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Call for Commission comes just in time

Media Release

For Immediate Release

5 September 2005

'Call for Urgent Parliamentary Commission comes just in time' says Anne FitzSimon, Maori Party Candidate, Nelson

'It is excellent to see TVNZ 'Sunday' programme 4 September cover the issue of rising fuel prices' says Anne FitzSimon, Low Energy Maven and Maori Party Candidate for Nelson.

'The Maori Party is committed to supporting alternatives such as electric and hybrid vehicles and bio-fuels but are concerned with the lack of urgency and ignoring the fact, that we cannot replace our current lifestyles with these substitutes' says Ms FitzSimon.

'The impact of Hurricane Katrina has reduced USA oil production capacity by around 10% due to drilling rig and oil platform damage in the Gulf of Mexico. We anticipate the USA will increase oil imports, including petrol and refined oil to meet internal demand.'

'Oil supplies from the Persian Gulf, will become tight, due to increased demand from the USA. New Zealand currently imports around 84% of its oil requirements, has no forward oil contracts and purchases oil on the spot market while tankers are on the water. We are an extremely small player on the global market.'

'Global demand currently approximately equals global production, at around 84 billion barrels of oil per day. The damage caused by Katrina to oil production, refining and distribution in the USA, will have a considerable impact on global demand' says Ms FitzSimon and leading experts in the study of Peak Oil.

'The Maori Party has initiated the call for an urgent Cross-Party Parliamentary Commission to develop an over-arching response to the oil crisis. New Zealand must reduce dependence upon oil rapidly. Voluntarily, as suggested by the Minister for Energy, Trevor Mallard, will not make any significant impact on our current oil consumption' says Ms FitzSimon.

'Our dependence on oil is much greater than just a transport issue and whether or not we can afford to drive our cars. It is the impact of the 500,000 everyday items that are currently made from oil and oil feedstocks, our food supply; fertilisers, pesticides, machinery and distribution and our industries.

'A more collaborative approach may ensure New Zealand's future and ease the transition to a low energy sustainable world.'

ENDS

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