ACT is announcing its Energy policy, which will:

  • Reverse the ban on oil and gas exploration
  • Remove Te Mana o te Wai from resource consenting
  • Get the state out of energy development, dumping Lake Onslow
  • Introduce a regulatory framework to support carbon capture
  • Fast-track permit development to make offshore wind easier to permit

“New Zealand’s aspiration to become a high-skilled and high-waged economy depends on affordable and reliable energy. ACT will cut the red tape that is strangling innovation, holding back reliability and driving up energy prices,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Labour would have us believe that we can’t have a clean, green environment and cheap, reliable energy at the same time. ACT believes we can have both: a thriving energy sector that serves the needs of New Zealanders and a sustainable environment for future generations.

“Getting electricity prices under control will play an important part in easing the cost of living crisis for families that are struggling most. Under this Government, almost 8 per cent of households cannot afford to keep their houses warm, while the Electricity Networks Association forecasts households will be paying twice as much for electricity in five years.

“ACT is proposing policies that will provide the energy and resources sector with regulatory coherence and investment certainty. We will drive the transition to a more productive economy with lower emissions and deliver energy and resources to consumers at the least cost.

“The decision to ban new offshore oil and gas exploration in 2018 was done without analysis, without a Cabinet decision, and without public consultation. It was subsequently revealed that there was no cost-benefit analysis and the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment found it would actually increase global emissions by forcing activity offshore.

“This year, New Zealand’s natural gas reserves dropped below 10 years’ supply for the first time since the 1970s. Taking away the option of natural gas has increased New Zealand’s reliance on coal. Reversing the ban would be a simple and effective way to reduce emissions and reliance on imported coal.

“Labour’s insistence on headlines rather than practical policies goes further than illogical bans. The Lake Onslow project has attracted controversy for its poor cost-benefit analysis and value for money and affordability criteria.

“Taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for costly projects that don’t stack up. ACT would not allow the Lake Onslow project to proceed as a government project. If a private operator believed they could fund, finance and deliver it at no cost to the taxpayer, then ACT would not object.

“Removing Te Mana o te Wai from resource consenting would simplify the process by stripping vague spiritual concepts such as mauri, or the “life-force” of water from consideration.

“It adds complexity and costs to the consenting process. It has led to water users making large one-off and on-going payments for “cultural monitoring” services which do nothing for the environment but add decades of costs to power bills and disincentivises international investors.

“ACT would emphasise the use of technology like Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage, which with the proper regulatory reform can reduce emissions at a much lower cost to Kiwis.

“Wind projects have huge potential to help New Zealand meets its renewable energy targets and ensure New Zealanders have a supply of cost-effective energy. ACT would introduce a simplified permitting regime for offshore wind projects by adopting suitable and well understood standards from equivalent OECD countries such as Denmark where many such projects have been delivered successfully.

“Labour’s energy policy is full of hot air and powered by coal. They have driven up power prices with ad hoc bans and increased regulation. ACT is proposing real change, with policy that will deliver energy and resources to consumers at the least cost.”

Policy document is here.

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