Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Back in 2011 Solid Energy established a lignite briquetting plant in Mataura. The plant was the first phase of an ambitious plan to exploit Southland's lignite, turning it into urea and diesel fuel - a plan which had the enthusiastic support of John Key. As we all know, that plan was one of the major factors in Solid Energy's failure and near-bankruptcy. And now, the briquette plant which started it all has been shut down and mothballed.

Good. Coal is a dirty fuel, and lignite is the dirtiest form of it. New Zealand and the global environment are better off without it. And in the wider view, coal companies like Solid Energy need to realise that they have no future. Their "profits" can only come by imposing enormous costs on the environment, and on humanity, including hundreds of millions of human lives. If we are to avoid those costs, they basicly have to go out of business. It's that simple.

We made a small start on that today in Mataura. Good riddance.