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Future for coal rosy with National

Hon David Parker
Minister of Energy

20 February 2008 Media Statement

Future for coal rosy with National

New Zealanders will be fascinated to see what reaction Gerry “sexy coal” Brownlee gets from his National Party caucus tonight, when he unveils his energy policy to them, Energy Minister David Parker says.

“It’s unlikely to have much of an emphasis on renewable energy, given that in one of his video diaries entitled “Sexy Coal”, National’s energy spokesman says ‘we can’t do without electrical energy coming from thermal sources to any great extent in the future’ [Gerry Brownlee, chapter 1 “Sexy Coal”, video newsletter 5, 28 September 2007],” David Parker said.

“I note Mr Brownlee, along with his party’s leader John Key and deputy leader Bill English, have met with Solid Energy this week at a public relations firm.

“Such a high level delegation to a coal producer gives us some indication of the focus of National Party policy.

“All this week Mr Brownlee has been trying to scaremonger over the power situation, and use it to make the case for more coal and gas – despite the fact the main outtages we’re dealing with right now are thermal plants.

“This is clearly part of National’s agenda to soften up the public for more coal and gas-fired power stations, at the expense of renewable energy and tackling climate change.

“The real question is how this is going to go down with National’s environment spokesman, Nick Smith, who is one of the few National Party representatives that actually shows an interest in reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” David Parker said.

“I look forward to see whether National is going to follow Labour’s leadership on clean, sustainable and secure energy, or kowtow to the business interests that want to increase pollution and undermine the clean green image our exporters rely on.

“Perhaps Gerry will helpfully table his weekly diary again next week so we can keep up with developments.”

ENDS

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