Friday, June 03, 2011

Our anti-environment Prime Minister

As fossil fuels go, lignite is the worst of the worst. Dirty and damp, its low energy content means it results in far higher emissions than other coal (which is bad enough as is). It is basically an inefficient fuel of a past era. So its not really surprising that our anti-environment Prime Minister backs digging it up and burning it:

Prime Minister John Key has no objections to lignite being dug up and turned into briquettes near Mataura and thinks a balance can be struck between environmental impact and economic development.

Speaking in Invercargill yesterday, Mr Key said he supported Solid Energy's plan to dig up lignite and turn it into briquettes, saying the Government wanted companies such as Solid Energy, which is Government-owned, to expand.

"At the moment companies like Solid Energy are growth companies and we want them to expand in areas like lignite conversion," Mr Key said.

Burning lignite is not "balance", it is pure environmental destruction. And it is not "growth", unless you ignore the environmental costs.

Meanwhile, Key also seems to be in denial about water quality, repeating the PR about our high relative ranking, while ignoring the very real problems created by intensive dairy farming. Those problems are having a real effect on New Zealand, ruining the swimming, fishing, and other recreational opportunities for everyone else (not to mention posing public health risks and a long-term threat to our water supplies). But Key seems quite happy to let his farmer mates ruin the place so they can make a quick buck. As for the rest of us, we apparently don't matter to him.