Brian Fallow says the exploration ban is a pointless, self-righteous policy

Brian Fallow writes at the NZ Herald: Quote:

Resounding cheers greeted Jacinda Ardern and James Shaw when they went to Victoria University last Thursday to explain that morning’s announcement that no more offshore oil and gas exploration permits will be granted.

Gratifying to their ears, no doubt ? but entirely undeserved.

This policy is self-righteous nimbyism, environmentally pointless, economically costly and politically counter-productive to the Government’s own agenda on climate change.

What matters for the climate is how much fossil carbon is consumed, not where it is produced. End quote.

But this government of utter spastics think we will meekly stand by while we have to pay more to overseas countries for fuels we have lying under the ground here. I fail to see why we should leave our resources in the ground while we pay billions to Saudi Arabia for their oil.? Quote:

How much is consumed needs to go to zero. Until it does, though, where it is produced does matter for the economy.

The opportunity cost of this ban ? the jobs, royalties and export revenues forgone ? is unknown and unlikely ever to be known given the chilling effect it will have on exploration of the existing permit areas.

What we do know is that New Zealand struggles to earn its living as a trading nation. Right now we are enjoying the best terms of trade on record, the most favourable mix of export and import prices ever.

But we still run a $3 billion trade deficit, underpinned by a net $4.5b deficit in petroleum and petroleum products. It contributes to an overall external deficit of $7.7b in 2017, which has to be financed by running up debt, or selling off assets, to the rest of the world. End quote.

What that means in simple language is that it will cost more… for no benefit. Quote:

That is another good reason, of course, to decarbonise the transport sector, the source of 13.5 per cent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

But with the best will in the world, that will take years.

In the meantime we spend more than $1000 a head on imported oil. As it is a fungible commodity, to the extent New Zealand is a net consumer of oil, some of that money ends up funding the ethically dubious activities of the Iranian, Saudi and Russian governments rather than our own.

Is this a real choice, though, domestic versus imported oil?

We will never know. The Government makes much of the fact that a large area ? 100,0000 square kilometres, the size of the North Island ? is already covered by exploration permits and those rights are grandfathered.

The ban on issuing any more permits is a long-term signal, it says. In the meantime, “just transition” is the watchword. You will hardly feel a thing.

This elicits snorts of derision from the industry. End quote.

Industry that won’t take this lying down.

The government have bought themsleves a war, one they cannot posibly win because, as fuel prices rise and there is nothing to replace it with, people will revolt and turf them out of office. People don’t vote for slogans; they vote with their wallet in mind.

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