Friday, July 06, 2012

Climate change: Methanex's subsidised pollution

Radio New Zealand reports that Methanex will restart its second methanol plant in Taranaki, increasing production by 650,000 tonnes per year to 1.5 million tonnes per year. Of course, we're helping to pay for that, through annual pollution subsidies. Running the numbers, we're currently giving Methanex about 0.45 million credits a year, worth around $3.6 million (assuming the current low carbon price of $8 per ton). Meanwhile, according to its annual report [PDF], Methanex makes an annual profit of US$200 million. So we're subsidising a profitable company to destroy the environment.

The supposed justification for this is "jobs". According to the news report, restarting Motonui II created 40 to 50 jobs. So we're paying $72,000 per job. If you think this is a good deal, then I have a round building in Wellington to sell you...