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Does anyone really care about the Future of Energy

Press Release 8 September 2005

"Does anyone really care about the Future of Energy"

Because of its focus on the long term future of energy Futures Thinking Aotearoa, NZ's only independent futures think tank, asked all 25 registered political parties a series of questions about how they envisaged NZ would look with high fuel and power prices and what their social, economic and energy specific policies would be to cope with such a new world.

As this issue is of major significance when considering any future policy or election promises it is very disturbing that only a few minor parties have responded to the questions to date.

The questions and all responses can be viewed at http://www.futurestrust.org.nz/MP/index.html

Summaries of the written responses received so far are:

"The ACT Party does not accept your self claim to be New Zealand's only independent futures think tank. We also do not accept your premise of "peak oil" which predicates your extensive list of questions. Most of your inferred solutions to the issues nominated involve centralised command planning which is the antithesis of ACT philosophy and has proven to be a failure worldwide. "

Action Legalise Cannabis saw the solution to all our fuel and energy problems as the development of a large scale hemp industry from which bio-fuels could be sourced.

Christian Heritage Party would establish a National Energy Strategy to ensure long-term security of supply and to encourage the development of alternative energy generation technologies.

Direct Democracy have a raft of policies based on the premise that we are entering "The Long Emergency" a period when cheap energy supplies are increasingly unavailable, building only vital roads, transferring goods to rail etc, as well as good public information.

The Maori Party works on the assumption that Peak Oil is upon us, and so advocates immediate action to reduce government, personal and business dependence on oil. In order to prepare for further petrol price increases up to $3 per litre and beyond, the Maori Party advocates increased use of public transport, and that public transport be adequately resourced to provide an affordable (if not free), regular and reliable service to the public.

United Future will create a Future Energy Forum that will be tasked with creating a long-term strategy for prioritising energy research and supporting the uptake of new energy-related technologies, as well as make EECA the central funding agency for the reduction of long term energy consumption by SMEs.

It will be hoped that the new Government can take the best of all the thinking that is currently going on and create a lasting future energy strategy for the benefit of our country.

Futures Thinking Aotearoa will continue providing the public with reliable independent information on all aspects of the future of energy, with a new website dedicated to this vital topic currently under construction.

ENDS

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