Fran O’Sullivan writes:
Jacinda Ardern’s use of prime ministerial fiat to ban new offshore oil and gas exploration is disturbingly Orwellian.
Official papers released by her hapless Energy Minister confirm what was already blindingly obvious to anyone who has observed closeup the process of Governmental decision-making — the ban was purely political.
A decision that was kicked upstairs and made by Ardern, NZ First Leader Winston Peters and Greens Leader James Shaw. And rushed through — without being contested through appropriate Cabinet consideration — so it could be announced on April 12 just before the Prime Minister headed to Europe.
What it also confirms — as I wrote in April — is Ardern put her debut as a global climate change warrior ahead of making credible plans to transition New Zealand away from a reliance on fossil fuels towards clean energy.
They rushed it through so the students in London would cheer her.
On April 10 — two days before Ardern unveiled the decision — officials warned Woods the proposed ban would be “detrimental to a number of public policy objectives”.
It would not only decrease economic activity in Taranaki (currently home to NZ’s highest paid provincial earners) and increase costs to consumers. But it would increase the risks around security of supply and result in a reduction in Crown revenues from lower future royalties.
Importantly , as the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) pointed out the reduction of domestic greenhouse gas emissions would be negligible. Said MBIE, it would more likely result in increased global emissions as methanol produced from gas at Methanex’s Taranaki plant would be replaced by methanol produced by using coal from China.
So in summary it means less jobs, less tax, less royalties, less energy security, higher energy costs and an increase in global greenhouse gas emissions.