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News on resistance to fossil fuels...
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Kia ora koutou,
Welcome to our June update. Read on for news about:
  • Kayactivism in Seattle
  • Local opposition to Shell Todd Oil
  • Taking the message to Statoil in Norway
  • Climate Consultation anger, and
  • events and actions in Dunedin, Christchurch and Nelson
and keep an eye out for news about our winter panel dicussions exploring climate justice, jobs, food and more.
Ngā mihi nui
Oil Free Wellington
 
Word of the week: Kayaktivism!

Last week, a colourful fleet of activists in kayaks used their vessels to protest and blockade a deep sea oil drilling rig belonging to Shell. The rig has been based in the port of Seattle since May in preparation for exploratory drilling in Alaska's Chukchi Sea - and has been the target of an amazing and growing local resistance. Even the Mayor has said Shell's business is not welcome there.

On last Monday morning, 15 June, 24 kayaktivists were detained and had their boats towed by the Coast Guard for attempting to stop the oil rig, named the Polar Pioneer, from leaving Seattle's port. Shell's plan to explore for oil in the pristine Arctic has bewildered people around the world working for a fairer, cleaner society which is moving away from fossil fuels. This has sparked widespread action against Arctic drilling. We stand with the people of Seattle and across the globe: Keep Shell out of the Arctic. Kia kaha to everyone involved in the Seattle protests.
Read more here

Photo by Backbone Campaign on Flickr, CC-BY-2.0

Resistance to Shell Todd Oil Services


In late April the Environmental Protection Agency heard submissions about an application to extend the Maui gas permit for another 35 years. Climate Justice Taranaki (CJT) put in a detailed submission opposing the STOS application, arguing that fossil fuel mining was a "twilight industry" that needed to be phased out and replaced by clean renewable energy as soon as possible.


The group was especially concerned about the length of the timeframe for the permit sought by Maui, the cumulative effects of contaminant discharges, the threats on endangered marine mammals and the "apparent lack of plans for decommissioning and remediation of the site."


 
OIl Free Wellington were there to show solidarity at the opening of the hearings in Wellington with a clear message: We can't live on a dead planet. It's time to move away from fossil fuels.

In June, the EPA granted the 35 year consent - without requiring any bond or commitment from Shell Todd about decommissioning the platforms safely. As Emily Bailey from CJT noted “The decision came in the wake of international news warning the imminent extinction of the Maui’s Dolphin as its population dwindled down to just 43-47 individuals." See here for more information.
Government's farcical climate change consultation met with anger

In late May. the government held a hasty series of poorly advertised meetings to get feedback about New Zealand's post 2020 emissions reduction target. It must submit this mid-year ahead of the Climate talks in Paris. As if to illustrate the government’s contempt for this consultation process, the Minister of Energy and Associate Minister for Climate Change Issues, Simon Bridges, was in Australia, promoting New Zealand as an exploration destination for oil companies.

Despite the poor publicity, large numbers of people turned up - with officials having to move to larger venues in many towns, including Wellington. The speakers were unified in their condemnation of the process and the consultation document.

As Oil Free Wellington said “A meaningful consultation would face up to this challenge and acknowledge the huge cost of doing nothing. It would also ensure the principles of climate justice are included to ensure those who are bearing the brunt of climate change, and have contributed the least, are at the heart of any plan." See here  and here for more.


Wellington meeting at Wellington Girls College Hall. Photo-Russel Norman
Delegation takes message to Statoil in Norway

In May, a Far North delegation - the Taikaha group - went to Norway to talk to the indigenous Sami people about opposition to oil exploration in the Te Reinga Basin. They want Statoil to halt all operations there. The delegation then spoke at the Statoil annual general meeting on behalf of Far North iwi. Statoil has also been granted a permit to explore in the Pegasus Basin off Wellington's coast. See more here and here.

People join hands to show opposition to deep sea oil

Hands Across the Sand began in the US in 2010 as a response to the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster and has grown into an annual global event. In New Zealand, events were held in Christchurch, Dunedin, and Nelson to show local opposition to deep sea oil. Hundreds turned up to show their solidarity. See more  here and here.

Good news about divestment

And after lots of work by many people, including 350 and Oil Free Otago, Dunedin City Council voted to divest from their fossil fuel investments. See here.
Copyright © 2015, OFW, All rights reserved.
 
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