Govt worried about shortages it created

The ODT reports:

The Government is investigating whether it should give the Minister of power to “reallocate or gas in situations of acute electricity or gas shortage.”

The move has alarmed the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand, which suggests it would be ironic if the Government’s 2018 ban on offshore oil and gas exploration were to cause ministers then to intervene and claim there had been “market failure” because of a shortage of natural gas supplies.

The proposal is buried deep in a paper taken to the Cabinet by the current minister, Megan Woods, on December 11 last year and released proactively late last week. It covers a wide range of recommended actions aimed at alleviating energy and keeping an eye on how the fast-changing market develops.

The one-line reference suggests ministerial intervention could be developed aa “low-impact option” in the event of “market failure”.

“A possible option is the provision of emergency powers to reallocate or gas in situations of acute electricity or gas shortage.”

The proposal has raised immediate concerns with PEPANZ, which sheeted the potential for shortages of natural gas – the fuel routinely used to generate when wind and hydro-electric resources are not available, along with higher carbon-emitting coal, which has been used more heavily to generate electricity during the past two years due to tight gas supplies.

“It would be very strange for the government to ban offshore exploration for gas on one hand, and then to be so concerned about shortages,” said John Carnegie, PEPANZ’s executive director, in talking points released to BusinessDesk.

Yep the Government bans offshore exploration and then uses that as a reason for having to possibly intervene because there may be gas shortages!

wants his hat back.

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