Six more days to drill Equinor
On the 20th of February Norwegian oil company Equinor announced they'd be drilling in the Great Australian Bight. The public were then allowed thirty days to comment on Equinor's plans.
This much you all know, it's been covered in detail here and elsewhere, however it's come to light that not everyone knows how to fill in the NOPSEMA forms. Direct engagement with environmnetal bureaucracy is a rare thing, but don't be daunted.
To explain how it works we got Sean Doherty on the line to explain each part of the NOPSEMA form.
"First of all, Equinor’s environment plan on their proposed Stromlo drilling program is 1,500 pages long, and once you take out 500 pages of smiling Norwegians it’s still a daunting read. Unless you’ve worked in oil and gas or possess a strong science background, much of it will be tough to understand, and that’s fine. I’d strongly encourage people to still have a look at it and understand what they’re planning."
"Now, for the comments page: The first three questions [see image below] refer directly to environmental aspects of the plan, and you don’t have to answer them. Any comments in these three boxes have to refer specifically to parts of the plan. Read the plan, and if anything seems wrong to you, clearly state why in the relevant box. Stay on point."
"If you like you can just fill in the final box - 'Do you have any other comments?' You have more freedom here to comment about why Equinor shouldn’t be allowed to drill. You can speak about the threat to marine life, the threat to local industry and jobs, you can object to a huge new fossil fuel project at a time when we should be investing in renewables. You can speak from the head or from the heart."
"Filling out this form is far more valuable than any petition. Your comments go first to NOPSEMA, and then to Equinor themselves. Your comment officially becomes part of the process, and it means the people making the decision hear you directly."