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National's oil obsession runs out of gas

National's oil obsession runs out of gas

The rapid decline in oil production and exports under the current government confirms that National's oil drilling obsession has been an economic and environmental failure, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

Oil production in New Zealand has fallen by 40% and oil export revenue by 47% under the current government, which is paying $45 million a year in subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.

"National's oil drilling obsession has been an economic and environmental failure," said Dr Norman.

"For six years, National has lavished taxpayer subsidies on the oil industry and changed laws at the whim of drilling companies. But New Zealand has gained nothing in return.

"The riches promised by John Key and Steven Joyce have failed to materialise. Oil production has fallen by 40% and oil export revenue has been cut in half.

"The latest failure of US drillers Anadarko to find oil just confirms that gambling on oil finds is not a successful economic policy. Even if oil was found, it would just add to the global pool of fossil fuel reserves that can't be burned if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change.

"National has bet the public's money on the wrong horse. We should be investing, instead, in jobs-rich sectors with proven success records like hi-tech manufacturing and IT.

"National's economic strategy rests on asset sales and oil drilling. Both have been total failures. Smart, green economic policies are the path to a prosperous New Zealand," said Dr Norman.

Additional information:
Exports of Oil and related products
Gross petajoules (PJ)
NZ Oil Production
$ 3,251,924,048
$ 2,057,046,806
$ 2,195,818,289
$ 2,575,049,367
$ 2,211,827,922
$ 1,726,752,000
Statistics New Zealand, Overseas Merchandise Trade series
MED Energy data file
WWF report on fossil fuel subsidies


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