This is worth blogging about | The Jackal

18 Jun 2014

This is worth blogging about

As you may have heard, Simon Bridges, the Minister of Energy and Resources has decided to allow oil exploration and drilling in the habitat of the critically endangered Maui's dolphin.

Here's the media release from 3 News:

The Maui's dolphin is the world's rarest. It is estimated there are only 55 left.

"I think primarily once you go from exploration right through to production, you're not jeopardising the wildlife," says Minister of Energy and Resources Mr Bridges.

Simon Bridges is obviously living in cloud cuckoo land if he thinks that seismic testing, oil drilling and potential oil spills will have no impact on a species like the Maui's dolphin.

But what's perhaps worse than this unbelievably bad decision is that the current government has tried to keep it a secret:

In April, the Government signed off a block offer – the biggest area ever of sea and land for oil and gas exploration.

Now official documents obtained by the Green Party reveal the Department of Conservation pointed out that this is the home of the Maui's dolphin, known as the West Coast North Island Marine Mammal Sanctuary.

The area the Government has opened up for potential drilling overlaps 3000 square kilometres into the sanctuary, including large areas off the Taranaki coast.

So without the Green party locating this information the government would have been happy to keep the public in the dark about their planned extinction of the iconic Maui's dolphin.

Although popoto's decline in numbers appears to mainly be the result of set-net fishing in the area, something that the government has also declined to do anything substantial about, in the interview the woefully inept Minister makes an extraordinary admission:

"There has been petroleum exploration in that area for a long period of time," says Mr Bridges. "I think it's about achieving a balance."

Clearly there's no balance between industry and the environment because dolphin numbers have continued to decline. That travesty appears to be the result of petroleum exploration in their habitat and not just unsustainable fishing practices.

In fact there is a growing body of evidence that shows seismic testing for instance has an adverse effect on such species. Even the US Navy now acknowledges that seismic testing kills whales and dolphins.

Of course the idiotic decision has resulted in a large amount of justified criticism. However it's also resulted in a number of calls for the Minister's head. That's not really a solution, as another oil industry puppet will simply take his place.

Instead, the best thing people can do is make MP's like Simon Bridges politically extinct at the next election.