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Energy fix is all spin and no solution

Energy fix is all spin and no solution

The National Party says the Government's poll-driven attempt to fix the electricity industry is all spin and no solution "What the Government is now saying is that everything will be the same but different," according to National Party Energy spokesman Gerry Brownlee.

"Consumers will be forced to pay $192 million a year for reserve generation, but there is no suggestion of where that generation will come from.

"The Resource Management Act and Kyoto compliance costs are two of the biggest hurdles to energy development in New Zealand and neither is discussed in the Government's knee-jerk answer," Mr Brownlee observes.

"When the Minister says the market will operate as normal in good years and that even in a dry year a high price will be put on reserve generation, it's more spin than an electricity turbine.

"It simply means householders may end up paying twice, once through the new tax, and then again through high prices in dry years," Mr Brownlee says.

"If the Government modified RMA processes for generation proposals, unlocked the 1000 year supply of coal by slowing down New Zealand's commitment to Kyoto and then dealt with all the issues holding up gas exploration, then it might be on track to fixing the problem.

"Setting up a bureaucracy with unlimited right to tax by way of levy is no answer.

"This is not a case of the market failing, but a case of Labour's chickens coming home to roost," he says.

"Rather than taking back control of the energy sector, the Government should have done its job and cleared the way for the industry to do what it's best at - making power.

"Instead Labour's opting for a return to state control, when an increasingly dubious public already understands the Government could have taken action much earlier," Mr Brownlee says.

"It took more than six months for Labour to simply acknowledge the repeated warnings of a looming crisis, so how considered can this rescue plan really be?

"The hot air coming from the Beehive today will certainly be of no comfort to those shivering through cold showers this winter," says Mr Brownlee.

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