Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Time to halt offshore drilling

Norway has halted all deepwater oil exploration pending the results of the investigation into the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. It's a sensible decision. BP's deepwater horizon project has spewed oil into the sea for fifty days now, destroying both the ecosystem and the local economy. Given the scale of the mess, it's important to learn how it happened so that similar disasters can be prevented in future.

Meanwhile, Gerry Brownlee has just given Petrobras, one of the world's dirtiest oil companies, a permit to drill in deep water off East Cape. His attitude seems to be "it can't happen here". That's stupid and shortsighted. Quite apart from the risk of another disaster, further dependence on oil is not what we need. With the global climate spiralling out of control, we can't afford to burn more oil. Instead, we should be devoting our efforts towards expanding renewables and shifting to a clean energy future - not continuing with the same dirty technologies which got us into this mess in the first place.

Greenpeace has a petition calling on Brownlee and the government to halt offshore drilling and coal mining and instead pursue a clean, green path. You can sign it here.