Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Against more gas

One of the first things National did on entering office in 2008 was to repeal Labour's ban on new thermal electricity generation. They've got away with it so far because their stagnant economy and worries about the potential shutdown of Tiwai Point has flattened electricity demand, meaning that old fossil fuel stations like New Plymouth and Huntly A & B haven't needed to be replaced as they shut down. But now it is under threat, with plans by Nova Energy to build a new 360MW gas-fired power plant in Otorohanga.

This will be a disaster for the environment. The new power plant will emit rougly half a million tons of carbon dioxide a year, reversing a decade of declining electricity sector emissions. Worse, that pollution will be locked in for the lifetime of the asset, twenty to thirty years. And given the current state of the climate, those are the exact twenty to thirty years we need to be reducing emissions, not increasing them.

We should not be building this plant, or any other fossil-fuelled power plants in future. We have excellent renewable energy resources, and it would be perfectly possible to meet that demand with geothermal or wind instead. National's repeal of the thermal ban and its support of more pollution is condemning us to a future of drought and floods. But they don't care, because the greedy old wankers will be dead by then.

The Greens are running a petition campaign on this issue; you can sign it here.