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Kyoto Protocol creates problems for government

Friday, 8 October 2004

Kyoto Protocol creates problems for government energy policy

The carbon tax arising under the Kyoto Protocol may well be in conflict with the government’s policy priority to improve the security and supply of electricity, according to United Future energy spokesperson Gordon Copeland.

“Mighty River Power has embarked on a feasibility study to retrofit the Marsden Point power station so that it can run on coal. New Zealand has a forecast gap between supply and demand of electricity so it is vitally important the project go ahead if at all possible.

“However the government’s carbon tax arising from the Kyoto Protocol might tip the project over the line into the uneconomic category, thus defeating their own policy objective with regard to new electricity supply.

“Energy Minister Pete Hodgson continues to duck the issue by saying we can rely on renewables but the government’s credibility in that regard is increasingly stretched when we see wind farm consents being turned down and the government itself vetoing, without hearings, any possibility of new hydro schemes within the conservation estate (one third of the area of New Zealand including most of its lakes and rivers).

“It simply doesn’t make sense,” said Mr Copeland.

ENDS

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