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Biofuels bill blasted by Environment Commissioner

Hon Dr Nick Smith MP
National Party Environment Spokesman

3 April 2008

Biofuels bill blasted by Environment Commissioner

The Government must heed the message of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment that its biofuels bill is flawed and a risk to New Zealand’s clean, green brand, says National’s Environment spokesman, Dr Nick Smith.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright, today blasted the Government’s biofuels bill at the Environment Select Committee and recommended the bill not proceed. The Commissioner highlighted the UK House of Commons audit report recommending a moratorium on policies to increase the use of biofuels, research showing that many biofuels did not reduce carbon emissions, the limited domestic capacity for biofuels, and the environmental and food security problems of imported biofuel.

“This damning submission confirms that the Government’s biofuel policy is ill conceived and likely to do more harm than good.

“It is a nonsense for Labour to be insistent on the biofuels obligations coming into effect on 1 July when the environmental standards for such fuels are years away.

“The mad rush seems more about politics and Labour wanting to look like it’s doing something in election year rather than protecting the environment.

“Yesterday’s statement by the Minister that unsustainable biofuels are likely to be imported to meet the Government’s biofuels obligation is a damning admission.

“New Zealanders do not want to pay another five to seven cents a litre for petrol and diesel for a flawed policy that will do more environmental harm than good.

“National will not support biofuels until there are clear standards to ensure their environmental integrity.”


ENDS

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