There are serious inaccuracies in the Prime Minister’s recent comments about the lack of consideration of environmental factors when permitting new mines and petroleum exploration and production, National Party spokesperson for Energy and Resources Jonathan Young says.

“The Government is simply wrong in claiming that environmental factors are not considered already, and that these industries are operating recklessly with little regard to any environmental impacts.

“Mining consents go through a rigorous environmental scrutiny, as do petroleum permit applications.

“What is alarming is that it appears the Government are using this as a reason to move the decision to approve permits away from a scientific approach into the hands of the Minister of Energy and Resources. This is just not acceptable.

“This is completely the opposite approach to the Government’s proposal to give the Commerce Commission independent market study powers so Ministers don’t interfere.

“The Government seem to be looking for any excuse to close down industries that that make a huge contribution to regions like Taranaki and the West Coast.

“We need less emotive rhetoric and better factual information to steady our steps to the low emission future the Government are seeking.

“With the loss of wealth to the Crown, to businesses and to individuals in regions like Taranaki and the West Coast – the transition to a low emission future in New Zealand will only be further away.”

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