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Nat's energy policy is financial madness

14 August 2008

Nat's energy policy is financial madness

The National Party's new energy policy is a tribute to cronyism and makes no economic sense, Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

"It ignores our biggest energy problem, transport fuels and the rising cost of oil, and relies on 'drill and hope'. No one with any common sense would invest in more subsidies to fossil fuels when New Zealand is so well endowed with renewable energy.

"Removing the energy efficiency standards that have saved consumers $148 million on their power bills so far, in favour of 'encouragement', will take us backwards.

"Their announcement, as new policy, a $1000 grant for solar water heating is something the Greens have already secured with Government and is already operating.

"The policy has no security of supply where fossil fuels are concerned. It's a false promise. The cost of all fossil fuels are going through the roof all over the world and the National Party wants us to commit to another 30 years of it, when in fact renewable energy options are cheaper. New geothermal and wind power stations are being built right now. Just as bad generals always plan for the last war, the Nats are planning to solve the problems of the past.

"Their policy on gas fired electricity generation will lead to the import of liquefied natural gas, where all international contracts are linked to the long term price of oil. For the first time in history we will lose control of our electricity prices and become dependent on international markets, just as we are already for petrol.

"Then there is climate change. More coal and more gas mean more emissions and the legacy of climate change for our children. So much for John Key's newfound 'belief' in climate change. In the same way that they want to borrow from our children to pay for their tax cuts, they want to borrow from future generations so that their fossil fuel friends can make more money today.

"One definition of insanity is expecting things to change while doing the same things over and over again. The National Party, which failed for years to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency wants to go back to those same policies in an attempt to fix the mess they helped create. It makes no sense.

"The Greens support the Renewable Preference and the 90 percent renewable target. We will protect our democratic process by keeping the RMA in place and allowing Kiwis a say in how our resources are used."

ENDS


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