“With New Zealand’s gas reserves dropping below ten years of remaining use for the first time, Labour’s “Nuclear-Free Moment” could be even more reliant on imported gas and coal,” says ACT’s Energy and Climate Change spokesperson Simon Court.

“This is further proof of why the oil and gas ban must be repealed. ACT will do exactly that in Government.

“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 a classic case of Labour making an announcement for maximum publicity and minimal effectiveness.

“It was subsequently revealed to have had no cost-benefit analysis and the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment found it would actually increase global emissions by forcing activity offshore.

“There is no environmental benefit to this policy if coal is imported instead.

“The Government is trying to lead us back into the dark ages. We need clean natural gas as a transition fuel. The alternative to mining our own energy resources is importing more coal from Indonesia.

“The old and trusty Huntly power station typically runs on around 85 per cent coal and only 15 per cent gas, but it can run on 100 per cent gas. Switching to gas would be a simple and effective way to reduce emissions and reliance on imported coal.

“As well as repealing the ban, ACT proposes a realistic, no-nonsense climate change policy that matches our efforts with our trading partners’ with minimal bureaucracy. We should set a cap on total emissions in line with the actual reductions of our trading partners, then allow New Zealanders to make their own choices about the energy they use and consume based on price signals from the Emissions Trading Scheme.

“It is increasingly clear that New Zealand will need real change come October. ACT is ready to provide the backbone for a new Government.”

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