The opposition spokesman on energy and resources, Jonathan Young, said yesterday that Energy & Resources Minister Megan Woods should have listened to her officials’ advice that banning new offshore exploration could mean that New Zealand’s emissions actually go up, instead of down.
“Genesis Energy has released a statement this week that an uncertain future for gas may mean that coal is used as an energy source for much longer in New Zealand. This would cause higher emissions and more pollution.
“National raised this issue but the Government has refused to acknowledge or address it.
“The Minister must to take her head out of the sand and listen to some sound advice, instead of trying to ram the changes through Parliament in such a short period of time as to minimise public input and scrutiny.
This, he claimed, is now the new norm for the Labour-led Government. It refuses to listen to reason and instead has to placate its confidence and supply party, the Greens and Greenpeace.
“The Government’s own projections for future gas reserves show a significant depletion occurring from 2021 onwards and, by 2030, reserves will only be a quarter of what they are today. With industry’s current demand triple that, there will be no natural gas left for electricity generation.
Young claimed that: “Bridging that gap will require the importation of liquefied natural gas (LNG), at a significantly higher cost and with significantly higher greenhouse gas emissions than New Zealand’s domestic natural gas.
Failing that, a significant overbuild of renewable generation will also mean higher electricity costs for New Zealand businesses and families.
“The Government is already increasing the cost of living by hiking fuel taxes and causing higher rents. Increases to the cost of electricity will have a huge impact on families, particularly those on lower incomes.
“This Government is putting NZ’s energy security and electricity affordability at risk through their blinkered view of the hydrocarbon industry,” he added.