Monday, November 14, 2011

National on energy

National has released its energy policy [PDF]. The short version? "Drill it, mine it, sell it". Yes, seriously:

Our petroleum estate is under-explored. An independent valuation has put a value of $8 billion to $12 billion on potential future royalties from oil and gas production.

Making New Zealand a destination for more exploration has the potential to contribute billions to our economy, and create higher-value jobs. Our new approach will focus on areas of greatest potential, emphasise safety, and allow more transparent engagement with local communities, industry, and iwi.

No mention of course of the environmental impacts of this proposed massive expansion in drilling and mining, or of its consequences for other policy areas such as climate change (or indeed, that 90% renewable target they've supposedly committed to). Just a bright, shiny future, funded by magic money put in the ground by Leprechauns. Which we haven't discovered yet. Its like basing your household budget on winning the lottery - laughable in an individual, downright scary in a country.

As for the rest of the policy, there's nothing there. They're talking up home insulation, but not promising to do any more of it (their 50,000 new homes is part of their deal with the Greens, not new homes). There's the usual empty promises of making the electricity market "more competitive", as if that will somehow stop its new foreign owners from raising prices and bleeding us dry like the Aussie banks do. And of course National Grid upgrades - which is something they've already agreed to do. As for moving us to a more sustainable energy path, or dealing with peak oil when it comes, National just doesn't want to know.