Gas 'fracking' alarm sounded

Climate Justice Taranaki organisers
CAMERON BURNELL/Taranaki Daily News
NOT IN OUR BACKYARD: Environmental activists and Climate Justice Taranaki organisers Emily Bailey and Urs Signer on farmland in coastal Taranaki which they believe is being surveyed for gas and oil exploration.
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Taranaki climate change activists are calling for residents to stand up against the region's growing oil and gas industry.

Parihaka residents Emily Bailey and Urs Signer have organised a public meeting in Okato tonight to discuss the issue.

The pair are part of the group Climate Justice Taranaki, which is concerned about the effect a new drilling technique called "fracking" is having on waterways and farmland.

An American documentary has suggested fracking involves injecting millions of gallons of water and sand, and hundreds of proprietary chemicals under high pressure into a well to allow gas to flow more freely.

Mr Signer said a survey company contracted by Todd Energy had started seismic surveying in recent weeks along the coast between Okato and Rahotu.

The Taranaki Daily News sought comment from Todd Energy on the issue but the firm had not responded last night.

"With 30 new oil and gas exploration permits for Taranaki, Maritime NZ says we now live in the most likely place for a major oil spill in NZ, threatening wildlife, kaimoana and our own beaches," Ms Bailey said.

She said some landowners were stopping the survey by blocking access to their land, and that the group hoped the meeting would encourage more people to do so.

"If we can stop the surveying now they may struggle to get drilling permits and we can stop the rigs being put up around us."

There were contradictory accounts from workers and the Government about what depths were being drilled at, she said.

"We're worried the oil companies are not releasing all the information about what chemicals they use, as well."

Mr Signer said that in the United States most of the research about the effects of the gas industry had been done by the companies themselves, and there seemed to have been little analysis completed in New Zealand.

"Most of what the Taranaki Regional Council has looked at is what is coming out, such as the drilling waste, but we're concerned with the chemicals that are going in with fracking. There's a mix of about 600 chemicals," he said.

He believes gas companies should give more information about what they are doing and what research they have completed.

The Climate Justice Taranaki public meeting is tonight at Hempton Hall in Okato at 7pm


1 comment:

Marty Mars said...

Good post, thanks Ana

More info on Waitangi Hill, near Gisborne where they frack.