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Unsustainable biofuels add to fuel price hikes

Hon Dr Nick Smith MP
National Party Environment Spokesman

23 June 2008

Unsustainable biofuels add to fuel price hikes

The Government is out of touch with the concerns of New Zealanders over high fuel prices and the international problems with biofuels by pushing ahead with a compulsory biofuels requirement this year, says National’s Environment spokesman, Nick Smith.

The Environment Select Committee report was released today

“People will accept some cost when there are real environmental benefits, but the overwhelming evidence is that the introduction of biofuels is doing more harm than good.

“We are dumbfounded that Labour and the Greens are ignoring the pleas of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment for this bill not to proceed and her concerns that the legislation will damage New Zealand’s clean, green reputation.

“In rushing in a compulsory biofuels obligation just before the election, the Government is displaying desperation over its poor climate change record. The sustainability standards are at least a year away.

“Compelling New Zealanders from October 1 to buy biofuels, which can quite legally be produced by destroying tropical rainforest, take food from the world’s poorest, and which take more emissions to produce than they save, is madness.

“Every additional cent on a litre of fuel cost New Zealanders $60 million, and with the biofuels requirement of 2.5% estimated to cost 4 cents a litre, the Government is compounding family budget woes and the inflationary pressure on the economy for no environmental gain.

“This biofuels policy is a mess. The excise tax issues that advantage ethanol over biodiesel, and the sustainability standards need to be addressed before any compulsory requirement for biofuels introduced.”

Attached: Biofuels National Minority Report (Word Doc)


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