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Responsible companies have nothing to fear

16 October 2000

Attention Environment / Energy Reporters

Responsible companies have nothing to fear from eco taxes

The Green Party today said it was no surprise that TransAlta were asking the government to act cautiously on introducing eco-taxes to combat climate change as TransAlta was largely reliant on non-renewable gas to generate its electricity.

Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said the Green Party's policy of taxing pollution, such as carbon dioxide emissions, would have no impact at all on some electricity generators.

"TransAlta are urging the government to take it slow with their response to climate change at a time when all haste is needed to combat rising temperatures and sea levels," said Ms Fitzsimons.

"TransAlta are largely dependent on burning fossil fuels to create their power so their response to the possibility of eco-taxes is based entirely on short-term self interest."

Ms Fitzsimons said South Island based Meridian Energy with its hydro electricity production and TrustPower with its hydro and wind production would be completely untouched by any carbon tax proposals.

"It is clear that introducing a tax on carbon dioxide emissions would have a significant impact on TransAlta's business," said Ms Fitzsimons. "However burning fossil fuels is unsustainable and it is about time that companies paid the true cost for their impact on the environment.

"Only when we have true cost pricing will there be serious investment in clean energy sources like wind. It is high time for all companies to factor the health of the environment into all business decisions as the days of subsidising pollution are over," said Ms Fitzsimons.

Ms Fitzsimons stressed that all taxpayers would benefit from ecological tax reform which shifts the tax burden off positive areas like work and enterprise and onto pollution and waste.

Jeanette Fitzsimons MP: 04 470 6661, 025 586 068 Jonathan Hill (press secretary): 04 470 6719, 021 440 090

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