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The Green Party says the Government should be creating an energy strategy that reduces New Zealand's dependence on fossil fuels rather than acting as a cheerleader for the petroleum industry at their summit tomorrow.
Energy Minister Phil Heatley is scheduled to address the New Zealand Petroleum Summit 2012, which has a full programme including networking drinks sponsored by Halliburton.
"The National Government's economic strategy of facilitating large-scale oil and gas, including fracking and deep sea oil drilling, will contribute to run-away climate change and, potentially, devastating oil spills, without substantial benefit for New Zealanders," said Green Party energy spokesperson Gareth Hughes.
"We receive hardly any royalties, hardly any taxes, and hardly any jobs for the considerable environmental risk posed by oil and gas exploration promoted by the National Government.
"Many of the oil and gas companies are foreign owned, which means profits flow offshore, and New Zealand sells ourselves cheaply with the fourth lowest government take (which is combined taxes and royalties) for oil in the world.
"The Government has chosen to pick the petroleum industry as a winner, but in reality it is jobs poor and environmentally damaging.
"To make sure that New Zealanders have good jobs, the Government should focus on retaining manufacturing jobs in New Zealand and growing the clean-tech sector.
"Over the last four years, nearly 40,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost compared to the development of another oil and gas basin which would create an estimated 5,500 jobs, according to a recent Government report.
"We can create a smart green economy by moving away from mining and drilling, and towards renewable energy and clean-tech jobs," said Mr Hughes.