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Bailing-out Oil Companies Must Clean Up Mess

"In recent years many oil and gas companies have pulled out of operations in Aoteaora yet current legislative requirements for proper decommissioning and clean up remain grossly inadequate, despite years of government promises to close legislative loopholes," continued Bailey.

"This week the EPA were urgently appealing to the High Court to stop BW Offshore from again trying to unsafely disconnect from pipelines and remove its Umuroa production, storage and offloading ship from the abandoned well site in Taranaki. This follows the recent liquidation of the well site owners, Tamarind Resources, who now seem incapable of properly shutting down their site. Tamarind only recently bought the site permits off yet another company that bailed, TAG Oil. "

"While we welcome the departure of these companies the government must step in and stop yet another company trying to leave their mess for iwi and communities to deal with," says Climate Justice Taranaki spokesperson Emily Bailey.

"We are even more concerned now that a company would attempt this during the Covid-19 lockdown and a huge global financial crisis. These are exactly the situations communities have warned about for generations. We cannot let these companies come in and just take what they want and leave us a hugely expensive and complicated mess to clean up."

"We support the call from hapū, iwi and the EPA to demand these companies do the right thing and wait for proper direction for the safest and fastest process for removal."

"We call on the government to ensure the appropriate legislation is put in place urgently. Concern is rising that more and more petroleum companies will now go under due to the financial crisis. These companies know they have to clean up so let's finally make clear exactly what that means. The responsibility for proper clean up must not be put on taxpayers and iwi."

"Covid-19 is a wake up call for the government. It is far safer and smarter to invest in renewable, sustainable, home-grown industries and businesses with local workers rather than in foreign corporations reliant on fly-in fly-out workers to make a quick buck."

To quote Naomi Klein, author of 'This Changes Everything', “The fossil fuel companies have known for decades that their core product was warming the planet, and yet they have not only failed to adapt to that reality, they have blocked progress at every turn. Meanwhile, [they] remain some of the most profitable corporations in history. These companies are rich, quite simply, because they have dumped the cost of cleaning up their mess onto regular people around the world.”

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