Oil Free Otago

Fossil Fuel Funeral

In memory of Fossil Fuels

In memory of Fossil Fuels

Oil Free Otago Media Release 30 October 2015

Fossil Fuels are Dead – Long Live Renewables

Oil Free Otago friends and supporters are meeting this afternoon, Friday 30 October, to mourn the demise of the fossil fuel industry. “The time has come to face facts” Oil Free Otago’s Rosemary Penwarden said. “With vital signs so low, recovery really is out of the question. Fossil fuels are on the way out.”

A wake for Oil and Gas is being held outside the Scenic Hotel Southern Cross, 118 High Street, Dunedin, to coincide with the New Zealand Oil and Gas Investor briefing inside.

“We want to support New Zealand Oil and Gas investors.” Ms Penwarden said. “They must be feeling pretty bad right now with their share price so low. But it’s time for investors to face reality. The first stage of grief is always denial, so we are here to support them as they move to the next stage.

“Even Energy Minister Simon Bridges is calling for fossil fuel subsidies to be stopped.”

“A realistic carbon price is just around the corner, and fossil fuel companies are fast losing their social licence to operate.”

Fossil fuels lost the race with renewables in 2013 when 143 gigawatts of renewable electricity capacity surpassed 141 gigawatts in fossil fuel-powered plants. By 2030 Bloomberg analysts predict there will be more than four times more renewable than fossil fuelled capacity, and by 2050 scientists warn that the world must have net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

“NZ Oil and Gas investors should cut their losses and reinvest in a clean future.”

END

Funeral Pamphlet-page-001

 

Letter to Shell: Now Stay Away From The Great South Basin

OFO ready response practice run 12 January 2014

Dear Shell NZ,
Yesterday Shell pulled out of drilling in the Arctic. This is such good news for millions of people worldwide. We have one planet and the race is on to save it. The people are winning.
We are writing to demand that you now cease any further plans to drill in the Great South Basin, off the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island.
Your industry is a rogue industry without the social licence to continue. Already discovered oil and gas must remain unburned for global warming to keep below an un-survivable tipping point. New frontier exploration must cease.
Like the Arctic, the deep ocean of the Great South Basin is frontier territory. Any hydrocarbon discoveries in this region are unburnable if we are to retain a liveable planet. You have no right to continue; your extreme destructive behaviour is putting us all at risk.
Remember the kayaktavists of Seattle? Be prepared for similar opposition in New Zealand. All further efforts to drill here will be strongly opposed.
Shell: pull out of the Great South Basin now, or expect resistance. The people are building a better, fairer world and we are winning. Get out of the way.
Yours sincerely
OIL FREE OTAGO

Next Meeting: Potluck & Poetry

Join Oil Free Otago next week on Wednesday 24 June at 6pm for a POTLUCK and PLANNING for our next event.

We are gearing up for the return of exploratory drilling off our coasts next summer. In anticipation for a possible flotilla to confront the drill ships we will need to do some fundraising and in the process some soul searching. We are planning a poetry night and we’d love to have your help in weaving the words to page.

RSVP by oilfreeotago@gmail.com by Tuesday 23 June if you’d like to attend the potluck planning evening. Email us anytime if you would like to deliver some of your spoken word at the event (date TBA).

Religious or not, got to LOVE that Pope Francis

Catholic or not, the Pope is talking to you! “Faced with the global deterioration of the environment, I want to address every person who inhabits this planet,” the pope wrote. “In this encyclical, I especially propose to enter into discussion with everyone regarding our common home.”

It is a strange day when the Pope quotes modern science. The face of religion is changing, along with the climate. Pope Francis says, “numerous scientific studies indicate that the greater part of the global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases … given off above all because of human activity. ”

The Guardian reports that the “draft is not a detailed scientific analysis of the global warming crisis. Instead, it is the pope’s reflection of humanity’s God-given responsibility as custodians of the Earth.”

The Pope calls on governments to tackle pollution and carefully consider the development of poorer nations.

His holyness also calls out the climate change deniers and those that unravel social progress by saying “the attitudes that stand in the way of a solution, even among believers, range from negation of the problem, to indifference, to convenient resignation or blind faith in technical solutions.”

Besides the calamity of the Pope’s encyclical being leaked before planned release, he will still have the chance to address the United Nations at his upcoming speach in the United States.

The internet has spoken its praise and gratitude to the Pope by creating this satirical and thrilling trailer to the Pope’s hypothetical new movie Pope Francis: The Encyclical. Hysterical! #PopeForPlanet

Oil Free Otago on Otago Access Radio

Oil Free Otago Radio on Otago Access Radio. Rosemary Penwarden with St. John from North West Mayo, Ireland where nonviolent direct action has kept Shell in a pickle for nearly 15 years.

Oil Free Otago Radio on Otago Access Radio. Rosemary Penwarden with St. John from North West Mayo, Ireland where nonviolent direct action has kept Shell in a pickle for nearly 15 years.

Oil Free Otago Radio – Wednesdays, 1pm-1.30pm

Oil Free Otago is a group of Otago residents who aim to protect our oceans and climate by preventing deep sea drilling and further exploration off our coasts through non-violent, community-led action.

Tune in each week for interviews and discussion around this critical issue for Aotearoa.

Listen to the latest episode here: Oil Free Otago Radio PopUpPlayer

Wanganui Chronical: Many holes in Norway fairytale

Wanganui Chronical: Many holes in Norway fairytale

6 April 2015

NEW ZEALAND OR NORWAY? Actually, it's Fiordland, New Zealand. We may look similar, but we can never get rich through oil and gas exploration the way Norway did. PHOTO/DEREK ONLEY

NEW ZEALAND OR NORWAY? Actually, it’s Fiordland, New Zealand. We may look similar, but we can never get rich through oil and gas exploration the way Norway did. PHOTO/DEREK ONLEY

WE COULD be like Norway, say oil industry proponents. Norway is rich because of oil and gas. If New Zealand wants a model from a similar-sized country, they say, it need look no further than Norway.

I’m reminded of a childhood fairy tale; remember the goose that laid the golden egg? Jack’s mother was aghast when he exchanged their cow for a few useless beans, but the beans were magic. After a number of near-misses, not without their health and safety risks, Jack got the goose, became wealthy beyond his wildest dreams and he and his mother got bigger digs and reportedly lived a happy, high-consumer lifestyle ever after.

Simon Bridges thinks oil and gas are going to be New Zealand’s golden goose, the way it was for Norway.

But he’s too late. Back in the 1970s the Norwegian Government made a calculated decision to tax the oil companies at 90 per cent. To their surprise, the companies paid the high taxes and kept coming. Norway got rich.

Norway still charge one of the highest tax rates, around 78 per cent, while New Zealand charges oil companies 42 per cent tax – one of the lowest tax takes in the world.

What Norway did in the 1970s is impossible to achieve today. Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries still have large reserves of “easy” oil. Their production is not at full capacity, so they still have the ability to influence world oil prices. Ramping up Middle East production volumes can bring prices down and make unconventional and marginal oil production uneconomic. This is far from the full explanation of the current oil price crash, but it’s been cited as a part of the puzzle.

Even before the 50 per cent drop in Brent Crude (the North Sea oil pricing benchmark), no oil company today could afford the royalties/taxes that Norway demanded back then. For deep sea drilling in New Zealand, described by the industry as a “frontier” region, margins are tight.

Back in Norway, it’s not all golden eggs. At current prices, more than half the offshore fields being developed along the Norwegian continental shelf are uneconomic [1].

In the past six months Norway’s kroner has dropped 20 per cent against the dollar. Norway’s partially state-owned oil companies Statoil and its service companies have cut thousands of jobs, and Norwegian unions are calling for government measures to protect the industry [2].

The fairy tale is ending, but Hilde Opoku of Norway’s Green Party says Norwegians are still blind to the coming change. “When we wake up from this oil bubble,” he said, “we will realise we will never have a fairy tale like this again.”

No one will. Climate change now dictates our future, a future where, if we are to keep global warming to the agreed 2C limit, most of our known reserves of oil and gas cannot be burned. Why on earth are we looking for more? Oil and gas will never be New Zealand’s golden goose. It’s time to stop believing in fairy tales.

References:

1) http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/oil-price-plunge-leads-to-lifestyle-shift-in-norway-1.2250550

2) /www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-01-08/norway-on-alert-as-oil-losses-have-government-exploring-options.html

-Rosemary Penwarden is a freelance writer and member of several environmental and climate justice groups. In between projects, she divides her time between her 3-year-old grandson and elderly mother.

Wanganui Chronicle

By Rosemary Penwarden

BLOCK OFFER 2015: MORE OF OUR SEAS FOR SALE

Oil Free Otago Press Release

30 MAR 2015
BLOCK OFFER 2015: MORE OF OUR SEAS FOR SALE

At midday today Oil Free Otago will be at the office of Dunedin North MP Michael Woodhouse to deliver a message to his government.“Today this National Government are again offering our Seas for Sale to foreign oil companies to explore for more oil and gas” said Oil Free Otago spokesperson Rosemary Penwarden, “despite the fact that we can’t burn most of the already discovered fossil fuels and keep to the two degree global warming limit that this government agreed to at Copenhagen.”

This morning Energy Minister Simon Bridges announced its 2015 Block Offer to oil companies at the Advantage NZ Petroleum Summit, Sky City Casino, Auckland.

Oil Free Otago’s protest is one of several around the country recently . Last week ANZ bank was targeted in three cities, including Dunedin, for sponsoring the petroleum Summit.

Yesterday thousands of people marched in Auckland against the government’s agenda of drilling for more deep sea oil and gas.

This morning Petroleum conference attendees were confronted with activists holding up mural-sized photographs depicting the human and animal suffering of climate-related crises.

“We have a question for our local National Party MP, Michael Woodhouse” said Ms Penwarden. “The science is clear. What doesn’t his government get about climate change?”

“This National Government are stuck in last century’s polluting fossil fuel energy policies just when we need to urgently move to a clean energy low carbon energy policy. They have no regard for securing a stable, liveable climate for our children’s future, or that of all living creatures.”

“Fossil Fuels are not our future. We will not stand by while this government continues to put our planet at risk.”
ENDS

Contact
Oil Free Otago
oilfreeotago@gmail.com