas and we’ll be left with environmental damages and communities beyond repair.”
“The 10-year permit will bring destruction from seismic explosions, which is likely to be followed by exploratory drilling, hydraulic fracturing (fracking), burning of toxic gases (flaring) and waste dumping, which is associated with production, for years to come. Looking at both overseas and Taranaki examples, the very social fabric that holds communities together will be torn apart. Many towns, cities, and countries are banning fracking. This is not something desirable for our region or our country.”
For further insight into oil drilling and fracking in Taranaki go to https://climatejusticetaranaki.wordpress.com/
We are now also threatened by four huge oil and gas permits, totalling 35,829 sq. km – an area 1.6 times larger than the Manawatu-Whanganui region , along the entire Hastings to Wellington coastline. The 9,800 sq.km. permit nearest to shore is owned by Austrian giant OMV – a huge oil/gas company and the largest listed manufacturing company in Austria. Which is currently expanding its drilling off Taranaki, despite international concerns for the survival of the critically endangered Maui’s dolphin.
Roschana Webby of Frack Free Manawatu/Whanganui states, “The offshore seismic blasting area will see fish and marine life suffer, whilst being at serious risk of oil spills from deep-sea drilling. Releasing of methane to atmosphere is undeniable during drilling and fracking for oil and gas. Methane as a green house gas is up to 72 times more potent in the short term, than CO2.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas
Three of the 15 permits granted are jointly owned by US based Chevron and Norwegian Statoil. Chevron is responsible for an oil spill in Brazil in 2011 and for contaminating large tracks of Ecuador’s rainforests. Many people died as a result of the polluted water supply, soil and air. Chevron Oil have not paid the court awarded US$18 billion in clean up costs for polluting Ecuador and the Amazon Basin, and are suing Ecuador for large sums in ‘penalties’ under Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS).
Oxy launched the case against Ecuador under the U.S.-Ecuador Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT). Last week, we reported that Chevron is attempting to use this same NAFTA-style treaty to evade an $18.2 billion ruling for decades of pollution in Ecuador’s Amazon. While the second-largest U.S. oil corporation (Chevron) is using the BIT’s extreme investor-state system to run from billions in damages inflicted upon Ecuador, the fifth-largest U.S. oil corporation has just employed the same system to extract nearly two billion from the country, 2012. See;
Investor-State” Disputes in Trade Pacts Threaten Fundamental Principles of National Judicial Systems. Free trade agreements (FTAs) and bilateral investment treaties (BITs) impose obligations on host governments to provide foreign investors with new privileges, but few if any social or environmental obligations are required of the investors. Disputes can be brought over alleged violations of these new rights, including the right to demand compensation for domestic policies that investors claim reduce the value of their investments. These disputes take place through an “Investor-State” dispute mechanism, which empowers foreign investors to bypass domestic courts and sue governments for cash damages in international tribunals. See;
ISDS as proposed in Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations will corrupt ethical government decisions to protect public health and the environment, in Aotearoa/New Zealand and the 11 partner nations.
Roschana asks, “Do we want this here in Aotearoa/New Zealand?”
She notes that “Opposing seismic testing stops oil prospectors knowing where to drill.”
“This drill-baby drill mentality is irresponsible and short-sighted, when opportunities for a clean energy future are already here,” concluded Roschana.