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Stick to Energy, Trevor

25 July 2005

Stick to Energy, Trevor

Energy Minister Trevor Mallard should try to win back votes from National by offering Kiwis a plan for tackling the coming oil shortage, rather than making unsubstantiated allegations about Don Brash, Green Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

"The country is looking for leadership, but all they are getting from the major parties is politics," Ms Fitzsimons says.

"It is time for Labour and National to stop the bickering and offer New Zealanders a clear plan for how we're going to cope with coming oil shortages.

"Labour has at least acknowledged that oil extraction will soon begin to decline globally, but has not yet done anything to prepare for it. National, on the other hand, is busy looking in the rear vision mirror and denies there will ever be a problem.

"The evidence can no longer be ignored. I suggest Trevor read the latest book by Matthew Simmons, energy investment banker and advisor to the US Government, who says the world should 'put itself on a war footing' to prepare for a world with much less oil.

"Simmons believes Saudi Arabia can no longer increase production to meet rising demand. Predictions of rising oil production are all based on an increase from Saudi Arabia. The first, easy, thing Trevor Mallard should do is ensure that all cars coming in to the country are more fuel-efficient than those we are driving now.

"Even if the extremely optimistic International Energy Agency is right that oil production will not peak before 2013, the cars we bring in today will still be on the road then.

"The last thing we want is to be adding more dungers to our present old, inefficient fleet. We need energy efficiency standards for all cars coming into the country, and the easiest way to proceed in the meantime would be to stop the import of cars more than seven years old unless they can prove they meet efficiency and emissions standards.

"There is, of course, a great deal more that needs to be done, but we would be encouraged if Trevor would take time out of the political game for long enough to take even this one simple step," Ms Fitzsimons says.


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