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

"New Faces, Wise Heads": Andrew Little Announces New Labour Line Up

Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience.

“Labour has many new and highly capable MPs who will have the opportunity to prove their ability. At the same time our senior hands will be on deck to take the fight to the National-led Government and support our upcoming stars,” Andrew Little says.

“I am pleased to announce Annette King will be my deputy for the coming year. In recent weeks she has shown how crucial her wisdom and strength is to Labour. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On Rick Ellis As Te Papa’s New CEO

The recent appointment of former TVNZ boss Rick Ellis to head Te Papa has copped a fair bit of criticism. Much of it has been inspired by the suspicion that Ellis has been hired to pursue the same purely commercial goals as he did at TVNZ, while similarly neglecting the serious cultural side of his mandate. More>>

Passport Cancellation, Surveillance: Draft 'Foreign Fighters Legislation' Released

The final draft of the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill contains proposals previously announced by Mr Key in a major national security speech earlier this month. More>>

ALSO:

Related

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014... More>>

ALSO:


Savings Targets: Health Procurement Plan Changes Direction

Next steps in implementing DHB shared services programme Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the Government has agreed to explore a proposal put forward by DHBs to move implementation of the shared services programme to a DHB-owned vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

More on Health Policy:

Auckland Unification: 'No IT Cost Blowout' (Just More Expensive)

Following discussion of an update on Auckland Council’s Information Services Transformational Programme at today’s Finance and Performance Committee, council has released the report publicly. More>>

ALSO:

Other Expensive Things:

Gordon Campbell: On The SAS Role Against Islamic State, And Podemos

Only 25% of the US bombing runs are even managing to locate IS targets worth bombing. As the NYT explains at length, this underlines the need for better on-the-ground intelligence to direct the air campaign to where the bad guys have holed up... More>>

ALSO:

Public Service: Commission Calls For Answers On Handling Of CERA Harassment

EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Victory

So Andrew Little has won the leadership – by the narrowest possible margin – from Grant Robertson, and has already been depicted by commentators as being simultaneously (a) the creature of the trade unions and (b) the most centrist of the four candidates, which would be an interesting trick to see someone try in a game of Twister. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news