Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Ele Ludemann: Horse back in front

The government is making it less difficult to undertake coal mining:

Resources Minister Shane Jones has announced changes to coal mine consenting he says will reduce barriers to extraction and bring it into line with other types of mining.

The government’s first Resource Management Amendment Bill, to be introduced next month, will make changes to the Resource Management Act, freshwater environmental standards, and the National Policy Statements for Freshwater Management and Biodiversity.

It will remove additional controls for coal mining introduced by Labour that were set to end the consenting pathway for existing thermal coal mines from December 31, 2030.

Jones, in a statement, said the government’s planned changes would ensure New Zealand’s access to locally sourced coal so processors would “not be forced to rely on imported coal to meet their needs”.

The previous government’s policy was both virtue signaling and greenwashing.

It looked like it was better for the environment but it was worse, forcing the country to import coal that was of poorer quality than most of what could be mined here.

He said the impacts of extracting coal were “similar, if not the same, as those occurring in mining other minerals” and the changes would enable a wider range of consent applications for coal mining.

“Coal is a small but mighty part of New Zealand’s productive output and makes a significant contribution to regional economies,” he said.

“On the West Coast, coal extraction provides for the families of 280 workers at Stockton Mine which produces around 80 percent of our $300 million in sought-after premium coal exports, used in international steelmaking.” . . .

Too much of what the previous government did put the green cart in front of the scientific and technical horses at a very high economic, environmental and social cost.

The new policy puts the horse in front again.

Ele Ludemann is a North Otago farmer and journalist, who blogs HERE - where this article was sourced.


Rob Beechey said...

Well said Ele.

Anonymous said...

Steel is a essential part of modern life - no coal, no steel.
Want to go back to Neolithic times ?

CXH said...

The Iwi will be loving this. Once they get all the DoC land back it will quickly be a case of mins baby, mine.