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Prime Minister's Energy Statements Alarming

Prime Minister's Energy Statements Alarming

Prime Minister Helen Clark's rejection of the market model for electricity should be alarming to all New Zealanders, ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader and Energy Spokesman Ken Shirley said today.

"It is clear that the Government's energy policy is to be driven by Left-wing rhetoric, rather than sound commercial principles," Mr Shirley said.

"We are now witnessing the progressive nationalisation of the energy sector, with the three state owned generators - Mighty River Power, Genesis and Meridian - increasingly establishing regional monopolies and controlling retail.

"Labour panicked last year, spending $150 million of taxpayer money on the Whirinaki stand-by generator - in the hope that it is never used and in the knowledge that, if it is, it will be extremely expensive power.

"If left to its own devices, the energy sector could have found a far more optimal solution.

"It is Labour's foolish adherence to the fundamentally flawed Kyoto Protocol that is preventing the use of our extensive coal reserves, which equate to more than 50 Maui gasfields. It is clear to most energy analysts that coal-fired generation offers the best medium-term solution to our looming energy crisis.

"Regrettably, the Labour Government is fixated with renewables, and Energy Minister Pete Hodgson is on record as favouring escalating electricity prices to make these more expensive options - such as wind generation - viable," Mr Shirley said.

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