Megan Woods has underlined just how indefensible the decision to axe oil and gas exploration is by failing to provide any evidence to back up her claim it will reduce carbon emissions, National’s Energy and Resources spokesperson Jonathan Young says.

“The Energy and Resources Minister embarrassed herself this morning by claiming it was a ‘widely held’ fact that the ban will reduce carbon emissions but failing to back that up with any evidence. That’s because there isn’t any.

“Her own officials have advised her the ban will lead to less efficient production overseas, for example in China where methanol is manufactured from coal which has three to four times the greenhouse gas emissions as methanol produced from gas, but she says they’re wrong.

“Ms Woods went on to claim China’s carbon trading system would prevent production being sent there but she’s not even sought official advice on that and she’s wrong. As independent experts have said the Chinese scheme currently only includes the power generation sector and not the industrial sector, methanol manufacture included.

“You have to ask what the point of this Government establishing 180 working groups costing hundreds of millions of dollars is when it is routinely going to dismiss expert advice?

“What makes it worse is the Government has rushed the process, axing exploration without consultation or seeking advice, and cutting short the timeframe for submissions on the Bill to make it harder for people to have their say.

“The whole process has been a damaging farce overseen by Ms Woods who is trying to defend the indefensible in the face of more and more evidence her Government got it wrong.

“All this also comes after her undoubted role in helping produce the discredited numbers used by the Prime Minister to understate the impact of the Government’s petrol taxes on record fuel prices and to justify her decision not to axe those taxes.

“Megan Woods’ credibility is expiring as quickly as New Zealand’s oil and gas opportunities. Meanwhile her decisions are having a serious impact on the lives of New Zealanders.”

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