National to fund electric cars? | The Jackal

15 Nov 2012

National to fund electric cars?

Today, National reported:

“Our Building Innovation progress report details plans to grow R&D spend, particularly by private companies.  Improving the productivity of our agricultural sector while improving water quality in lakes and rivers is a key part of the upcoming Building Resources progress report.

“Energy efficiency is also crucially important which is why the Government has committed $347 million to our Warm Up NZ home insulation scheme, and is supporting the development of electric car technologies and commercially viable second-generation biofuels.

Supporting the development of electric car technologies? That's the first I've heard of it. In fact knowing the Economic Development Minister well, I would have to say this is an outright lie! A lie that I'm sure the totally balanced "journalist" Cameron Slater will write about in the Truth in a special exposé tucked in between articles about how great capitalism is and the Hottie of the week.

Of course this is just more National party propaganda with the government actually doing nothing in the way of protection our environment. In fact National is ensuring our waterways remain highly polluted by further dairy intensification without properly legislating to ensure reductions in effluent discharge.

National is spending hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on increases to farm irrigation, funding that will only benefit an industry that pays very little in the way of taxes. More cows without mitigating the increased amount of effluent going into waterways equals more dissolved inorganic nitrogen and faecal contamination in the water. This means people's drinking water supplies will continue to not meet world health guidelines, and that's why national has moved to delay the implementation of new water drinking standards.

National has recently withdrawn from Kyoto 2 which would have required New Zealand to reduce its GHG emissions. Minister for Climate Change Issues, Tim Groser, has claimed that this doesn't matter because compared to other countries New Zealand is contributing hardly any GHG emissions. This is like saying its OK to drink and drive because other people do as well. Despite Nationals claims, GHG emissions have increased every year since National gained power, making their argument that reducing regulations and voluntary reductions is the way to go completely disingenuous.

Because of these decisions, National has ensured our international standing has degraded which will have an impact on New Zealands clean and green branding. This will cost us millions and millions of dollars in lost revenue through falling trade and reduced tourism.

National has also undermined the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to effectively make it pointless. The taxpayer is now funding polluting industries in a two for one deal on carbon credits also costing us millions and millions of dollars. Instead of polluting industries actually moving to reduce emissions, the governments policy changes have given them incentives to pollute even more.

Of course National won't move to inhibit emissions from agriculture in any way shape or form either, because that would mean a reduction in many of their incomes. Agriculture is our largest polluter and National wants to ensure they're not required to change their ways because they themselves are invested heavily in this industry.

National is totally blinded to the reality of the situation by the dollar signs in their eyes.

National will also remove some industries from requiring resource consent through the Resource Management Act (RMA). This includes applications for deep sea oil drilling, which is already subsidized extensively through tax right offs and government funded exploration initiatives.

These changes to the RMA have been opposed by all of New Zealands major environmental groups including but not limited to; the Environmental Defence Society, Forest & Bird, Fish & Game, Greenpeace New Zealand, Ecologic, and WWF-New Zealand. Despite this overwhelming opposition to Nationals environmental policy direction, we have them claiming that they have the environments best interest at heart. What a joke, and a very unfunny one at that.

What National fails to understand is that reducing ways for the public to oppose environmentally unsound developments will increase pollution and the likelihood of accidents occurring. In my opinion, reducing regulations that were designed to safeguard our environment will only end in disaster. National also fail to understand that extracting more fossil fuels equals more climate change, and climate change will cost New Zealand far more than National hopes to achieve by promoting polluting industries... In fact it could cost us the earth.