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Energy Strategy—Lignite Mining

Thursday 9 December 2010 Hansard source (external site)

Mahuta8. Hon NANAIA MAHUTA (Labour—Hauraki-Waikato) Link to this
to the Minister of Energy and Resources

Will the mining of lignite form part of his New Zealand Energy Strategy?

BrownleeHon GERRY BROWNLEE (Minister of Energy and Resources) Link to this

Not specifically. However, one of the goals or areas of focus that are outlined in the Energy Strategy is the development of New Zealand’s oil and petroleum mineral fuel resources.

MahutaHon Nanaia Mahuta Link to this

Is he aware that the report released by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment today states that one large lignite-to-diesel plant, similar to that proposed by L and M Mining in Southland, would increase New Zealand’s carbon dioxide emissions by 7 percent; if so, how does that fit into his draft energy strategy goal of lowering greenhouse gas emissions?

BrownleeHon GERRY BROWNLEE Link to this

Yes. That is a separate report. It has nothing to do with the Energy Strategy.

MahutaHon Nanaia Mahuta Link to this

Who will pay for the $137 million a year that such an increase in emissions will cost—New Zealand, L and M Mining, or the taxpayer?

BrownleeHon GERRY BROWNLEE Link to this

The member should well know that that cost would fall on the business operator.

MahutaHon Nanaia Mahuta Link to this

If the use of 10 million tonnes of lignite to produce diesel would cost $137 million a year in emissions, what would be the cost of using 6.3 billion tonnes of lignite, which he told the distinguished fellows forum of the Centre for Advanced Engineering was technically and economically recoverable in Southland and was a cost he thought worth paying?

BrownleeHon GERRY BROWNLEE Link to this

A much bigger number.

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