INDEPENDENT NEWS

Govt’s new oil spill insurance cap still a drop in the ocean

Published: Fri 21 Jun 2019 08:42 AM
Thursday, June 20: The Government is touting an increase in oil industry liability as a win for taxpayers, but Greenpeace says the new plan would still see the New Zealand public picking up most of the bill for in the event of a major spill.
The changes to the law covering the insurance of oil exploration were announced tonight, just as the giant drilling platform of Austrian oil major OMV is about to begin its work in New Zealand waters. OMV plans to drill at depths at least as great as those of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.
While the increase from $27 million to $1.2 billion is a significant improvement, Greenpeace Senior Campaigner, Steve Abel, says it’s still a "drop in the ocean" of what a major oil spill would cost.
"The Deepwater Horizon oil drilling accident cost well over $90 billion, but the maximum insurance cover that the New Zealand Government is requiring of oil exploration companies is just $1.2 billion," he says.
"The rest of the cost of a spill inundating our coasts would be paid by our seabirds, dolphins, fisheries and the New Zealand public, which is a massive ecological and financial underwriting of oil exploration that we shouldn’t even be doing in this climate emergency.
"In a climate emergency these companies shouldn’t be searching for new oil at all, but as the Government is letting them in, the companies should have to pay the full cost of anything going wrong.
"The oil industry has refused to provide a guarantee that they will underwrite the cost of a spill, and have refused to work here unless the Government provides this subsidy.
"The drilling is done by a locally incorporated subsidiary so if there is a big spill, the New Zealand subsidiary can simply declare bankruptcy and disappear over the deepwater horizon, leaving New Zealand to clean up their mess.
"If companies like OMV believe their drilling is so safe, why don’t they underwrite the full cost of a spill?"
ENDS
Greenpeace New Zealand
Greenpeace exists because this fragile earth deserves a voice.
Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace.
Contact Greenpeace New Zealand
Website:
Google+:
Twitter:
YouTube:
Facebook:
Email:

Next in New Zealand politics

Gordon Campbell on the Commerce Commission fuel report
By: Gordon Campbell
Bill to allow licensed premises to stay open for RWC matches
By: New Zealand Government
KiwiBuild programme losing another top boss
By: RNZ
Helping our cities grow up and out
By: New Zealand Government
Ngāpuhi elder 'shocked' by conditions at Ngawha Prison
By: RNZ
Independent election policy costing unit a step closer
By: New Zealand Government
Primary and intermediate principals vote to accept new offer
By: NZEI
Breach of 'journalistic privilege' during unlawful search
By: Independent Police Conduct Authority
BSA releases decisions on coverage of mosque attacks
By: Broadcasting Standards Authority
UPDATE: Lack of fuel competition may be costing $400m
By: BusinessDesk
Breaking wholesale stranglehold on petrol supply
By: BusinessDesk
Commission releases draft report on retail fuel market
By: Commerce Commission
CommComm report will lead to more regulation, but same price
By: ACT New Zealand
MTA pumped with fuel market study findings
By: Motor Trade Association
Oil reserves budget blow out reason for quiet levy increase
By: NZ Energy and Environment Business Week
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media