National’s Gerry Brownlee made a video clip last year which he entitled “Sexy Coal”. The mind boggles at Gerry being the poster boy for anything, but he’s certainly trying for “Mr Lignite 2009″.
Coal is the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the world after oil, but National want more of it.
Gerry confirmed in his speech to the mineral industry on Wednesday that he wants to help the industry mine more of it – including in National Parks!
Mining is currently banned in National Parks. Elsewher on the DOC estate it is not prohibited – indeed a miner can apply for permission to mine on other DOC land without a public hearing, unlike someone appliying for a tourism concession. So when he says National is looking at loosening up mining including in National Parks, he means it. Maybe because National is in the title he thinks they own them.
This is the third action to promote the use of coal that Gerry has pursued since the election.
Straight after the election Gerry had a hand in changing the boundaries of the new Otiaki conservation park. He excluded the main stem of the main river in the park (the Manuherikia) so as to leave all of the lignite reserves outside the park boundary. Most of the lignite was outside the park anyway, but Gerry thought small proportion of lignite inside the proposed park more more important than the river.
Then he revoked the restrictions on more base-load coal fired electricity generation – despite the fact that we are blessed with amonst the cheapest renewable electricity options in the world – we have lots of geothermal and wind already consented and cost competitive.
Now its mining in parks. Although he’s now trying to down play the lignite angle now, the ODT reported that he specifically talked up the coal in parks angle in his speech.
I’m not opposed to all mining. I use steel and aluminium, wear a gold ring. I’m not in the camp that says all mining is bad. But mining in National Parks? For lignite! What is he on?
Maybe Mr Lignite has never walked more than a hundred metres from his car, but hopefully he’s seen a few photos. Does he really think a lignite mine would fit in? They don’t come small. Maybe someone can load some links to those big mines in Australia, or the ferris wheel-like diggers they use in Germany.
Is this part of the Minister of Toryism’s support for the 100% Pure campaign? Perhaps the Nats are trying to justify their pathetically small greenhoue gas reduction target.
Perhaps Sexy Coal Brownlee wants to star in “The Age of Stupid – 2″