New Zealand to resume OIL DRILLING amid fears of blackouts
06/13/2024 // Ramon Tomey // Views

New Zealand has rescinded a prohibition on drilling for oil and gas first put in place during the term of former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern amid fears of blackouts and energy supply shortages.

NZ Resources Minister Shane Jones decided to announce the ban's lifting. Alongside this, the country's coalition government is preparing to invite energy companies to resume exploration in the three major offshore fields that supply most of its gas. The decision comes after Transpower, the firm operating New Zealand's national grid, was forced to warn families to limit their electricity usage to avoid a shutdown during a cold snap.

According to Jones, the ban's overturn would deal with the energy security challenges posed by Wellington's rapidly declining natural gas reserves. He explained: "Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on and our economy running, especially during peak electricity demand and when generation dips because of more intermittent sources like wind, solar and [hydropower]."

"When the exploration ban was introduced by the previous government in 2018, it not only halted the exploration needed to identify new [energy] sources, but it also shrank investment in further development of our known gas fields which sustain our current levels of use. Without this investment, we are now in a situation where our annual natural gas production is expected to peak this year and undergo a sustained decline – meaning we have a security of supply issue barreling toward us."

Ardern, who introduced the drilling ban, announced her resignation as prime minister in early 2023. The country's election in the fall of that year saw her Labor Party thrown out of office and replaced by a right-wing coalition. Jones' party NZ First was a member of the said coalition.

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Lawmaker Simon Court of the ACT Party, a member of the coalition, also lauded the reversal of the oil drilling ban. According to him, the prohibition on oil and gas drilling announced by Ardern "wasn't environmental policy" but "a publicity stunt."

Industry leader praises the reversal of NZ's oil drilling ban

At least one industry leader in the energy sector praised Wellington's decision to lift the ban on oil and gas drilling. "We welcome a return to sensible, pragmatic policy settings that fairly manage the upstream oil and gas sector to the benefit of all New Zealanders," said Energy Resources Aotearoa CEO John Carnegie.

According to him, Ardern's policy had driven investors away, destroyed jobs and created energy chaos. Carnegie continued: "New Zealand faces an energy shortage which threatens our electricity system and the competitiveness of our exporters. We now urgently need to attract further investment in exploration and production to keep the lights on, our houses warm and business humming." (Related: Europe's largest gas field in Groningen, The Netherlands, SHUTS DOWN due to earthquake fears (or so they say.))

The Telegraph also commented on the ban's overturn, linking it to plans by British Shadow Energy Security Secretary Ed Miliband to halt new drilling for oil and gas in the U.K.'s North Sea. Per the newspaper, Wellington's move "will be a setback for green activists and likely to be regarded as a blow" to the British Labor Party Miliband is part of.

Carnegie also put in his two cents, mentioning that Miliband and other politicians should see New Zealand's plight as a warning. "If you cut off your own supplies, then you push up prices and destroy jobs," said the energy industry bigwig. "Our politicians wanted to look like leaders in tackling climate change, but instead they generated an energy crisis."

Two of the major unions funding the Labor Party – GMB and Unite The Union (UTU) –have also spoken out against Miliband's proposals. UTU General Secretary Sharon Graham urged the party "to pull back from this irresponsible policy" in a statement, warning that it will destroy jobs and force the U.K. to import more oil and gas.

"There is clearly no viable plan for the replacement of North Sea jobs or energy security," she continued. "[UTU] will not stand by and let these workers be thrown on the scrap heap. North Sea workers cannot be sacrificed on the altar of Net Zero."

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Watch Judge Andrew Napolitano explaining whether state law or federal law takes precedence on the issue of oil drilling below.

This video is from the What is happening channel on

More related stories:

In sudden turnaround, Biden administration allows oil and gas companies to drill on federal lands… but it will take YEARS for the oil to flow.

The Great Reset: Biden administration implements new costs for oil and gas drilling on public lands.

America has more oil than ALL of Middle East, so why isn't THAT all over the news?

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