Exploration ban is a ‘selfish, rich world’ approach

Photoshopped image credit: Pixy

Sharechat wrote an article last week which has an interesting take on the oil and gas ban. Instead of seeing it as a good move towards renewable energy sources, or even an ideological plan that is flawed because of a lack of transitional planning, it takes a different view. It says that it is a selfish, rich world approach that makes developing countries suffer.? quote.

The government?s proposed exploration ban is a ?selfish and rich world? approach that ignores the country?s responsibility to help deliver low-carbon energy in the broader Pacific region, MPs heard yesterday.

New Zealand?s exclusive economic zone is the ninth-largest in the world and that brings with it a special responsibility, Elemental Group managing director Brett Rogers said.

Banning further exploration of the EEZ?s 18 prospective basins is ?throwing away? a huge opportunity to help developing Pacific basin nations ? like India – meet their rising energy needs without resorting to coal. end quote.

I had never looked at it that way, mainly because I am more concerned about the economic sabotage of our own country, but it seems the sabotage may spread further than I had thought. quote.

The sedimentary basins that New Zealand has explored to date have proven to be gas-prone. That taonga is both a huge opportunity and a huge responsibility in order to develop the resource and deal with the emissions from it, he told Parliament?s environment select committee yesterday.

?New Zealand is part of the international community and should be contributing,? Rogers said.

?Not doing our part in sustaining humanity?s needs including energy – while reducing the carbon content of energy – is in our view a selfish and rich world approach that we shouldn?t be associated with.? end quote.

In other words, rich countries can afford to be ideological whereas poorer countries cannot. I’m not sure New Zealand can afford these ideologies either, but it is good to hear this from a different perspective. quote.

On Tuesday the committee heard that New Zealand is already approaching a gas supply gap and that the 30-year transition period the government believes it is allowing is illusory. Some investment ? including in planned emission reduction projects – has already stopped since the April 12 announcement and much of the existing exploration acreage may be surrendered during the next seven years.

Yesterday the committee heard that the rigid ban would increase electricity prices and that that impost would fall disproportionately on low-income households. Engineers and workers are already starting to leave Taranaki. end quote.

It is inevitable that lower-income households will be most affected by this, as this seems to be the end product of all of Labour’s policies. I’m more worried about the security of energy supply because the government’s initial attitude, that we’ll all be hunky dory for the next 30 years, seems to be evaporating into a cloud of methane filled smoke. quote.

Rogers told the committee that there is now real opportunity for ?cradle to the grave? handling of carbon dioxide (CO2).? Twenty-two large-scale projects are operating globally and have so far sequestered 220 million tonnes of CO2.

He said New Zealand?s depleted reservoirs have capacity to store 450 million tonnes of carbon ? equivalent to about eight years of New Zealand’s net emissions.

Gas reinjection undertaken at Pohokura and Kapuni shows it is feasible in New Zealand reservoirs and more offshore exploration would open up a ?golden opportunity? to use low-emission gas and put more CO2 back into the ground. That could also provide a competitive advantage for New Zealand emitters like makers of steel, cement and methanol.

While the cost of sequestration is currently high, Rogers said that gap will narrow and it can be a viable part of the country?s emissions response.

?We can have our cake and eat it and be better off as a result.? end quote.

When you read suggestions like this, this government’s recalcitrant attitude is woefully inadequate .Far from being a serious emitter (which we are not anyway), we could become serious carbon sequesterers. I would have thought that would make James Shaw absolutely giddy with excitement, but no. They would rather ban the industry outright, cause major upheaval to the economy and send us all back to the Stone Age. quote.

Yesterday, Todd Corp, owner of the onshore Kapuni and Mangahewa fields, told the committee restricting gas supplies will increase energy costs and likely increase global emissions as gas is either imported, or coal is used for longer, or manufacturers shut and relocate to higher-emitting jurisdictions offshore.

Chris Hall, the firm?s vice-president for growth businesses, said the ban is being imposed with little discussion and at great risk to the economy.

He said the ban should be deferred until the government?s other work on the emissions trading scheme has been completed and the Independent Climate Change Committee can consider it.

?The right fix is always better than a quick fix,? he said.

?This has not been well thought out.? end quote.

All legislation is supposed to go through submissions and select committee procedures before they are passed into law. While this bill is going through the motions, the government has reduced the period for submissions and stacked the select committee with those who will return the result the government wants. I would have thought that Jacinda, who likes to splash money around the Pacific and wants to take in as many refugees as possible, might want to listen to some of these suggestions. Because, unlike her, some of these people do actually know what they are talking about.