Little warns and assures Taranaki on oil and gas

After the Government announced they would not issue any more offshore oil and gas exploration permits the reaction was swift, as was the despatch of Andrew Little to Taranaki to try to placate the oil and gas industry dependent region.

Little grew up in New Plymouth, but twice failed to win an electorate seat there (in 2011 and 2014) before opting to go list only for last year’s election.

Little is still working on belated Government PR, through an opinion piece in the Taranaki Daily News – What do we do when we can no longer rely on the black stuff?

Last week’s announcement that no new block offers for offshore oil and gas exploration was long term notice that change is happening.

Because the reality is the world is changing.

Just about every government in the world signed up two years ago to the Paris Accord to reduce the planet’s carbon emissions and reliance on fossil fuels.

Donald Trump has since withdrawn the US.

The Accord isn’t just nice words. Countries are expected to do something about the commitment they have made.

The need for action is obvious. The world is facing ever more extreme weather events, including here in New Zealand. It is putting people and livelihoods at risk.

For a country whose main exports are climate-dependant, we have a big stake in how the world deals with climate change.

The car industry is starting to prepare for a different world. Volvo and other European car makers will abandon internal combustion engines in the next 20 years. The Japanese are well ahead in electric vehicle technology and the irrepressible Elon Musk says he is only a few years away from an electric heavy goods vehicle.

Oil companies like Shell are changing. They are moving away from fossil fuels to renewable energy technology as part of their commitment to reduce their emissions, and also because consumers are demanding it.

Shell’s departure from New Zealand is part of its plan to focus on its remaining oil and gas reserves that it knows it can viably produce at US$40 a barrel.

In New Zealand, it isn’t viable to explore at US$70 a barrel. In the last few days, there has been an understandable focus on the impact of the government’s announcement on jobs and industry in Taranaki.

Little warns that the world of energy is changing, but switches to assuring that it won’t change too much too soon for Taranaki.

That is why last Thursday’s announcement made it clear that only future permits would be affected. All existing 22 permits in Taranaki continue unchanged. Existing exploration and production rights are unaffected. Onshore permits will continue to be let in Taranaki for the next three years, and there will then be a review about what happens after that time.

Let’s be clear about what existing rights actually mean. The 100,000 square kilometres of area offshore that is permitted but not yet explored can still be explored.

Viable reserves that are discovered can still be put into production.

Existing fields under production, like Kupe, can still be further developed as additional reserves are discovered.

Long term supply contracts vital to businesses like Methanex will be unaffected, and there will continue to be new supply opportunities into the future.

This industry will be around for another 30 to 40 years at least. Job losses from the industry are a long way away. There is a decent amount of time for local leaders and the government to work on the transition.

That’s if the current policies remain. What if the Greens get into a more dominant position in Government? That’s quite possible quite soon – if Labour and Green maintain their current support levels, and NZ First fails to make the threshold, Labour may end up relying on the Greens alone in a coalition starting in 2020.

If so it is reasonable to expect Greens to push for faster transition from fossil fuel extraction.

There is no leadership in hoping we can hold on to the status quo forever.

Leadership means anticipating the threats to our national livelihood, looking through short term political cycles and doing the right thing.

Business leadership in Taranaki will no doubt be trying to anticipate threats to their livelihoods. So will employees of oil and gas related businesses.

I look forward to playing my role in this great region’s future.

Little is curiously linking himself to leadership here, while it looks like he is on a mission of appeasement for Ardern.

If he really wanted to represent Taranaki as New Zealand transitions from oil and gas he could have another crack at standing for an electorate there again. But maybe his mission is more short term than that.

 

58 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  April 17, 2018

    Political weasel words impress no-one.

    • robertguyton

       /  April 17, 2018

      Alan’s even harder on you than I was, Pete!

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  April 17, 2018

        How childish.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  April 17, 2018

          Well, Alan, they seem to impress Robert when the Greens utter them.

        • Gezza

           /  April 17, 2018

          Alan’s brevity worked against him. I did think that one was well spotted & the ambiguity cleverly utilised against him with reasonably intelligent humour. Not impressed with the swipe at Pete, but that’s Robert for you.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  April 17, 2018

            Robert doesn’t seem to understand anything that features brevity, and he doesn’t go in for it himself. alas. Verbosity, yes. Insults and abuse are his idea of wit.

  2. robertguyton

     /  April 17, 2018

    What if, what if!!! Scaremongering, Pete. Some of your readers here are terrified of the Greens and you’re playing with them; cruel! What if the Greens! What if the Greens!!!

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  April 17, 2018

      The Greens are lunatics. When the lunatics take charge of the asylum it will soon be destroyed.

    • Raising issues of such importance for discussion is not scaremongering, it is an essential element of a healthy democracy, something you seem to do what you can to disrupt and diminish. I though Greens supported sound democratic processes, but sometimes that only seems to apply when it suits their own purposes.

      There are lot of ‘what ifs’ over energy use and alternatives, and it’s important they are openly discussed.

      • robertguyton

         /  April 17, 2018

        “breaking”, Pete?
        The Greens can see quite clearly the harm both those industries bring and are not blinded by the light of the financial returns they bring; temporary, at-a-cost returns that serve the planet and humanity poorly. No “breaking”; wise transitioning. Your scaremongering reveals your true political position, Pete, though you seem not to see it yourself. The good folk at The Standard have been trying to alert you to your bent forever but you’ve remained impervious to their gentle guidance.

        • Griff

           /  April 17, 2018

          Gee Robert.
          PG had the same rubbish chucked at him from the RWNJ’s on KB.
          Looks like to me he is in the middle trying to understand both sides and make his own mind up.
          Makes him more balanced than those who place tribal loyalty over reality like many at both the Standard and KB.

      • robertguyton

         /  April 17, 2018

        Fevered speculation is though, Pete – “What if the Greens assume enormous, unfettered power ???

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  April 17, 2018

          Don’t flatter yourself that people are terrified of the Greens. They are not. They are rightly concerned that the Greens seem to offer simplistic solutions rather than reasoned ones.

  3. robertguyton

     /  April 17, 2018

    “the oil and gas industry dependent region.”
    There’s the problem, right there!
    All eggs, one basket; come on, Taranaki, diversify!
    Don’t cling to your sunset industry; let it go.

    • Not all eggs in one basket, dairy farming is also big in Taranaki – what do the Greens want to do about that industry? Breaking both the oil and gas and the diary industries would be no yolk for taranaki.

      • Blazer

         /  April 17, 2018

        said Chicken little….the sky is/is not….falling.

        • Gezza

           /  April 17, 2018

          WTF?

          • robertguyton

             /  April 17, 2018

            Sorry, Gezza, Blazer. Sorry Blazer.

        • admiralvonspee

           /  April 17, 2018

          If we learn from the mistakes of our South Australian cousins then there may be light at the end of the tunnel. But we would need to rip up our waterways to make hydro the predominant source as wind/solar are non-starters. Best to give the eco-warriors….a heads up.

  4. Griff

     /  April 17, 2018

    Donald Trump has since withdrawn the US.
    No he has not.
    He has said they will withdraw but that can not happen until just before his term expires.

    The State Department said in a press release the United States would continue to participate in United Nations climate change meetings during the withdrawal process, which is expected to take at least three years.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-un-climate-usa-paris/u-s-submits-formal-notice-of-withdrawal-from-paris-climate-pact-idUSKBN1AK2FM

    The car industry is starting to prepare for a different world. Volvo and other European car makers will abandon internal combustion engines in the next 20 years

    They don’t have a choice .
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_banning_fossil_fuel_vehicles

    FWIW
    Volvo is not a European car company .
    It is a subsidiary of Geely a Chinese firm.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geely

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  April 17, 2018

      Something tells me that the price hasn’t changed since that happened.

  5. It would appear that one poster has his orders from green central

    • robertguyton

       /  April 17, 2018

      That’s “Green Central”, George.

  6. robertguyton

     /  April 17, 2018

    Pete George Predicts: “What if the Greens get into a more dominant position in Government? That’s quite possible quite soon”
    Very exciting times for us Greens, with Pete’s wind under our wings!

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  April 17, 2018

      Childish again. Next you’ll be saying ‘nyah, nyah’.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  April 17, 2018

        And Pete was asking a question, NOT making a prediction. This punctuation mark (?) at the end of a sentence means that the sentence is a question.

        • robertguyton

           /  April 17, 2018

          “That’s quite possible quite soon” is a prediction, Kitty – you’re being silly.

  7. Zedd

     /  April 17, 2018

    As with many ‘other issues’ there does seem to be a rising tide AGAINST the status quo.. in all its forms; “VIVA LA REVOLUCION !”

    It does seem that the ‘Radical Right’ are playing the FEAR-mongering card & if all else fails.. Ostrich alert ! 😀

  8. namron

     /  April 17, 2018

    I have tried to tolerate guyton’s too numerous illogical rants – just to appreciate the sane and rational opinions of other contributors. His silly claptrap adds nothing ever of any intelligent substance to any topic and I am therefore giving up on this we……!

    • David

       /  April 17, 2018

      You are dead right the guy is an obnoxious … I could get on board with all sorts of Green policies, not their socialist crap, but when you have a representative like Guyton it just turns you off the whole thing.
      Winning hearts minds and votes so you can get stuff done has been a pretty well worn track to enacting an agenda.

      • Zedd

         /  April 17, 2018

        the Greens like other parties, are ‘a broad church’ with differing opinions & even some extremists.. enuf sed !

        we mostly have one thing in common we all actually care about a healthy planet to live on.. it is NOT just a pile of resources to be dug up & exploited. We all need clean air, water & healthy soil to grow food.

        btw; there is no magic place called ‘AWAY’ where all the pollution disappears to, when we put out the rubbish, recycle bin & drive off blowing out tons of CO2 from fossil fuels etc. etc.

        • Zedd

           /  April 17, 2018

          btw; Ignoring these things..
          also; wont make them go away.. ostrich alert again 😦

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  April 17, 2018

            Ironically of course many of your critics do far more recycling and conservation than the city Greens. All our plastics, cans, glass, card, paper are properly separated at source and recycled here. Compost goes back on our own gardens. What is left is compacted into our own local rubbish tip.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  April 17, 2018

        It’s sad that obnoxious smart-alecs like Robert have the effect of turning people off the Green policies with their arrogance. He is the worst one that I have ever encountered, I must say.

        • robertguyton

           /  April 17, 2018

          Thank you, Kitty. I’ve always felt that Green supporters were too accepting of the role assigned to them by the mainstream: grateful for any crumb of praise dropped, willing to tug their forelocks at the slightest slacking of criticism by the majority; I’m not like that and don’t accept that “story” – Im green-as and very proud of it; I don’t care if you find me obnoxious, in fact, I’m encouraged to ramp it up – thanks!

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  April 17, 2018

            Impossible. You couldn’t be any more obnoxious, oafish and unlikeable than you are. Nobody could.

            Green in lower case has a quite different meaning to what you apparently imagine it to have. It means naive, simple, gullible and not very bright.

            • robertguyton

               /  April 17, 2018

              Kitty, you have no idea…

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  April 17, 2018

              Let’s hope that you are not permitted to dominate and then destroy Your NZ with your childish bad behaviour that turns people off to such an extent that they become bored and leave. We have had resident trolls before, alas. You seem to have no idea of what a tedious bore you are.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  April 17, 2018

              I am surprised that YNZ hasn’t been asked for a Bore Permit since you’ve been here.

            • PDB

               /  April 17, 2018

              Be pleased Guyton comes on here in his poor efforts to disrupt debate & deflect from how poor this govt are Kitty. He’s a great reminder for casual readers of this blog of how backward the Greens are & why bugger all people vote for them.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  April 18, 2018

              I suppose that one doesn’t have to read him, and often I don’t.

              Here are some of the synonyms for green in my thesaurus.

              Raw, unripe, immature, callow, credulous, gullible, ignorant, immature, inexperienced, naive, inexpert, unpolished, unpracticed, unskilful, unsophisticated, untrained, unversed, wet behind the ears, covetous, envious, grudging, jealous, resentful, ill, pale. sick, nauseated, unhealthy, wan….and so on.

            • robertguyton

               /  April 17, 2018

              Fair enough, Kitty; point taken. Thanks.

            • Gezza

               /  April 18, 2018

              Not quite sure how your comment of today managed to insert itself before Robert’s of yesterday below it, but I note that he appears to have conceded you have a point, Kitty, & has not been barraging the blog today. It mightn’t be a bad idea to leave things at that, & not relitigate comments made earlier yesterday.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  April 18, 2018

              Indeed, But really, I am tired of being trolled, and that’s what it is with him. I am also tired of his spoiling discussions and being so aggressive and rude and then boasting that he will be even more obnoxious. If he really does realise that this is not admired, that is a good thing.

      • robertguyton

         /  April 17, 2018

        David; I’m not “representative” of the Greens, nor do I desire to “win your heart and mind”; I’m more interested in flaying the fat from your lumpen political body and getting to the core of your thinking. So far, I’ve not struck a bone.

        • PDB

           /  April 17, 2018

          Guyton: “So far, I’ve not struck a bone”.

    • robertguyton

       /  April 17, 2018

      “Tolerate”, natron? Try “understand”; very sad to hear you’re leaving…

      • Zedd

         /  April 18, 2018

        @RG

        always good to see ‘cage rattling’ & ‘boat rocking’ esp. if it involves these SMUG Tories & their 1) money, 2) money.. 100) MONEY agenda ! 😀

        • robertguyton

           /  April 18, 2018

          Thank you, Zedd; I’m energised by your comments 🙂

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  April 18, 2018

          You two prefer the spend, spend, SPEND agenda – with other people’s money of course.

          • Blazer

             /  April 18, 2018

            try some creative,original thought Al…endless cliches from you are …boring.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  April 18, 2018

              Just pointing out the banal, half-witted, stupidity of you Lefties who think you can spend without thinking about money. I won’t tire of that.

  1. Little warns and assures Taranaki on oil and gas — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition