Monday, April 04, 2022

Labour lied about banning offshore gas exploration

In 2018, the Labour-led government announced they were banning new offshore gas exploration. The ban was half-hearted at best, and immediately undermined by permit extensions and changes in conditions - a policy that has continued. But now they seem to have moved beyond sneaky extensions to explicitly voiding the ban, by allowing Greymouth Petroleum to conduct new offshore exploration without a permit:

When is a ban on new offshore oil and gas exploration, really a ban?

That's the question environmentalists are asking after discovering Greymouth Petroleum has been given permission to conduct a massive seismic survey off the coast of Taranaki - with the likelihood of more activity to come.

The crown minerals regulator has allowed Greymouth Petroleum to piggyback off an existing mining permit to survey an adjacent area of more than than 260 square kilometres.

And now they've allowed Greymouth Petroleum to do this, you can bet OMV and the rest will want to do the same.

This has been allowed under s42A of the Crown Minerals Act. Note that this is a discretionary power, and the Minister could simply refuse. The fact that she did not makes it perfectly clear where the responsibility lies. And the fact that this has happened repeatedly makes it clear that it is a conscious Labour policy to say one thing and do another. Labour is lying to us about fossil fuels, trying to preserve an industry whose continuation threatens all of us. They need to stop doing that, be honest, and end fossil fuels permanently.