Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment says fracking can be done safely

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has announced:

Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Dr Jan Wright released her interim report on this afternoon.

The report, Evaluating the environmental impacts of fracking in New Zealand, concludes that fracking can be done safely if well managed but raises concerns about the rules and safeguards surrounding the practice in New Zealand.

“During the course of this investigation I have come to a similar conclusion to the Royal Society which is that fracking is safe if it is properly regulated and managed.

“However I have significant concerns about how fragmented and complicated the regulatory environment for fracking is and about how these rules are being applied.

“If fracking is not done well it can have significant environmental impacts including polluting water and triggering earthquakes.

“I am also concerned that regulation may be too light-handed, particularly if fracking opens the door to a large-scale and widespread oil and gas boom with a lot of different companies involved.

“These concerns form the basis of the next stage of my investigation into fracking which I hope to conclude before the middle of next year.”

If the Greens ever go on about evidence based policy again, then recall how they demanded this inquiry and despite the findings they are still calling for fracking to remain banned until it is “proven safe”. They did the same with genetic engineering.

I’m pleased to see the Commissioner (who has not been shy to seriously attack the Government when she thinks they have it wrong), come up with sensible conclusions, and her further work should be very useful in providing a regulatory regime for fracking to continue to be used in New Zealand – as it has for over 20 years already.

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