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Opposition to deep sea oil drilling will not be tolerated

Written By: - Date published: 8:34 am, August 29th, 2013 - 55 comments
Categories: disaster, Environment - Tags:

Anadarko TO PAY FOR OIL SPILL

So not only will we not be permitted to protest at sea against deep sea oil drilling, but the Government is planning to remove our ability to object to applications for consent for deep sea exploratory drilling.

From Stuff this morning:

The Government is planning to remove the public’s right to oppose deep-sea oil and gas exploration.

A law change would see applications by oil giants go through the Environmental Protection Agency, but they would be “non-notified”, which means members of the public would not get to have a say.

Environment Minister Amy Adams released a discussion document yesterday and invited submissions.

The proposal will be introduced to the Marine Legislation Bill, currently before Parliament, by way of a Supplementary Order Paper. This means it won’t go through a parliamentary select committee.

This proposal is wrong in so many ways.  Get this, it will be introduced law by way of a SOP.  Not only will members of the public not be able to make submissions on a proposal for exploratory deep sea drilling, but they will not even be able to submit to a select committee on the proposal to take away their rights to make submissions on a proposal.

There will be a submission process, of sorts.  You have until September 25 to file written submissions.  I am sure that the submissions will be considered carefully.  There will be an in-tray on the Minister’s desk marked “Oil Industry and sympathetic submissions” and a sign on the office shredder marked “Submissions opposed”.

The discussion paper contains a classic goldilocks analysis.  Making exploratory drilling a permitted activity would be too permissive, making it prohibited would be too restrictive, so of course it should be discretionary.  That is good as far as it goes but it does not mean that the public should not have a say when applications are made.

In classic National speak the aim of the proposal “is to cut consenting costs and timeframes for applicants compared to the discretionary classification, while maintaining appropriate regulatory oversight of the impacts of these activities on the environment and existing interests, which cannot always be provided for by a permitted classification.”

Some may say that it is only for exploratory drilling so we have nothing to worry about.  But this is the stage where risks are greatest.  The Deep Horizon Oil Spill was from an exploratory well.

The change process being used matches the law changes rammed through by Simon Bridges earlier this year that criminalised sea protests.  Radio New Zealand reported that this change was the result of lobbying by oil companies.  No doubt these proposed changes are also the result of lobbying.

Why is it that this Government will listen intently every time that the oil companies talk to it but it refuses to let us have our say when an Oil Company wants to drill in our ocean?

55 comments on “Opposition to deep sea oil drilling will not be tolerated”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    So not only will we not be permitted to protest at sea against deep sea oil drilling, but the Government is planning to remove our ability to object to applications for consent for deep sea exploratory drilling.

    Sounds like an attack on democracy to me. What will the NZ Herald say?

    • framu 1.1

      “Look over there”

      something like that perhaps?

      • beGone Craven SpyBill leopard 1.1.1

        +1 CV
        +1 Framu

        Or perhaps things have gotten so bad that the definition of democracy has changed to: Democracy ~ big money interests

        In this case The Herald will have a front page headline “Democracy No Longer Under Attack.”

        • framu 1.1.1.1

          im just waiting till the swap out to “Oligarchy just fine thanks!”

          oh wait – they already did that didnt they

    • Sable 1.2

      The NZ Herald will continue to produce the usual low quality propaganda we all use to line our cats litter trays…..

      • Tigger 1.2.1

        They’ll write editorials about our untapped resources and how we should ‘drill, baby, drill’.

  2. Sable 2

    Case of one oily hand oiling the other…. National are an absolute disgrace…

  3. Bill 3

    Is it just me who’s thinking they have stupidly taken away one of the ‘pressure valves’ that helps contain objection/protest and keep it within (from ‘their’ perspective) acceptable bounds – and potentially ‘upped the anti’ in the minds of some?

    How long now before frustrated and angry people, either individually or in small groups, perceiving no other way to express their opposition, take to trashing oil company infrastructure such as petrol stations?

    • Winston Smith 3.1

      How long now before frustrated and angry people, either individually or in small groups, perceiving no other way to express their opposition, take to trashing oil company infrastructure such as petrol stations?

      – Well theres plenty of idiots out there who think its justifiable to abuse petrol station employees so probably won’t be that far away

      • Bill 3.1.1

        Beyond this – that your comment is so off at a tangent that it just isn’t worth any level of engagement – I’ve nothing to say. (Lied. I also want today’s chocolate fish for the comment embodying most irony award)

  4. Phaedrus 4

    How long will it be before this moves on to land, such as restriction on protests against prospecting and mining in the wonderful Pureora Forest?

  5. beGone Craven SpyBill leopard 5

    @ Mickey Savage,
    Have NZ politicians got any power to oppose the interests of big money?

    Reading this article and the many pieces of legislation that Nats are ‘pushing through’ I am having difficulty holding my stance that democracy is still functioning.

    It would appear that antidemocratic legislation would be anathema to a functioning democracy.

    However, this [and other] legislation appears to indicate that anti-democratic legislation is no longer considered negative and is openly being followed. Why would this be o.k?

    Are there more powerful interests that are demanding the negation of democratic principles? How is this occurring and how do we stop it from occurring?

    Do we have democracy in any meaningful way anymore?

    Are politicians in a position to ignore big money interests in order to ensure NZers interests are met, or is this idea of democracy and NZ interests just a farce?

    This question may be pivotal to why many are not voting.

    So has anyone any answers here?

    • mickysavage 5.1

      Good questions.

      It appears right now there is no ability or inclination to oppose the interests of big money. And even if you get a progressive government, of whatever hue, in power they will constantly battle with monied organisations trying to tilt things towards their masters.

      Part of the problem is that the legal system has been made that damn complex that it is hard to keep up with what is happening or to put changes into context. This Government is particularly adept and throwing a whole array of changes at the population. There are too many of them to keep tabs on and incrementally, little by little, democratic power is being undermined.

      It seems also that this Government does not care any more. They think they have the measure of the population and are relying on enough people being OK about the undermining of democratic measures, or just not caring about the loss of democratic control.

      • beGone Craven Spy Bill leopard 5.1.1

        Thanks for the info MickySavage, it is interesting to get any information on how things work in government. Pretty hard to fathom from ‘out here’ (!).

        I really do hope we get a party into power who really is prepared to reverse the damage Nact has done to our laws and democracy.

        Its pretty important that someone gets in who starts actively acting in NZ peoples’ interests, otherwise we really won’t have a functioning system at all.

        No wonder they wanted more spying powers. This country is going to need them if this farce carries on for much longer.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          Firstly, we are seeing what happens when a Government begins to represent corporate and financial interests, instead of their citizens interests.

          Secondly, the reason that the Right are so afraid of Cunliffe is that he may represent the provision of a real choice to the electorate, as opposed to the appearance of real choice.

          Thirdly, the goal of “reversing the damage” is, if you would allow me to put it bluntly, bullshit. Think of it this way. You are standing 10 steps away from the edge of sheer cliff face. Every Tory Government walks us 3 steps towards the edge. Every Labour Government walks us two steps backwards. It might take a bit longer, but the country is still going off the edge.

          Instead, Labour must fundamentally change the direction of society, and create an economy which encapsulates that change. Labour did this twice before (1935-1949 and 1984-1990).

          A lot of external pressure, and perhaps eventually, actual threats, will be used to ensure that this doesn’t happen, and that the dire destructive status quo carries on.

          • beGone Craven Spy Bill leopard 5.1.1.1.1

            I very much agree with what you write here CV, and am wondering how the hell we change anything?

            i.e. it has been my view that politicians require huge pressure from people in order to do the ‘brave thing’, this being required in order to counteract the “external pressure and even actual threats” that they, as politicians may face. However, how can awareness and ensuing public pressure be raised when all main sources of information have been captured by the very interests that we must fight; and these sources are what people go to in order to be informed?

            I am busy having an ongoing argument about democracy with someone who has a huge amount more worldly experience than myself, my stance being democracy still exists and how important it is not to give up hope, however this argument is becoming harder and harder to credibly adhere to, because of the amount of anti-democratic behaviour this government and our media is showing.

            And are there riots in the streets? No

            This person is happier to give up hoping and hold the view that there is no longer any real democracy, rather than living in possibly false hope and yes it is getting really hard to assert that anything other than this is occurring.

            I shall never give up, however I really do see lots of people doing so. And isn’t this just what those who are advantaged by this system want? Suits them quite well if half the voting population don’t vote because they know it makes no difference.

            I just can’t wait to be that one person standing on the street corner, shouting out “vote! speak to your politicians! its our only chance; don’t give up!” And being carted off with the label “Terrorist” pinned to my forehead, because I daresay that is how easy it will be to be labelled as such soon.

            (My comment re reversing very much referred to really reversing; not just two steps forward for every three backwards by the way.)

  6. Environmental Gigolo 6

    This is simply a legal test for prospective buyers of oil permits. Minimize obstacles increasing the value of paying for a permit. Your resource, not your choice if, their choice how much.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    National: Removing the peoples ability to have a say in the running of their country one law at a time.

    We’ve had our democracy under attack ever since National was elected.

  8. BLiP 8

    Only under a National Ltd™ government can New Zealand have such a thing as an Environmental Protection Agency which does not have “environmental protection” listed as being among its stated purposes. Only under a National Ltd™ government can we have such a thing as a Minister for the Environment usurp democracy to strip away New Zealander’s civil liberties and human rights in order to protect foreign-owned oil companies. Welcome to National Ltd™’s “brighter future” everyone.

  9. srylands 9

    “Only under a National Ltd™ government can New Zealand have such a thing as an Environmental Protection Agency which does not have “environmental protection” listed as being among its stated purposes.”

    Because that is not its objective.

    • vto 9.1

      So it’s name is a deceit then.

      • srylands 9.1.1

        Well I would not call ity deceit. EPA does protect the environment but it is not a unitary objective. It seems clear from the website:

        “We help safeguard people and the environment by regulating new organisms and hazardous substances to control the risks and enjoy the benefits.”

        http://www.epa.govt.nz/about-us/Pages/default.aspx

        It is about balancing risks and benefits – which is also the focus of the Ministry for the Environment:

        “Our mission is environmental stewardship for a prosperous New Zealand”

        http://www.mfe.govt.nz/about/about.html

        So MfE is seeking to promote growth against an environmental constraint.

        • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1

          Except it’s not doing that at all – it’s just giving the corporations carte blanche to do whatever they like and bypassing the will of the people.

        • framu 9.1.1.2

          “Well I would not call ity deceit”

          of course your wouldnt – youve already proven yourself to be less than trustworthy (and thats being polite), so of course your going to dance on the head of a pin on this one.

          Your engaging in a deceit via semantics, just like the national party. Oh and thanks for highlighting yet more deceit – but i dont think that was your intent

          • srylands 9.1.1.2.1

            “Oh and thanks for highlighting yet more deceit – but i dont think that was your intent”

            It is not deceit. The mandates and operations of these agencies are open for everyone to see. (That is what is good about NZ – total transparency in government.)

            • framu 9.1.1.2.1.1

              Yes yes we all get that if you look under the name and read the mission statement it says what your claiming

              but even you can admit that the name is misleading. thats the deceit. We dont allow that sort of deception in advertising, but here you are splitting hairs to stick up for it in government

              can you for once stop playing idiot bingo and show you comprehend what others are saying

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.2

        Yes. Typical of National really – everything they say to the public is a deceit.

    • BLiP 9.2

      If “environmental protection” is not its objective, then why would the John Key led National Ltd™ government call it the Environmental Protection Authority? If the intent was not to deceive then the organisation would be called the Environmental Rapists Protection Authority.

      • srylands 9.2.1

        It is not deceit. It is about balance. Clearly the EPA does have some interest in protecting the environment. But it is also desigend to facilitate economic growth.

        Just like if you look at the Department of Conservation’s stated role – it is not just about conservation:

        “Conservation for prosperity”

        “Conservation work underpins our environment’s ability to create wealth”

        http://www.doc.govt.nz/about-doc/role/vision-role-overview-and-statutory-mandate/conservation-for-prosperity/

        • vto 9.2.1.1

          “It is about balance”

          Whenever you hear someone say this you need to be very very wary.

          • beGone Craven Spy Bill leopard 9.2.1.1.1

            @ VTO
            Yes because they are aiming at “creating a balance” between the truth and untruth.

            Can’t be done without turning the truth into a lie, now, really can it?

          • Draco T Bastard 9.2.1.1.2

            Whenever I hear someone say that in regards to the environment I fully expect to hear them proposing the continued destruction of the environment in favour of economic growth. I haven’t been surprised yet.

          • Colonial Viper 9.2.1.1.3

            Can’t we have a balance between looking after our environment and massive and total destruction of it?

            Perhaps just partial and moderate destruction of our environment will be OK?

        • QoT 9.2.1.2

          I’m sorry, your argument is literally:

          “The X Agency is set up to do X, but it has to consider Y, therefore we cannot say its goals include X.”

          Doubleplusgood!

        • mickysavage 9.2.1.3

          Everyone should look at the Conservation document that srylands has linked to.

          Read it and weep. The protection of our environment has been handed over to a bunch of barbarians who think that our lifestyles and the economy are more important than the intrinsic value of the environment.

          • Draco T Bastard 9.2.1.3.1

            And without the environment we don’t have a lifestyle. They really just don’t seem to get that bit.

            • Greywarbler 9.2.1.3.1.1

              srylands
              More weasel words. From an economic point of view it is like killing off the goose that is laying the golden egg. That is the current practice in NZ and srylands is of the same mind as the destructive idiots who recommend it.

              All done for short term gain and with no responsibility for outcomes, just based on risk assessment – as if doing something that reduces risk of damage or destruction absolves them of any further responsibility. If they knew that their bank balances would be emptied and their assets seized to pay some recompense for the harm they caused during their lifetime and up to a century later, they might be more thoughtful before looking at and pronouncing development policies good.

              .

  10. One Anonymous Knucklehead 10

    Oil politics are as realpolitik as it gets. Electric car, sure. Electric tank or fighter bomber? Not so much.

    Still, I don’t think the National Party has really thought through the effective declaration of martial law in peacetime.

    Let’s give them a bloody nose and make sure they never ever forget this lesson.

    • Don't worry. Be happy. 10.1

      A bloody nose and a swift kick in the pants…out the door into the political wilderness for ever! Landslide the next election, when ever it is sprung on us, towards equality, ‘a fair go’ for people not foreign oil/film/aluminium/insurance/banking/gambling companies…Oh and how about that Robin Hood Tax eh? Tax all financial transactions and make the 1% pay back what they owe our society, what they’ve ripped off from this country and stolen from our children! And if they want to leave for countries that like that sort of thing…hold the door wide open and a kick in the pants for them too!

      • srylands 10.1.1

        ” And if they want to leave for countries that like that sort of thing…hold the door wide open and a kick in the pants for them too!”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expulsion_of_Asians_from_Uganda

        Yes. Just as an example – expelling the rich pricks made Uganda wealthy.Pity about the homophobia – are they related?

        In fact I imagine the world is full of examples where expelling the people who actually do pay taxes is conducive to national prosperity.

        You remove the top 6% of taxpayers and your tax take is about 35% down.

        http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/2013/taxpayers/02.htm

        But good luck with it. It will be a great experiment. I’ll get out the popcorn.

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1

          You remove the top 6% of taxpayers and your tax take is about 35% down.

          But about 50% more income stays with ordinary workers instead of being sucked up by the already wealthy.

          A good trade off.

          PS the top 1% dodge most of their tax anyway.

          But good luck with it. It will be a great experiment. I’ll get out the popcorn.,

          Don’t pretend that you’re just a spectator, you’re an active shill for the 0.1%. You’re part of the cadre of serfs which allows them to stay in control.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 10.1.1.2

          Srylands, no-one is going to leave the country to avoid, say, a 0.5% Tobin tax, but I think the obvious response to any RWNJ who threatens to go Galt is to encourage them, because no-one beyond their immediate peer group will notice or even care, and sane citizens won’t have to listen to puerile gibberish any more 🙂

          • Murray Olsen 10.1.1.2.1

            All the sane people could even allow the Randian Onanists a piece of land somewhere, on the condition that they never return to normal society. It wouldn’t even have to be good land because they’re so heroically competent they can make deserts bloom. I too am sick of seeing the self-centred whinging of pimply 15 year old socially inept morons presented as political economy.

            • srylands 10.1.1.2.1.1

              “All the sane people could even allow the Randian Onanists a piece of land somewhere, on the condition that they never return to normal society.”

              All the sane people could even allow the ferals a piece of land somewhere, on the condition that they never return to normal society.

  11. + 1 Very true OAK – this is just getting ridiculous – they have crossed so many lines – it’s beyond a joke now. How many spits in the face will we tolerate before we get the message.

    • weka 11.1

      I just read Bill’s post on Syria et al, and thought you could write another whole one on the level of deception being applied to countries that don’t have to be invaded. Why use bombs when you have John Key in charge of a country? (or whoever is on charge of NZ now, that Key is fronting for).

  12. Rhinocrates 12

    Dictatorship’s method is to chip away at freedoms where they think that the complacent “core” support will either support them or at least won’t care until freedoms have been chipped away at the very foundation… and by then it’s too late.

    “It’s their freedoms that are being eroded, and rightly so to preserve mine… oops, how did that happen?”

    Or worse: “At last!”, but that’s only for the 1% and the poor fools who imagine that if they pulled hard enough on the rope trailing from the lifeboat, they surely deserve to be hauled aboard.

  13. Alex 13

    Haven’t we learned our lesson with the Gulf, this self destruction mentality that we have is quite incredible. The worst part is that we have no excuse anymore, the average person now knows the dangers of not taking care of our planet

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