Shane Jones wins the battle over oil drilling in Labour

The Herald reports:

Leader David Cunliffe yesterday said supported deep sea oil and gas exploration “in principle” but would pass laws to toughen environmental protection. …

His comments were in line with those of deputy David Parker last year which followed mixed messages from the party, with economic development spokesman Shane Jones extolling the benefits in terms of jobs while other MPs such as Phil Twyford attended anti-Anadarko protests. Mr Cunliffe yesterday said New Zealand’s law didn’t require world’s best practice in deep sea oil exploration, “so we will be changing the law so it does and we will expect future consents to meet those standards”.

That’s a big victory for Shane Jones. He has been almost the lone voice in favour of deep sea drilling, but now Labour is officially in favour of it also. I suspect it won’t stop some of its MPs still leading protest marches against it though, as they maintain their Yeah, Na strategy.

Of course if there is a change of Government, the Greens might make banning all mining and drilling a condition for coalition!

But for now, good to see some more rational policy from Labour.

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