Oil and gas ‘unethical like tobacco’?

Yesterday’s ODT quoted a Dunedin City Councillor’s view on the news Shell will be drilling in the Deep South Basin:

Cr Jinty MacTavish agreed, saying the city would not spend money to try to attract the ”unethical” tobacco industry, and should avoid the oil and gas industry for the same reasons.

”It’s an unethical business and I wouldn’t like to see Dunedin setting out to attract it.”

Even for someone with very strong concerns about climate change this is an extreme view.

I am sure she doesn’t smoke but like all of us she uses and benefits from products of the oil and gas industry – and exploration could bring significantly more to the city and province.

Today’s paper reports Dunedin and Otago could reap billions from a game changing gas boom.

The first taste of petroleum money could be just weeks away in Dunedin, as Texas-based oil giant Anadarko prepares to move its state-of-the-art drilling ship into Otago waters, it has been confirmed.

A natural gas boom worth billions of dollars to the regional economy could follow in the ship’s wake, with thousands of jobs potentially created across Otago, it has been suggested.

As arguments for and against the industry’s arrival in Dunedin continue, a report by economic analyst Berl has outlined the possible regional benefits of an oil or gas strike anywhere in the South Island.

It calculated a large offshore gas field could be worth $8.1 billion to the economy of any region hosting the industry, and $3.1 billion in regional GDP, while creating 11,540 jobs.

The report was prepared in March 2012 for the Ministry of Economic Development, but had not previously been seen by Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull.

He told the ODT yesterday the report did not allay public concern about fossil fuels and climate change, but the economic benefits – if applied to Dunedin or Otago – would be ”more than significant”.

”It could be a game-changer in terms of the economy.”. . .

The DCC has been lamenting job losses in the city and calling on government to help.

Now there’s an opportunity for significant inwards investment and job creation and the mayor and some of his councillors are still reluctant to grasp it.

6 Responses to Oil and gas ‘unethical like tobacco’?

  1. Bulaman says:

    Ms McTavish should note that Invercargill (and probably Timaru) are more than happy to step up and host real jobs. White anting your own patch seems at odds with representing it. I guess her voting base will only wake up when the last business turns out the lights in Dunedin and the rates burden reaches $100K per citizen per annum. France under Hollande provides a ready template for those who wonder what would happen under rampant socialism.


  2. Mr E says:

    I support Jinty’s view that Dunedin shouldn’t support the oil industry. Invercargill should.


  3. Gravedodger says:

    I wonder how many of those who, while decrying the loss of the historical wealth creators of Dunedin City, are enjoying state funded sinecures via health education and welfare and are now at the forfront of this opposition to the actual returns from exploration and will then further deny their city from participating in the windfall profits, if a commercial extraction begins.

    Coal, oil, gas, and fracking are all at the top of any list of trade activity to be thwarted by the luddite left when the reality is, they are shining lights for any community wanting to progress economically.
    For evidence just spend some time in The Naki where energy and the much hated Dairying have a City and province at or near the top of any measure recognised by commercial reality statistics.

    In my childhood Dunedin was clearly the 4th city by Population and possibly 3rd by wealth, today sad old dunners is 7th by Population and a woeful 17th by income of our cities.

    With David Cull and his dopy neanderthal council, their head in the sand and gimme mentality, Ekatahuna could overtake them very soon.


  4. dave kennedy says:

    I don’t understand this “luddite left” label, when the Greens are all for embracing new technology and green energy (which are rapidly expanding new economies) and this Government calls returning to the industrial revolution progress. It is the Greens that see the potential of the digital age and would like a second cable to have us better connected with the world. It is the Greens who are promoting a planned transition to be self sustaining in energy and this Government who wants us to rely on outside companies, both to extract our oil and gas then buy it back at commercial rates. While we may get minimal royalties it is the New Zealand people who largely pay for mitigating any accident, the risk is ours, the major profit theirs.

    Gerry Brownlee gets excited about coal and calls it sexy while the Greens release a paper on how to embrace new communication technology to boost our economy https://www.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/ict_green_paper_17_12_12_final_1.pdf

    It is National that have led stuff up after stuff up in the introduction of new computer systems in several government departments because they don’t know how to provide oversight of such technology. Admittedly providing ultrafast broadband was a good idea, especially to schools, but the lack of understanding has led to the Chorus debacle and low decile schools, while grateful for their connections, have no money to buy the hardware to use it (my nephew’s school has 2 ipads for a roll of 400).

    Our children and grandchildren will be scratching their heads and wondering why we don’t have well managed communication systems like most advanced countries and why this Government wanted to mine coal.

    The luddite label is more deserving elsewhere.


  5. JRM. Says I am amazed that the views of Mayor Cull andCr Mctavish no wonder Dunedin is not progressing compared with other centers,The outlook looks dismal for Dunedin with such outlook from its Council


  6. adamsmith1922 says:

    Please identify successful green technologies and enterprises competing successfully on a commercial scale without benefit of subsidy


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