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Councillor welcomes industry fracking submission

Councillor welcomes industry fracking submission

On the eve of announcements for massive new tracts of New Zealand land being offered up for oil and gas exploration, Gisborne District Councillor Manu Caddie has welcomed the publication of a 180 page submission by Todd Energy to the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.

Mr Caddie said he is pleased that New Zealand’s largest petroleum company acknowledges "Many of the environmental risks raised as concerns relating to hydraulic fracturing apply to all exploration and production drilling."

Claims that opposition to fracking in New Zealand is being based not on evidence, but on misinformation and emotion is ‘the pot calling the kettle black’ according to Mr Caddie.

“We hear grand claims of thousands of jobs created by the industry, but Statistics New Zealand figures suggest only about twenty percent of the industry estimates.”

“We hear suggestions that there has never been a major incident in Taranaki, yet a spill that reached the Kapiti Coast took 265 days to clean up and in one year three workers were killed in oil exploration and production.”

No one is suggesting that every fracked well results in water pollution, but the evidence from independent scientists at some of the most prestigious universities in North America is very clear that fracking is causing problems. There are issues of water contamination through fugitive emissions, there is air pollution from flaring and spray disposal, there are significant earthquakes caused by reinjection of fracking waste, there is radioactive waste being brought up as part of the fracking process.

“Todd Energy says that a moratorium on fracking would scare off the multinational oil companies. So to hell with the consequences, let’s not ensure the process is done safely by getting the regulation right first and let’s put our environment at risk in the name of profits for big business, some new income for government and a few jobs.”

The suggestion that exploration is safer than production is spurious at best – the Gulf of Mexico disaster in 2010 was an exploratory well as was the 2006 Lusi fracked well in Indonesia that resulted in a mud volcano that will spew mud for the next 25-30 years displacing hundreds of families and burying villages, farmland and highways in its path.


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