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Emerging tech makes mockery of Woods’ gas ban

27 November 2018

Emerging tech makes mockery of Woods’ gas ban

Megan Woods has added to the confusion on the Government’s oil and gas exploration ban, by praising hydrogen technology but not a gas-fed hydrogen plant with no emissions, National’s Energy and Resources spokesperson Jonathan Young says.

“The Minister is clearly disconcerted by the proposition of using natural gas to produce hydrogen, fertilizer and electricity, which can capture CO2 in the process and stop it escaping into the atmosphere. Is the Minister relying on science and evidence to guide her decision making or not?

“The Government was aware of the $1 billion-plus Pouakai NZ project in Taranaki when the ban became law this month because the parent US based company has asked for Provincial Growth Fund money to contribute to its feasibility study.

“The project tests the Government’s support for a technological transition for the hydrocarbon industry and it brings the promise of jobs to a region hard hit by the ban.

“Ms Woods was equivocal on whether to support Pouakai NZ, saying any company is free to make ‘commercial decisions’ to use gas. But not supporting a new natural gas-fed plant would mean turning her back on innovation and ignoring science.

“She is failing to strengthen our energy security and failing to use our resource estate in the best interests of New Zealanders. It makes one wonder what she’s doing as the Minister of Energy and Resources as well as Science and Innovation.

“The bottom line is the new exploration ban is a short sighted, scientifically bereft policy that this government has made law, and needs to be repealed sooner rather than later. National commits to repealing this daft law if this government does not have the nous to.”

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