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John Milford: gas and oil ban not the way to transition

Press Release – Business Central
Business Central is backing the calls of a number of business groups, including the Taranaki Chamber of Commerce, Business NZ and the NZ Energy Council, that the Government’s oil and gas ban should have been properly consulted with those likely to be most affected.

“This has all the markings of a political gambit rather than practical and meaningful action towards renewable energy” says John Milford, Chief Executive of Business Central, representing also members of the Wellington Chamber of Commerce and ExportNZ Central.

“There’s no question that New Zealand needs to be at the forefront of the carbon zero transition, but in order to achieve this the Government has got to take industry, businesses, community groups and individuals with them. This hasn’t happened here. At the end of the day, the pace of transition will be dictated by global not domestic action – and for this we need new energy solutions in place.

“In the absence of commercially viable and reliable alternative fuels this ban has some very real and significant impacts for all New Zealanders.

“We echo the concerns of others that this will impact on the competitiveness of our major gas users, affordability for households, and is an immediate signal to investors that we’re not open for business.

“It’s possible this ban will curtail oil and gas production even from existing fields and increase gas prices – unfortunate outcomes, since gas is the logical fuel to use for transitioning to higher renewable energy levels. Further, if contingent gas reserves are never commercially proven, we face a serious risk to our future energy security in about a decade.

“We urge the coalition Government to take stock of this decision and look for ways to work with business and industry in order to achieve the right goal – but in the right way.”

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