The fracking report

November 26th, 2012 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Neil Reid at Stuff reports:

New Zealand’s environmental watchdog is unlikely to call for a ban on upon the release of her initial inquiry into the controversial oil and gas industry technique.

Will this stop the Greens from trying to get it banned?

Green Party energy spokesman Gareth Hughes said if Wright did not make a binding stand on fracking in her report, he would call on the Government to order a moratorium on fracking until the procedure was proven safe.

Of course not. We should also ban manufacturing until it has been proven safe.

Earlier this month, Todd Energy released the 178-page submission it had provided Wright’s investigation.

In it, the energy company – which has a history of fracking in Taranaki – said New Zealand’s multibillion-dollar energy industry would be uneconomic if fracking was outlawed.

Todd Energy chief executive Paul Moore argued the practice could be done safely.

“We need to do it – but we also need to assure the public that we’re doing it well,” he said.

The sensible debate is around how it is done and what consents are needed.

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19 Responses to “The fracking report”

  1. alex Masterley (1,510 comments) says:

    Can we have a moritorium on Gareth Hughes until he is declared safe too?

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  2. RightNow (6,986 comments) says:

    Ban the Greens until they are proven safe.

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  3. alloytoo (531 comments) says:

    “Proven safe” is a meaningless term, any action will always prove detrimental to something or someone. That is the nature of our universe.

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  4. Pete George (23,479 comments) says:

    Hughes seems to be pre-empting the report (he probably knows it won’t be favourable, this report seems to know what to expect) so is changing his demands.

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  5. bhudson (4,738 comments) says:

    he would call on the Government to order a moratorium on fracking until the procedure was proven safe.

    There has been fracking in Taranaki for some 20-odd years with no reported ill effects. We can ‘tick the box’ on this requirement Gareth and move on to maximising growth for NZ.

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  6. Keeping Stock (10,301 comments) says:

    What Alex Masterly and RightNow said (before I could!).

    Gareth Hughes will try to squeeze every drop of media sympathy that he can out of this story, but once again he has cried wolf. And all the while, as he flies up and down the land to preach the gospel of Gaia his carbon footprint grows to something the size of Ronald McDonald’s shoe. And the media simply let it happen, without questioning his apparent hypocrisy.

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  7. Pete George (23,479 comments) says:

    Here’s a look at the evolving of Hughes’ demands to ban fracking – first calling for an inquiry, then welcoming the inquiry, saying to wait until the inquiry had reported, then appearing to suggest data more was needed.

    Hughes pre-empts fracking report with evolving ban demands.

    He’s now calling for a ban regardless of the outcome of the inquiry. It was widely presumed he didn’t just want an inquiry, he wanted a ban and thought an inquiry would deliver for him.

    What will Hughes do tomorrow, call for another inquiry? Is he about to claim there needs to be more data?

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  8. Keeping Stock (10,301 comments) says:

    Yep Pete; he’ll call for an inquiry into the inquiry. And if THAT doesn’t produce the outcome he so craves, he’ll call for an inquiry into the inquiry into the inquiry. It’s a classic example of the Squeaky Wheel Syndrome, and Gareth Hughes is as squeaky a wheel as anyone.

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  9. Pete George (23,479 comments) says:

    KS: as he flies up and down the land to preach the gospel of Gaia

    He flew down to Dunedin in the weekend, I heard him talking at NetHui. It was acknowldeged he’s doing very good work on net related issues like copyright.

    But he couldn’t help putting in a few off-topic plugs for his drilling and fracking ban agenda. It didn’t go down so well.

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  10. Keeping Stock (10,301 comments) says:

    He flew down to Dunedin in the weekend, I heard him talking at NetHui. It was acknowldeged he’s doing very good work on net related issues like copyright.

    But he couldn’t help putting in a few off-topic plugs for his drilling and fracking ban agenda. It didn’t go down so well.

    He also used his trip to Dunedin to push for more signatures to the PPIR (Political Party-Initiated Referendum) petition. It would not surprise at all had he then flown from Dunedin to Auckland yesterday to go and hassle the parents of children who just wanted to see Santa.

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  11. cha (3,943 comments) says:

    There has been fracking in Taranaki for some 20-odd years with no reported ill effects

    Really?..

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/7728854/Couple-appeal-oil-wells-consent

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/editors-picks/5833938/well-well-well

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Taranaki-gas-field-contaminates-soil/tabid/1160/articleID/269871/Default.aspx

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  12. alex Masterley (1,510 comments) says:

    While I am on this subject the Royal Society and Royal Society of engineers in the UK has issued a report on fracking which is supportive of the trechnique.

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  13. ben (2,377 comments) says:

    There are two kinds of environmentalist. Those that care about the environment. And those that want to destroy the economy. Gareth’s preference is revealed by his comment.

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  14. Manolo (13,586 comments) says:

    The Luddites are determined to derail and wreck the NZ economy.

    The danger of Hughes, Norman and economic terrorists of their ilk getting near political power should scare the hell out of any thinking New Zealander.

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  15. Pete George (23,479 comments) says:

    Greens are good at tree growing.

    Alongside the money tree everyone’s familiar with there is now another tree, the clean green job tree. This tree has all branches at the same level, so from the ground you can pick one hundred thousand jobs – many of which are manufacturing jobs, in industries that don’t require any energy.

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  16. bhudson (4,738 comments) says:

    cha,

    Your first two articles point to no issue at all except for the protests of three environmentalists. In the second the regional council is clear that no water sources have been contaminated – which was Ms Roberts’ complaint.

    In the third, it points to some soil contamination. Not a problem with fracking itself, but pointing, perhaps, to different standards being advisable for chemical storage and sludge burn off.

    And not a huge amount of contamination.

    And not proven as a result of fracking. The article notes: “Under some circumstances some fracturing may have contributed,” Mr Bedford says. – which is to say that the majority of the limited contamination is not related in any way to fracking.

    You’ll need some real evidence. And something more substantial

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  17. andyscrase (89 comments) says:

    “The Environmental Defense Fund Comes Out In Support Of Fracking” (this is a US based Environmental lobby group)

    Quote:

    The Environmental Defense Fund’s chief counsel has written a blog post detailing the non-profit’s support for hydraulic fracturing of natural gas.

    The EDF is well known for pouring money into global warming, clean air and oil spill cleanup fights.

    In the case of fracking, Brownstein says, it mainly comes down to eliminating coal.

    “We fear that those who oppose all natural gas production everywhere are, in effect, making it harder for the U.S. economy to wean itself from dirty coal,” he said.

    The fund’s Mark Brownstein lays out three reasons to back natgas:

    Fracking is already a common, widespread practice
    On balance, they’d rather see natural gas-powered electricity plans than coal-powered ones. “We are glad to see these coal plants go,” he says. Plus, natural gas is the feedstock for chemicals, pharmaceuticals and fertilizer, and for direct heating and cooling
    Any potential hazards can be regulated. “Effective oversight and enforcement with the necessary financial and human resources [can] make [regulations] real.

    He closes thusly:

    Natural gas production can never be made entirely safe; like any intensive industrial activity, it involves risks. But having studied the issue closely, we are convinced that if tough rules, oversight and penalties for noncompliance are put in place, these risks become manageable.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/environmental-defense-fund-supports-fracking-2012-9#ixzz2DHHcxMkP

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  18. scrubone (3,095 comments) says:

    Also not proven safe:
    * Electric cars (ever seen a spanner fall on an EV battery?)
    * Buses (don’t get hit by one)
    * Trains (ditto)

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  19. Peter (1,699 comments) says:

    Planes aren’t safe, either.

    Best Gareth stops using them and rides a bicycle instead (also not safe, but more amusing for the rest of us)

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