Oil Free Otago to Government: Are you serious about the climate crisis or Not?

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Oil Free Otago Media Release 18 December 2019

Oil Free Otago said this morning that Jacinda Ardern’s government’s granting OMV consent to drill in the Great South Basin is a slap in the face for all who care about the climate crisis.

“Are we serious about the climate crisis or not?” asks Oil Free Otago’s Rosemary Penwarden. “If we are, then plans to drill for new oil and gas must cease immediately.

“Instead, this Government’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) just gave OMV the green light to drill for unburnable oil and gas in one of the world’s most marginal and treacherous oceans.

“That’s a slap in the face to all who care about the climate crisis and our future.”

OMV have consent to drill up to ten exploratory wells in the Great South Basin this summer, to similar depth as the Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 that exploded and devastated that part of the world. Wind speeds and ocean waves, already some of the biggest ever recorded, are incresing in the region due to climate change.

The EPA said that climate change could not be considered in their decision.

“The EPA has not kept up with reality” said Ms Penwarden. “At just over one degree of global warming predicted changes are occurring far sooner than expected. How can the EPA morally allow more climate destruction in the face of this climate crisis? Australia is burning, yet this government agency turns the other way.”

“How can Jacinda Ardern’s government come back from Madrid, touting themselves as climate leaders, and allow new deep sea drilling in our pristine southern ocean? That is hypocritical and deeply disappointing.”

“OMV and this government should know that Oil Free Otago and the people of the south will continue to oppose this unethical and illogical decision. We are building a resilient future. OMV has no place in that future.”

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