Jones distances Labour from Greens on oil and gas

Shane Jones has starkly differentiated Labour from the Greens on oil and gas exploration. He has been reported as saying “Offshore oil and gas drilling was an essential feature of domestic and export growth” and “it would get full government support”.

The Labour regional development spokesman has been visiting Taranaki with Andrew Little, talking to people in the oil and gas industry as Stuff reports in Labour duo keen to talk jobs and growth.

“I am keen to defang these misapprehensions that are abounding that somehow industry has disappeared from our purview.

“Nothing could be further from the truth and if my visit provides the opportunity to reinforce the centrality of jobs, the importance of industry and the need for a future Labour-led government to assuage whatever anxieties might be there in the minds of employers or future investors then I am up for the task,” he said.

Offshore oil and gas drilling was an essential feature of domestic and export growth, Mr Jones said, and businesses and enterprises enabling it would get full government support.

Odd expressions aside, this signals a strong separation between Labour and the Greens on oil and gas. The Greens even used yesterday’s Cook Strait earthquakes as an excuse to express opposition to offshore drilling.

It’s difficult to see how a Labour-Green (and possibly Mana and/or NZ First) government could fully support offshore drilling.

Greens have consistently and strongly opposed off-shore drilling and onshore fracking, two major components of proposed exploration and recovery of oil and gas. Green energy policy includes:

The Green Party supports:

  1. Making all new deep sea drilling within territorial waters, the EEZ and the continental shelf for fossil fuels a prohibited activity (with deep sea defined as below 200 metres).
  2. Placing a 10 year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas within territorial New Zealand, the EEZ and the continental shelf.

The Greens frequently deliver that message strongly – and more, they are actively involved in initiatives to block drilling and fracking.

Jones from Stuff:

“Sustainability is as much about sustaining the livelihood of people as it is about guarding the ecological habitat of the Hochstetter’s frog. As long as I am in politics as a Maori politician I am going to be unambiguous in standing up for jobs and people,” he said.

It was “mischievous” to talk about Labour’s policy as designed to suit the Green Party and though he occasionally found common cause with New Zealand First it was only with the aid of a telescope that he might do the same with the Greens.

As stated by Jones Labour’s aims are diametrically opposed to Green aims and policies. There could be a major clash if a Labour-Green government is to be formed.

And as shown in the next post Jones also seems to be at odds with Labour’s own Energy spokesperson.

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  1. Fracking fractured in Labour | Your NZ

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