National unveils energy policy 'better for the environment'

Photo: ODT files
Photo: ODT files
National wants to reverse the Government's ban on oil and gas exploration.

National's energy policy released today sets out the party's plan to back "responsible" mining and to investigate new technologies like carbon capture and storage to transition to a net-zero emissions economy.

Energy and resources spokesperson Jonathan Young said National's pragmatic plan is better for the environment and would lower power bills.

Young said National will ensure energy is affordable and the country is less dependent on coal.

"Labour's decision to shut the door on future oil and gas exploration has been estimated to cost the New Zealand economy $30 billion and 3000 jobs in Taranaki alone.

"Over the past two years we have witnessed a steady increase in energy prices and increased consumption of imported coal as a result of Labour's ill-thought-out oil and gas ban."

Young said National supported responsible mining that made a positive contribution to the economy and the environment.

"National will deliver pragmatic energy policy that is better for the environment and consumers' bank balances."

If elected, the party  promised to support a case-by-case assessment for mining proposals on lower quality conservation land that provided a "net-conservation benefit".

Young said National would also repeal the Resource Management Act and introduce a new environmental legal and regulatory framework that is less complex and provides more certainty to stakeholders.

The general election will be held on October 17.

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