Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Govt Encouraged Solid Energy Expansion

26 February 2013

Govt Encouraged Solid Energy’s Expansion But Never Required A Business Case

The National Government encouraged Solid Energy expansion plans but never required it to submit a business case for its ambitious but ultimately futile $2 billion lignite developments, the Green Party said today.

Information released under the Official Information Act confirms that Solid Energy never provided a business case for the proposed multi-billion dollar lignite expansion to Treasury or the shareholding ministers.

“The National Government failed to provide adequate oversight of the ambitious expansion plans of the state’s coal miner,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

“The shareholding ministers and Treasury’s Crown Ownership Monitoring Unit are responsible for providing this oversight but they manifestly failed.

“But more than that, John Key was actively encouraging the expansion of Solid Energy’s lignite plans.”

John Key said to an Invercargill audience on 3 June, 2011 that, ‘At the moment companies like Solid Energy are growth companies and we want them to expand in areas like lignite conversion’.

“It is desperate stuff to now blame Solid Energy’s failings on a speech from Trevor Mallard in 2007,” said Dr Norman.

“Like South Canterbury Finance before it, the National Government’s complacency has cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

“National is failing at the basics of good economic management and oversight.”

Dr Norman also questioned the Government’s attempt to paint Solid Energy’s demise as a failure of its clean energy investments.

“The majority of Solid Energy’s asset write-downs (or impairments) were dominated by its investments in underground mines, as reported by Solid Energy’s CEO when presenting the 2012 Annual Report,” said Dr Norman.

“The closure of the Huntly and Spring Creek mines as a result of falling coal prices and the high New Zealand dollar have had a disproportionately bigger negative impact on Solid Energy’s bottom line than its investments in clean energy.

“In fact, the National Government’s decision to end the Biodiesel Grant then remove minimum biofuel requirements destroyed the business case for Solid Energy’s prior investment in biodiesel.”

Link to Treasury’s Official Information Act response:

http://www.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/treasury_oia_on_lignite_oversight_0.jpg

Link to John Key’s reported statements on Solid Energy’s expansion plans:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5094448/PM-backs-mining-souths-lignite



ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Last Rites For The TPP

The Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal is one of those litmus issues that has always had more to do with one’s place on the political spectrum than with any imminent reality.

To date, the Greens have opposed (a) a wide range of the leaked content of the TPP (b) the secretive way it has been negotiated and (c) the undemocratic way in which any final document would be ratified. Labour has shared some of those concerns, but while remaining generally supportive of the deal itself.

National has, for its part, been very enthusiastic about the TPP, while still giving assurances about Pharmac being protected... For the TPP’s friends and foes alike though, the end now seems nigh. More>>

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On The Farcical Elevation Of David Seymour

With the election won, it’s time to find jobs for the boy. David Seymour is the Act Party’s latest scrounger to be rewarded by the National Party, and not only with a seat in Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

As Key Mulls Joining ISIS Fighting: McCully Speech To UN Backs Security Council Bid

It is an honour to address you today on behalf of the Prime Minister and Government of New Zealand. Our General Election took place last week - our Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key is engaged in forming a government and that is why he is unable to be here in New York... More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Cunliffe Triggers Party Wide Leadership Contest

David Cunliffe has resigned as Labour Leader, but says he will seek re-election... If there is any contest the election will have to go through a process involving the party membership and union affiliates. More>>

ALSO:

Flyover Appeal: Progress And Certainty, Or Confusion And More Delays?

Lindsay Shelton: The Transport Agency, embarrassed by the rejection of its flyover alongside the Basin Reserve, says it’s appealing because the decision could “constrain progress.” Yet for most clear-sighted Wellingtonians a 300-metre-long concrete structure above Kent and Cambridge Terraces would in no way be seen as progress… More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Cunliffe’s Last Stand

Right now, embattled Labour leader David Cunliffe has three options. None of them are particularly attractive for him personally, or for the Labour Party... More>>

ALSO:

Key Seeking 'New Ideas': Look To Children’s Commissioner On Poverty - Greens

John Key should not reinvent the wheel when it comes to ideas for tackling child poverty, and instead look to the recommendations of the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Group on Child Poverty, Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says. More>>

ALSO:

'Safe To Re-Enter' - OIA Docs: Safety Is Absolute Priority At Pike River Mine

“We understand that the time it is taking to complete our evaluation of the risks is frustrating for the family members and we are trying to complete this work as quickly as we can,” Ms Dunphy says. “It is Solid Energy’s responsibility to make this decision and we will do so, once we have all the information required to make a fully-informed decision.” More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news