Why are we investing in coal?

The World Wildlife Fund have today revealed that over $1 billion of New Zealanders’ pension and accident insurance money is invested in companies directly mining for coal, oil, and gas — companies who’s future profitability depends on burning fossil fuels that have to stay in the ground if we are to avoid runaway climate change. […]

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State owned enterprises shouldn’t be fracking

Stuff reports that Solid Energy says it has discovered significant coal seam gas reserves in Taranaki, and acknowledges that it could face opposition from environmentalists if the methane gas is extracted using hydraulic fracturing – or fracking. It would be reckless for Solid Energy to commence fracking for coal seam gas given numerous overseas studies which have linked fracking to drinking water contamination, human health problems and earthquakes.

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The best way to oil independence is to provide alternatives and use less

The Ministry of Economic Development’s Briefing to the incoming Energy Minister predicts New Zealand could become a net exporter of petroleum by 2030 if new oil fields are developed. It’s a laudable goal to reduce our expensive dependence on foreign oil but it would be a lot smarter to invest in alternatives like better public transport, renewable electricity and sustainable alternative fuels.

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Government slow to act on Rena highlights oil drilling risks

As oil hits the shore I’d like to salute the hundreds of people working very hard to contain the spill and volunteers registering to clean up the beaches. It’s a deeply worrying situation especially with a severe weather warning issued. The Government and petroleum industry have gone on the defensive over the speed of the […]

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Boom times for oil and gas?

This morning’s  Dominion article about ‘boom times’ for the gas and oil exploration industry is an intriguing, even slightly funny, mix of boosterism, drum beating and dissimulation. The Chair of PEPANZ appears almost breathless with excitement as he seeks to fulfil the primary objective of his organisation, “to publicise, promote and advance the interests of […]

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How many jobs will oil and gas bring NZ?

On Tuesday the Government released the final version of its backwards-looking energy strategy. Of passing note is the removal of any overt reference to lignite coal.  Of course bioenergy could be code for it, or ‘alternative transport fuels’ (the Energy Outlook 2010 specifically cites lignite diesel as an alternative transport fuel with potential.) But basically […]

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Procurement: which costs are saved?

The Government has just announced it is to review and reform state sector procurement. The Government Procurement Reform Agenda is based around four key themes: ·         Cost savings. ·         Building procurement capability and capacity. ·         Enhanced business participation. ·         Improved governance, oversight and accountability. Cost savings:  just to the Government’s expenditure or also saving costs […]

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