02 Nov What should the government do instead of rushing the Bill?
We’ve explained why the ban on new exploration for oil and gas will increase carbon emissions and the impact on regional New Zealand.
We think this is a bad idea. It’s not part of any plan and it’s not clear what it is trying to achieve. The government can’t explain why it is really doing this.
Rushing the Bill through Parliament as the Government is doing means the ideas and facts behind it are not being examined. Rushing legislation takes away many safe-guards against bad decisions.
We think there are three clear actions that the Government should undertake to give us confidence in their decision –
- Commission an independent economic assessment of the regional impacts. Find out just how hard the stopping of exploration – and eventually ending production when the known reserves run out – will be on regional jobs and growth.
- Ask the Electricity Authority to assess the impacts of running out of New Zealand -produced natural gas on our energy security. Major players in the electricity sector have tried to warn that it is much harder to have a reliable electricity supply from renewable sources if they can’t get natural gas to use at times of peak demand and for intermittent back-up generation.
- Ask the Climate Change Commission to investigate the climate change impacts thoroughly and comprehensively, rather than relying on claims of it being ‘common knowledge.’ Carry out an impartial assessment on what it will mean for net emissions, and have facts to rely on rather than assertions or assumptions.
Once the facts are well established by credible and independent research, then the government can carry out a proper consultation with New Zealanders.
New Zealanders in turn could have some confidence in the government’s eventual decision.
This decision will impact on New Zealand for decades to come, so let’s make it based on the facts.