Friday, June 03, 2011

Bullshit corporate threats

For the past ten years the government has been working on an Oceans Policy, aimed at protecting our marine environment. Yesterday, the government announced it was finally moving forward on a core component of this policy: environmental regulation for the exclusive economic zone, which would allow (e.g.) deep-sea drilling to be subject to better environmental controls than at present. In response, the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association trotted out the usual response: it would raise prices:

An organisation representing oil and gas exploration says proposed environmental controls in New Zealand waters will help push up the price of petroleum products.


[PEPA executive officer John Pfahlert] says tighter controls mean more costs for companies and a higher end price for oil and gas at the pump.

Oh bullshit. Like milk, oil is a global commodity, whose New Zealand retail price is set by the global market. New Zealand is not a core production or exploration area, and tougher environmental regulation here will not change that price one iota. what it might do is reduce exploration, by discouraging those with a "cheap but dirty" approach from drilling here. But that's the intended effect, not a bug.

Meanwhile, it speaks volumes about the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association that their response to environmental regulation is threats. But I guess if you're a dirty industry committed to destroying the environment and the global climate, you've got nothing else.