Hughes pre-empts fracking report with evolving ban demands

The Commissioner for the Environment’s fracking report is due out tomorrow, but some seem to already know what to expect – Stuff is reporting Environment report not likely to seek fracking ban.

Green anti-fracking campaigner Gareth Hughes appears to also know, and is pre-emtping the report with demands:

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.

“Until it can be proven we have got a robust regulatory regime to protect our environment, we shouldn’t be undertaking this massive expansion which is currently planned,” Hughes said.

Earlier this year Hughes and the Greens had called for a racking inquiry, and that’s what they got. At the time they said:

We want the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment to conduct an inquiry into the practice of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in New Zealand, and to report the results of the inquiry to the House.

They got that, so they said…

Frack No!

The Parliamentary commissioner for the Environment recently announced that she will be undertaking an enquiry into fracking.

This is great news, but in the meantime we need a moratorium on new fracking wells until the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment can assure us it is safe.

That sounded more like a wish for a ban rather than an inquiry, but that they hoped the inquiry would deliver what they wanted.

In August NZ Herald published a column by Hughes – Fracking not a sensible choice for NZ - again that didn’t sound inquiry orientated, he had made up his mind to have no fracking. He concluded:

The Government should wait until the parliamentary commissioner for the environment can assure the public that fracking is safe before allowing a massive fracking expansion to occur.

So he was still hoping the inquiry would effectively deliver the ban he wanted. He also said:

The majority of both sides of this argument admit that more information and research is needed on the New Zealand context of this debate.

Wasn’t that what the inquiry was for?

And in October: Lack of fracking data worries Greens

And today if the report doesn’t give him his ban Hughes “would call on the Government to order a moratorium on fracking until the procedure was  proven safe”.

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.

By calling for another inquiry? Are about to hear there wasn’t enough data for the one about to be released?

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