Oil spill spells time for change

Press Release – Climate Justice Taranaki

“Where are the booms and scoops to collect the leaking oil from the Rena?” asks Climate Justice Taranaki.Media Release: Oil spill spells time for change

Date: October 9th 2011 – For immediate release From: Climate Justice Taranaki

“Where are the booms and scoops to collect the leaking oil from the Rena?” asks Climate Justice Taranaki.

“For five days we have watched and waited with dread, as 20 tonnes of oil has spilled into the sea leaving a trail around 5km long. All we are hearing is that loads of people are investigating, on stand-by or out picking up birds from the oil slick and scanning beaches but no-one is collecting up the spilt oil.”

“The toxic glycol-based dispersant that is being sprayed on as a cheaper alternative may cause more pollution and does not get rid of the oil, as was seen in the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster. According to National Geographic, the oil there sank to the bottom and caused the death of many species including almost 90% of zooplankton – the largest and most crucial member of the oceanic food chain that everything else depends on. The local fishing community collapsed and tarballs are still washing ashore over a year later.”

“An emergency marine spill response should not be a business decision with a cost-benefit ratio. Those responsible should put everything they have into stopping any oil escaping and collecting that which does.”

“Recent oil spills in Taranaki have involved booms and scoops that could only collect a small percentage of the oily waste with the rest washed out to sea or who knows where. At another spill here, beach clean-ups ocurred and aerial surveys but no monitoring was done of the oil out at sea under the surface. A hapu were left unable to eat their local kaimoana for about three years and ongoing monitoring of effects in this region is minimal to none.”

“Everyone knows now that fossil fuels are becoming harder and more dangerous to extract and that climate change is already becoming deadly, yet still we cling to a globalised, profit-driven growth economy that relies on cutting costs by putting our environment at risk and exploiting communities.”

“Maritime NZ do not appear to be dealing well with the oil spill situation and we are tired of hearing empty reassurances while the oil still leaks into the ocean. The shipping company are unacceptably silent given what has happened.”

“What we need right now is booms and scoops out urgently to collect spilt oil. In the longterm we really need a community-controlled, sustainable economy that doesn’t depend on fossil fuels and international trade… and which has a far better oil spill response plan. The world is changing, it is time we changed too.”

“Our thoughts go out to the Bay of Plenty communities.”

A statement from Climate Justice Taranaki.


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