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March to Stop Deep Sea Drilling!

Seismic Surveying Ship Arriving in Wellington Today.

March to Stop Deep Sea Drilling!

Oil Free Wellington is holding a march in opposition to the expansion of fossil fuel exploration in Aotearoa New Zealand, and particularly deep sea drilling. It is starting at Midland Park, at 12:30pm on Friday January 24.

Anadarko is planning to begin their seismic surveying operations of the Pegasus Basin and the survey vessel, the MV Duke, is expected to be in Wellington’s port at midday today. The Pegasus Basin is 30 km south of Wellington and is at times almost 3 km deep. This is over twice the depth of the Deepwater Horizon rig where negligence on the part of both BP and Anadarko resulted in the catastrophic Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

While an oil spill is a very real threat so is climate change. At a time when we should be reducing our carbon emissions the current Government is actively pushing to increase the extraction of fossil fuels. Anadarko has already begun exploratory drilling off the coast of Raglan and plans to begin such drilling in the Canterbury Basin in February. In addition to deep sea oil drilling, we are also seeing the expansion of other forms of fossil fuel and mineral extraction from hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to sea bed mining.

Oil Free Wellington organizer Fi Gibson says, “We should not be allowing companies to use increasing dangerous methods of fossil fuel extraction which exacerbate climate change in their pursuit of profit at the expense of people and planet”.
This march is occurring as it becomes increasingly obvious that there is staunch opposition to the expansion of fossil fuel exploration. The iconic bucket fountain has been used to highlight the threat of an oil spill and groups around the country are demonstrating their staunch opposition. For example, on Sunday the 12th Oil Free Otago successfully formed a ready response team of over two hundred people with the aim of actively impeding exploration and drilling.

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