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Govt Crown Minerals Changes Disappointing - Energy Resources

Changes to the Crown Minerals Act that will no longer require the Government to promote the exploration and development of Crown minerals are disappointing, says Energy Resources Aotearoa.

Energy Resources Aotearoa Chief Executive John Carnegie says:

"Throughout the world, countries are competing with one another to shore up their energy security. We are in a global contest to attract inward investment and skilled individuals that work to keep the lights on."

Carnegie says that there is increasing recognition, both internationally and domestically, that natural gas is a key resource that enables renewable energy.

"Today’s announcement comes at a time when we need more investment in gas supply - not less - to support our increasingly renewable electricity system when the wind doesn’t blow, or the sun doesn’t shine.

Industry regulator the Gas Industry Company estimates that between $300 and $500 million of investment by the industry was required every three to five years to maintain current levels of gas production.

"New Zealand’s energy system requires ongoing investment to ensure it remains affordable and reliable. If the Government is no longer willing to promote that investment through the Crown Minerals Act, how does it suppose we meet New Zealanders’ energy needs?"

Carnegie says the argument that we need to phase out fossil fuels to meet our climate goals is simplistic and misguided.

"We are now in a very strange situation where the Government argues in court that the granting of new permits under the Crown Minerals Act is not in conflict with New Zealand’s climate change goals, but also issues press statements saying that they are."

"This is a terrible signal for investors looking to bring their skills and expertise to New Zealand to ensure we have a robust, diverse, and affordable mix of energy options for New Zealand businesses and households."

"The Crown owns these minerals on behalf of all New Zealanders, and it is in the interest of all New Zealanders that it promotes their development."

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