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Frack democracy, let's drill!

Frack democracy, let's drill!

"Taranaki residents are outraged at the Ministry for the Environment's
(MfE) untimely consultation plans on the draft Guidelines for Local
Government: Managing the Environmental Effects of Petroleum Development
Activities, including Hydraulic Fracturing (fracking)" says Emily Bailey
from Climate Justice Taranaki.

The consultation period for the documentation spans just four weeks,
ending on November 1st, when most councils are not yet meeting for the new
term, following the election of new councilors. "It makes you wonder if
MfE timed this on purpose to avoid proper consultation with elected
representatives. Will council CEOs be responding to the MfE guidelines on
behalf of us without inputs from councilors at all?" continued Bailey.

The guidelines also come before the Parliamentary Commissioner for the
Environment has delivered her final report on fracking, due out in
December at the earliest.

As an Officer of Parliament, the Commissioner's job is to hold the
government to account for its environmental policies and actions.
Independent of the government of the day, the Commissioner reports
directly to Parliament. "Thousands of people, including members of
parliament and councils have called on the Commissioner to thoroughly
investigate the safety of fracking in Aotearoa. It is important that her
report is taken seriously. MfE should not be charging ahead without
consideration of the Commissioner’s final report and recommendations."
says Bailey.

"It is also pointless that the proposed new guidelines will not be
compulsory and do not represent any change on government policy on
fracking. It just leaves you thinking this is complete greenwash."

"MfE is set up to protect our environment not further economic experiments
at the cost of the environment and human health. We are already seeing
democratic processes being stripped offshore with new EEZ legislation that
denies the rights to protest and consultation. There are widespread
concerns about fracking and deep sea oil drilling in the US and Australia
where we are seeing health problems, massive environmental degradation and
billion dollar law suits."

"MfE must protect our environment. They should wait for the Commissioner’s
final report and make sure that its findings and recommendations are
addressed in the draft guidelines, prior to consultation." says Emily
Bailey from Climate Justice Taranaki.


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