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Dunne: slam the brakes on biofuels

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Dunne: slam the brakes on biofuels

UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne has joined the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment in urging the Government and all parties to slow down and consider the real effects of the Biofuel Bill currently before Parliament.

"I welcome the Commissioner's honest and frank appraisal of the upcoming legislation," said Mr Dunne.

"While biofuel is an easy argument to sell to the public and sounds undeniably 'green' there are many problems with its uptake here in New Zealand.

"New Zealand does not produce its own biofuel; we import it from the United States, where it is made from corn starch. The means by which the US produces biofuel have been shown to be a lot less carbon efficient than we have been led to believe.

"It is equivalent to the production of diesel.

"Other forms of biofuel worldwide have also hit environmental and economic snags.

"The production of biofuel from palm oil has led to the cutting down of much of Indonesia's rainforests for the cultivation of palm crops, while biofuel made from rice is recognised as contributing to the 50% increase in worldwide rice prices, which has a massive impact on the world's poorest people.

"New Zealanders too will suffer from the uptake of biofuel, through a seven cent a litre price hike on petrol at the pump, and a roll-on effect on the price of food products and other consumables which will only make it harder for New Zealand families to make ends meet.

"Until we make our own biofuel here in New Zealand, in a way that produces far less carbon emissions than regular fuel, and is economically efficient, it is disingenuous for the Government to commit New Zealanders to an initiative that is both environmentally and economically wasteful," said Mr Dunne.

ENDS

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