Over Ten Thousand Aussies Tell Big Oil To Politely Fuck Off
Over the weekend the Fight for the Bight protests went nuclear.
Thousands and thousands of passionate, pissed off Aussies rolled down to the beach in mass last Saturday to protest oil exploration and potential drilling in the Great Australian Bight. Declared a National Day of Action by organizers, over 50 paddle outs took place across the country, garnering international media attention, and hopefully, inspiring some politicians to stop Norwegian energy company Equinor from having their way with the pristine waters of the Bight.
World champs, legends, icons, groms, kooks, celebrities, anybody that could squeeze into a wetsuit and carry a sign was there. World champs Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson lead the crew in Currumbin. The Great Australian Bight Alliance, the group organizing the protests, reported that over 10,000 people participated in Saturday’s protests.
“We’re basically saying no way Equinor. Australian is not for oil drilling,” Layne Beachley, who paddled out in Sydney, told Reuters. “We need to start looking for more renewable sources for energy.”
The protests are a culmination of months of pressure on Equinor, who plan to drill exploration wells 200 miles offshore in water that’s over 7,000 feet deep. Their initial plans were scuttled by Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) and Equinor was asked to modify its drilling plan after grassroots protests spread to become a national movement.
“The opportunity to modify and resubmit does not represent a refusal or rejection of the environment plan,” NOPSEMA said in a statement earlier this month. Equinor has expressed that it would like to start drilling in late 2020 or early 2021. They’ve called the Bight “a highly prospective asset,” according to Reuters.
Equinor’s final plans are due to be submitted by November 29. The fight ain’t over yet, but it’s definitely coming to a head.
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