Tuesday, July 6, 2010

a blowout preventer for gerry

A brilliant article by Gordon Campbell in werewolf on the proposed search for oil and gas in the Raukumera Basin. This article is so good it should be required reading for everyone. Go here to read the whole article I highly recommend it.

The article dissects many areas of the multinational oil systems and how dirty they play the game. It also shines a light into some murk.
“at present, there are no binding international rules, standards or practices for oil rig platforms.
Therefore, when Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee is giving out assurances that industry best practice will be observed and would be enforced with respect to the likes of Petrobras and Exxon-Mobil, he is uttering empty assurances in a void.”
Thus the truth of the lies that gerry brownlee tells is revealed.
"As things stand, New Zealand is simply not taking the necessary steps to separate the economic and environmental dimensions of petroleum exploration to the same degree as Australia, the UK, Norway and (belatedly) the United States are now doing. Anyone who has watched the mining in national parks debacle this year – and the capitulation by Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson to the lure of economic gains from resource extraction – can have no faith in the government’s ability (or desire) to strike a better balance with respect to oil and gas exploration."
Yes there is much interlinkage.
"Alaska, Ecuador, the Nigerian delta, Colombia, the Timor oil spill last year…. for any government, the common lesson is that governments need to be pro-active, and need to do more than merely put out a welcome mat for oil companies. The stakes are too high to assume that oil companies will be good corporate citizens, and toe the line. In the weeks and months leading up to the fatal April 20 explosion on Deepwater Horizon rig, there is mounting evidence that BP and its contractor either ignored or suppressed the warning signs, and skimped on some of the relevant safeguards."
The layers of deception that these companies go to, to protect the profit for their shareholders.
"On what basis then, can we assume that New Zealand officials will have the experience, tools, platform access and mandate to measure and counteract the increasingly sophisticated methods that oil companies are using to mask their extraction rates, and the royalties they are liable to pay? The risks to the New Zealand environment from oil exploration and extraction can hardly be balanced by the economic returns, if we have inadequate means of detecting whether or not we are being diddled in these transactions.
Once more with feeling : is the government willing to create and equip a stand alone agency equal to the task – even if this incurs the displeasure of the oil industry ? I think we know the answer to that one already.
Finally, the willingness to proceed in the shadow of the Deepwater Horizon disaster and to take the risks involved with deepwater oil extraction around our shores stands in striking contrast to our “ no nukes” stance. After all, much of the resistance to nuclear power in this country is based on the enduring harm that a major leak would do to our natural environment, and to our way of life. Well…again, perhaps we should ask the people of the Nigerian delta or the rain forests of Ecuador about that. They would probably tell us that major oil spills mean goodbye to the natural habitat forever, too."
This is quality writing I once again urge you to read and disseminate this article – I think the arguments within squash any that brownlee can put up. This abomination can be stopped and this article provides some important arrows for our quiver. Thank you Gordon.

The arguments for mining and oil and gas exploration are weak. They deliberately downplay the risks whilst hyping up the potential benefits but it is all an illusion. Maybe I am too generous but I cannot believe anyone is as ignorant as gerry brownlee appears to be and that leads me to ask the question - what is the real reason for doing it. What does the recent political influence from the mining lobby in australia portent. Anyway it will all come out in the wash. We definately have a fight on our hands and our opponents are strong and ruthless. We have fires on the beach and fire in our hearts and with simple, strong messages their lies will crumble.

Hat tip The Standard


robertguyton said...

My letter to the Editor - Southland Express.

The United States of America has the world's toughest safety requirements around off-shore drilling for oil, yet they are in the midst of the world's worst oil spill.

New Zealand on the other hand, has surely the weakest requirements, if any at all, yet we are inviting oil companies to drill in waters deeper and further offshore than even the Americans would allow.

Have our politicians lost their minds?

Marty Mars said...

Yes rob you nail it. And that snap with the fire-photos shows great minds think alike - :)