The largest ever oil and gas Block Offer announced today, including 2,600 km2 in the Maui’s dolphin sanctuary, is a disaster for our environment and shows how desperate the National Government is to keep its oil dream alive in the face of growing public concern about climate change, the Green Party said.
“This is a disaster for the environment and yet another example of National backing a polluting industry instead of investing in the clean-technology jobs that New Zealanders want,” Green Party energy and resources spokesperson Gareth Hughes said.
“It’s embarrassing that John Key and Simon Bridges don’t seem to have got the message that oil drilling is old fashioned and reckless, when just last week President Obama decided not to open up America’s southeast Atlantic coast to offshore oil drilling.
“The global movement to embrace clean energy and the low oil price make drilling for oil in New Zealand economically and environmentally stupid, but our desperate Government keeps trying.
“It makes no sense to open up 525,515 km2 for oil and gas exploration when we know that stopping climate change means we can’t burn three quarters of the fossil fuels that have already been discovered.
“The Government is so desperate for more oil it is offering permits for drilling and seismic surveying in 2,600 km2 of the Maui’s Dolphin sanctuary.
“We could be leading the world in clean energy and profiting from exporting our expertise but instead the National Government is trying to drag us back to the oil age of last century by increasing support for the fossil fuel sector by almost 600 percent,” Mr Hughes said.