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STOS oil drilling must stop

Climate Justice Taranaki are calling on submitters to once again tell
Shell Todd Oil Services(STOS)to stop drilling for oil and gas in the
South Taranaki Bight – home and feeding ground to many marine mammals
including the Maui’s dolphin and the Blue Whale. A submission form is
available on their website at
http://www.climatejusticetaranaki.info/stop-stos.

At 5pm Monday 19 June submissions close on STOS' consent applications to
bring in a jack-up rig to the Maui gas platforms that will drill 22 more
wells and discharge harmful substances at sea. STOS says it is too early
to tell the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and the public what
chemicals will be discharged. EEZ law, under which EPA acts, cannot stop
incomplete consent applications.

"These companies are not seeing the writing on the wall. To be straight
up the government and fossil fuel companies just need to be told again
and again that the fossil fuel age is over and climate change must be
considered. The oil and gas industry is a dying industry that's taking
the whole planet with it" says Climate Justice spokesperson Emily
Bailey.

STOS will later apply for an additional marine discharge consent to
cover other harmful substance discharges - the public will not be
notified on this. "They are plying the old ploy of gaining consent bit
by bit so a proper assessment of cumulative impacts cannot be made. This
approach makes it harder to turn down new consents once existing ones
are granted. What makes it worse, is just this week laws on marine
discharge consenting were repealed leaving gaping holes in legislation
just when we need them most" said Bailey.

"STOS still haven't confirmed what rig they may use - which vary a lot
in size, range and disturbance of the seabed. They haven't confirmed
what operational and drilling chemicals they will use, many of which can
be eco-toxins, biocides or carcinogens. STOS should be ashamed. This is
consent by stealth. A company that damages the planet with its product
and at all stages of its operations should no longer be able to operate
in this day and age. It's time for the fossil fool industry to move on"
said Bailey.

A consent was granted in 2015 for STOS to re-drill wells in the Maui
field for another 35 years despite the company admitting that they don't
expect more than 20 years of production. Shell has started to sell their
NZ assets but there is no culturally and environmentally acceptable
decommissioning plan for these sites nor sufficient insurance in place
for any major accidents.

"It is a well-known scientific fact that to avert runaway climate change
we must stop extracting fossil fuels now. We have renewable technologies
and sustainable agriculture methods to replace fossil fuels. The
industry is getting more desperate. We should give them the final boot
rather than putting our very future at risk by bending legislation to
suit them and being left to clean up their mess when the waning boom
hits bust" concluded Bailey.

END

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