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AA wakes up to Peak Oil

Written By: - Date published: 8:29 am, December 6th, 2012 - 49 comments
Categories: peak oil, transport - Tags:

“It can only get worse from here.” – that’s the Automobile Association’s numbers man on petrol prices. It’s quite a revelation because, until now, the AA has been firmly part of the dinosaur establishment that has been insisting petrol prices will ‘soon’ fall to ‘normal’. In fact petrol prices have been rising at 8% a year since 1999, 3 times inflation in the rest of the economy, and there’s no sign that the price rises – driven by peaking supply – will stop.

There’s a rule of thumb, developed by looking at all the recessions of the Oil Age, that when oil costs exceed 4.5%-5% of the economy, you get a recession. In economic terms, the cost of burning oil exceeds the value gained on the marginal units of consumption – so, you stop doing those units of consumption, and the economy shrinks until the price falls under the danger zone. A look at our oil imports shows we’re currently spending 4% of GDP on oil imports vs 1.2% in 1999.

On the current trends of GDP growth and oil price growth, before 2020 it’ll permanently cost over 5% of GDP to import as much oil as we do now. We, and the world, will have to trim a lot of demand – ie have a series of serious recessions and ‘failed recoveries’ (sound familiar?) to get that down. But the cycle will just continue of oil price rises to recession-inducing levels, followed by recessions that temporarily relieve the pressure by destroying demand.

Mark Stockdale also gets the logical response to this – stop building sprawl: “In the past, people have thought nothing to live an hour away from work. Is that really practical?” Someone tell National, because they plan to put all of Auckland’s additional population in the middle of nowhere in sprawling suburbs where their families’ budgets will be extraordinarily sensitive to rising petrol prices.

We urgently need to reduce our nation’s dependence on oil (I nearly wrote ‘imported oil’ but, in fact, we’re always going to import all the oil we use for transport because the refinery is set up for sour, heavy crudes, not the light ones found here, and, besides we would pay the international price on domestic oil anyway). Imports have been flat for about 7 years. The party that can come up with policies to reduce oil consumption by a serious amount will be putting money into the NZ economy rather than seeing it flow offshore, will be insulating us against future price shocks, and will be helping save the climate.

Any takers?

49 comments on “AA wakes up to Peak Oil”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Spot on mate. Interesting thing about peak oil is that it causes such gradually increasing economic pain over such a long time that even the most resistant have to eventually come about.

    Also you implicitly identified one of the key characteristics of peak oil – it may not come with much of a price signal. We may run out of petrol literally at a price of $3/L…its just that the multiple recessions/depressions caused will have effectively reduced people’s spending power by half or three quarters so that the price is effectively $6/L or $9/L in today’s dollars.

    The total % of your income you have to spend on fuel is basically a key measure to look at from now on – both from a whole-country perspective and individually.

  2. CodyHM 2

    I think one of the biggest downfalls of fossil fuels, such as oil (apart from the environmental factor) is the cold hard fact that these resources are finite.

    One day, near or far, they are going to be in short supply, and then run out. And they’ll only get more expensive leading up to that.

  3. Wow if the AA is acknowledging peak oil we are in deep, deep trouble …

    • karol 3.1

      Yes, but only a first step.  The AA man still can bring himself to talk about public transport as an alternative to cars.

      • weka 3.1.1

        Nor actually mention the term ‘peak oil’.
         
        And his advice to buy a more efficient car is problematic. Building new cars and shipping them to NZ uses lots of oil. They’re still not making the connection beyond transport fuels.

        • Peter 3.1.1.1

          Yep. Cars have got way more efficient in energy use since the 1970s, yet we have far more of them. Efficiency improvements tend to result in a lower per unit cost, which means more units, and therefore, more energy used, not less. That’s the Jevon’s Paradox, and it applies all over the show. Another classic is irrigation – more efficient methods of water application to land, but more hectares irrigated, and less in streams.

          There is a Jevons Alternative though – if the constraint on energy supplies is quantity, and not price (as we are fast seeing now), and you work to cut the system costs of energy (you can’t cut production costs), then you can make the economics work in favour of conservation. But that will take effort, and probably some regulation.

          • weka 3.1.1.1.1

            Hi Peter, can you please give an example of the Jevons Alternative?

            • Ian Brett Cooper 3.1.1.1.1.1

              The most obvious example is the gas shortages of the 1970s, which was a quantity constraint. In the US, the government set up a system of rationing by only allowing people to fill up their tanks every other day – a managed quantity constraint. Did it work? To be honest, I don’t know. But it is an example of the Jevons Alternative.

  4. aerobubble 4

    Aviation fuel is untaxed, if true, it would explain why so many cars sound like they were propeller driven, over stimulated by the high energy aviation fuels. This loop hole means not only do engines wear out faster, roads wear away from the extreme violent engines punding vibrations into the roads, but worse, its one of those Greece size errors of judgment that by allowing individuals to avoid fair taxation only builds up extra costs, debts on the economy. Key’s government is all to keen to blame those who have little say, like the now comical routine of declaring Labour and Green potential policies effects if National lose power (like it was a pressing problem for Key) in parliament, and so avoid their obligations to nation, to government well.

    • Saccharomyces 4.1

      “Aviation fuel is untaxed, if true, it would explain why so many cars sound like they were propeller driven, over stimulated by the high energy aviation fuels. This loop hole means not only do engines wear out faster, roads wear away from the extreme violent engines punding vibrations into the roads”

      I’m a little confused by this. Do you have any idea of how difficult it is to get hold of aviation fuel? And how costly it is? I also have major issues with your quotes about engines wearing out faster etc…. PLEASE know what you are talking about before posting.

      • Mike 4.1.1

        Ummm, it’s not that difficult to get hold of jet fuel, which is essentially kerosene with additives and is actually cheaper (cost per litre landed in NZ) than regular petrol.

        • Saccharomyces 4.1.1.1

          Right, you go fill your car with Jet A1 and tell me how that’s worked out for you. The same statement applies to you too. PLEASE know what you are talking about before posting.

          • aerobubble 4.1.1.1.1

            Vibrations increase wear, its pretty simple, as people use products they wear out.

            Since you cant imagine a light plane owner seeing what happens if they put
            some of the fuel for their single seater plane in their diesal car. Since you can’t
            imagine them not filling their tank only partially, then its obvious you can’t
            imagine the more extreme combustion that results, and its excessive noise\and vibration.

            Now I get that, you lack an imagination.

            • Saccharomyces 4.1.1.1.1.1

              I repeat, please know what you are talking about before typing.

              First, light aircraft are powered (by and large) with avgas, which is a high octane GASOLINE fuel. Stick that in a diesel car and it won’t be going anywhere.

              Second, IF they were putting it in a modern petrol car the lead that’s in avgas would pretty quickly kill their O2 and air/fuel ratio sensors and block their catalyst. So again, they won’t be going anywhere.

              Third, IF they were to put it in an older car that doesn’t have an o2 sensor or catalytic convertor then it still wouldn’t create more wear as a higher octane actually DECREASES vibration, knock and preignition. You wouldn’t get any more power either. You could take advantage of these factors to create more power, but that would require major engine work to yield a relatively modest result, leaving you dependent on getting your hands on relatively hard to get avgas. If you really wanted that extra power there are many, many better/easier/more cost effective ways where you can still use petrol from a regular fuel station. I know everyone’s got a story about an old mate who chucked some avgas in a mini and the next day it beat a v8 at the lights, and these are partially true, but those engines would’ve been very highly tuned and modified (and coming off a very low base performance), and would’ve been absolute pigs to drive, and completely dependant on obtaining high octane fuel. This was before the days of EFI and turbos where now more power, and more importantly more useable and reliable power, is available far more cheaply and easily.

              Now, onto sound, first, the main component of the sound of a propellor-driven aircraft come from the propellor, not the engine.

              The sound emitted from a (petrol) car has very little to do with the combustion itself. When combustion is happening the cylinder is sealed, what you are hearing in the exhaust is the shockwave of the exhaust gases expanding into the manifold. The sound of the exhaust in two identical engines, one running avgas, one running pump gas, would be identical. Part of the sound you are hearing in some cases (especially in Hondas and other high performance naturally-aspirated engines) is intake resonance, and that’s also caused by shockwaves, in this case by air rushing into the cylnders in the intake stroke. Again, absolutely nothing to do with the fuel.

              I dont’ need an imagination in this case, the facts are freely available for anyone to research.

              I don’t think it’s me with the imagination problem here, I rather think you’ve let yours run away on you!

  5. Jim Nald - Once Was National 5

    Wow. This is significant.

    Mark Stockdale should be commended for stating this.

    What is the big secret policy plan of the current lot of Natz in government? A policy for flying pigs?

  6. Steve Wood 6

    The NZ refinery should be reconfigured to process NZ oil.
    As the depression deepens and international trade declines and trust horizons diminish, we will not have access to imported oil.

    • Peter 6.1

      The NZ refinery can process NZ oil, it’s one of the best refineries in the world. It’s just that NZ oil (i.e. light, sweet, condensate) is actually cheaper to ship it to Australia to be processed in lesser quality refineries. Instead, we can process sour grades of crude quite effectively, and that’s what we do. It’s cheaper as well.

      It’s quite likely that as Maui and Kapuni run dry, that we could reconfigure one of those pipelines running north to Auckland for oil (rather than shipping it around North Cape), run the current Marsden-Wiri pipelines backwards for a bit, and then achieve something close to a self-contained system.

      • alwyn 6.1.1

        I agree with you on paragraph 1 Peter.
        There is, however a minor problem with your paragraph 2.
        The condensate from Kapuni, and Maui are produced in conjunction with the gas they produce. If you aren’t producing any gas you won’t be producing any condensate either. (Perhaps it actually isn’t so minor).
        When the gas runs out so does the condensate.
        The gas pipelines are also, I believe, enormous for oil pipelines. There would never be the amount of condensate to fill them. The gas line from Oanui to Huntly is about three times the diameter of the Whangarei to Wiri oil line so would have, I assume and I’m not an engineer, at least nine times the capacity.

        • Peter 6.1.1.1

          Right, you are probably correct. I’m not an oil engineer, merely a simple planner, so the technicalities of engineering get me.

          Which means, that either we turn the condensate to synfuels on site in Taranaki (by firing up Motonui properly), or ship the condensate to Marsden.

          As much as I’m an advocate for energy independence for NZ (probably our most worthy policy goal right now), I can’t see this making any sense at the moment.

          A far better approach is to focus on the end use of energy, and eliminate it. This means, massively upgrading rail, and using electricity + biomass to shift things around. We’d have enough domestic fuel left over to run private cars, but even these would need a phase out.

          • alwyn 6.1.1.1.1

            Perhaps I should have put in the paragraph about the size of the pipelines.

            The critical bit was the previous one. If Kapuni and Maui run dry there won’t be any condensate to move anywhere. The field produces both condensate and gas. No gas = no condensate so if the gas runs out so does the condensate.

          • joe90 6.1.1.1.2

            by firing up Motonui properly

            Gone in the rush to make a profit.

            He recalls about seven years ago being involved in a joint venture with Macaulay Metals of Wellington, dismantling and disposing of the gas-to-gasoline plant at the Methanex New Zealand petrochemical complex at Motunui in Taranaki. Methanex had decided to scrap the plant,primarily because it had not made any synthetic petrol for years, preferring to manufacture methanol exclusively.So Molten Metals and Macaulay Metals,along with some Methanex staff,undertook the biggest scrap metal project of that time – dismantling and clearing a plant that covered an area larger than several rugby fields.

      • lostinsuburbia 6.1.2

        You would still need to transfer the oil by ship to Marsden Point.

        The Refinery to Wiri pipeline cuts down a hell of a lot of truck movements, so logistically and energy wise it would be better to keep it in use.

  7. xtasy 7

    TIME to WAKE UP NZ!

    My observation, as a person who spent a fair amount of my life in Central Europe is: NZ is “behind” progressive thinking, living, working, building and also business.

    Any person, who has ever been to Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany and other places there, would well know that many things can be done differently.

    In NZ I see a very “americanised” way of life, typical of the US in the 1960s to 1980s. Auckland and other cities are largely built for the convenience of private motor vehicles, for burning immense amounts of carbon based fuel, following the urban sprawl that is typical of US cities like Los Angeles and even San Francisco, cities in Texas, Florida and so forth.

    It is a DUMB infrastructure and economy that NZers have and cling to.

    Energy neutral housing should become the NORM or STANDARD in a country like NZ, so blessed with natural alternatives, healthy resources, climate and still plenty of space. Yet I see almost NONE of this being followed, not by this government, and in opposition only the Greens have progressive, serious thoughts spent on this.

    Alternative energy use is only so dominant in NZ, because NZ spent money decades ago on hydro dams, which was a natural and sensible way to use the force of water and rivers to generate electricity. Yet wind and solar energy is only starting to take off to very limited degrees. They have more solar panels on roofs in a not so sunny place like Germany (per capita) than in this country. That shows how “backward” NZ is. It belongs to the major per capital fossil fuel users in the world by the way, and that is NOT a compliment.

    In Copenhagen, Amsterdam, many other cities in Central Europe, including now even Paris, there is a big take up of using bicycles for transport. Many NZers frown on that transport, not wanting to get “wet” in rain or facing the “wind”. That may be understandable, but it is petty, even part of a “lazy” mentality.

    The health benefits of cycling are enormous, and diabetis, heart issues and so forth could be reduced substantially if NZers start using alternative transport like that more often, saving immense costs in the health spending.

    Even in the US alternative energy use is becoming very popular with the informed and educated, and councils there, for instance in California, encourage this.

    The AA is just starting to realise now, what experts have said for many, many years. Indeed, they are a dinosaur organisation, but they now cannot deny the realities and the truth. I welcome this contribution, as it does only serve the needed reforms we must have a.s.a.p. in the energy and housing sectors, to use more alternative measures to use energy more efficiently and wisely. Public transport improvements are totally overdue in this respect.

    For some interesting sources perhaps look at some of these links:

    http://www.theenvironmentalblog.org/bike-the-netherlands/
    http://www.theenvironmentalblog.org/2007/08/dutch-energy-neutral-homes/
    http://www.boligplus.net/
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8224141.stm
    http://www.kk.dk/sitecore/content/subsites/cityofcopenhagen/subsitefrontpage/livingincopenhagen/cityandtraffic/cityofcyclists.aspx
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycling_in_Amsterdam
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=energy-efficienty-home-energy-star
    http://www.fypower.org/about/faq.html
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/actively-passive-the-new-wave-of-energy-efficient-homes-a-476279.html

    Now my question is: Have Labour considered making “energy neutral” homes part of the program to build a 100 k of “affordable” homes over 10 years? While Labour appears to promote public transport, where are clear, determined plans? Where are plans to change the urban development? I accept the Auckland Plan is in part ok, but I expect much, much more, also on a national scale. NZ is BEHIND and BACKWARD!

    This government does fuck all, so where is Labour’s smart plan.

    All I can say, upon what I have read, heard and observed, only the Greens come close to deliver anything serious in this area!

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Now my question is: Have Labour considered making “energy neutral” homes part of the program to build a 100 k of “affordable” homes over 10 years?

      Not as far as I know. In fact, I’m pretty sure that that entire 100k houses will be the standard cheap and cold shitty houses we get in NZ because the government has always set very low minimum standards rather setting high minimum standards.

      • xtasy 7.1.1

        DTB: It confirms my worries. It is NOT encouraging!

      • Stephen 7.1.2

        That would be inconsistent with the Healthy Homes Guarantee/rental warrant of fitness policy that was announced alongside the building programme.

  8. no-one is mentioning the fact that WE own an electrified main railway line between welly and auckland that was built in response to the seventies oil crisis, but the trucking industry have successfully managed to put so much freight onto the roads. perhaps its time for the government to actually lead(fat chance with the current loosers), and force more freight back onto the rail.

    • xtasy 8.1

      paul anderson: I agree to some degree. The rail system has been totally neglected for too long by various governments.

      Also the trucking lobby is extremely strong, and they have a foot-hold in the National Party.

      It is not an easy solution though. I worked in the freight industry. Bulk goods can be transported competitively on rail, and certainly by ship also. That should be promoted.

      Yet we will always have a certain element of transport needing more individualised services. Trucking can be done better with also developing alternative fuel options for them to use. There will always need to be a front end and back end “feeder” system of transport, where you have goods collected and distributed over certain regional areas. Rail will not be able to compete with that, unless you have links into every suburb of centres.

      So the solutions must be smart and well thought through.

      As it is, NZ has HUGE potential to develop MORE EFFICIENT systems, as what we have is very backward indeed. It can be done, must be done, and the sooner the better.

      We all know, even Greens, that oil and coal will not be abolished over the coming years. The challenge is to develop systems to use those forms of energy much more efficiently, to prepare for a transition to alternative and future proof energy use. That is what is is all about.

      I resent the Nat ACT brigade always thrashing alternative energy policies by trying to imply that a change from one day to another will be impossible. They are the Neandertal mentalities at work, and I feel even Neandertal man and woman was likely more intelligent than the people running this government by the way!

  9. outofbed 9

    The Change at the AA is probably due to Julie Anne Genter of the Greens engaging with the AA

    • Jenny 9.1

      That is strange.

      Though the problem of peak oil is dire. It is not as dangerous as Climate Change.

      But if it is true, then all power to her.

      (Because the solutions to peak oil, are for the most part the same ones required to halt runaway climate change….. A depowering of the economy and the ending of our reliance on fossil fuels.)

      • Robert Atack 9.1.1

        >to halt runaway climate change<

        The phrase "runaway climate change" is used to describe a theory in which positive feedbacks result in rapid climate change.[2] It is used in the popular media and by environmentalists with reference to concerns about rapid global warming.[2][3] Some astronomers use the similar expression runaway greenhouse effect to describe a situation where the climate deviates catastrophically and permanently from the original state – as happened on Venus.

        We have tripped 8 positive feedback's, according to Guy McPherson, which is good enough for me. There is nothing we can do to halt it, we are locked into anything from +6 – +16 (or god knows) by 2100, humans start to die off at about +2, and will be gone burger by +3-4
        Peak oil will just help our departure.
        When the US grain harvest is at 1/4 – 1/3rd of the 2010 harvest (within the next 5 years) we might see a fast reduction in oil demand, as massive amounts of people start to starve.

    • Jenny 9.2

      That’s great.

      Though the problem of peak oil is dire. It is not as dangerous as Climate Change.

      But all power to her.

      (Because the solutions to peak oil, are for the most part the same ones required to halt runaway climate change….. A planned depowering of the economy and the ending of our reliance on fossil fuels.)

      • karol 9.2.1

        (Because the solutions to peak oil, are for the most part the same ones required to halt runaway climate change….. A planned depowering of the economy and the ending of our reliance on fossil fuels.)

        I’d agree with that. I don’t have a scientific background, so you won’t see me arguing on the science of climate change.  But the solutions seem necessary one way or another, so I support them, in my daily life.

        • Jenny 9.2.1.1

          Unfortunately individual efforts to cut back will never be enough. This battle needs state intervention, and on a massive scale.

          Anything less is fiddling at the edges.

          If we are to have any chance, all coal mines must be closed. And definitely no new ones should be allowed to be opened. The Green Party must stay out of any government that insists on strip mining the Denniston plateau for the coal export market. The Green Party must not be part of any government that allows deep sea oil drilling. If the Green Party concedes to these things then we are finished.

          • Robert Atack 9.2.1.1.1

            Anything less is fiddling at the edges.
            Yes you are right, that would also include a moratorium on child birth, not only are humans the biggest contributes to climate change, the unfortunate innocents (the children) are going to have to spend the rest of their lives in this shit hole we have created, what loving parent would wish this on their child … a fuck wit I guess? Or a green voter.

    • xtasy 9.3

      Julie Anne Genter is from my observation doing an EXCELLENT job!

      She looks at the details, analyses them and is well informed on what should be done.

      When it comes to “public transport”, I must say, “Kiwis”, wake up, realise you are not just your narcissistic self in the world, you are part of a COMMUNITY. The sooner you realise this and “learn to share”, the better. Driving in cars is highly “unsocial” and “isolationist”. Better wake up and face the people you live with in the same town, city and country!

      I am afraid even the “middle class” hate to come to terms. That is the main problem in NZ, too many dreaming they can continue living in isolation and achieving a life style they will never really be able to afford. Also due to wealthy migrants purchasing power, most NZers are being marginalised and will NEVER get their own homes anyway.

      Wake up, I call yet again, but ignorance, complacency and wrong drug distributions (weekly alcohol or other intake to “escape”) make my call a futile effort.

      NZ is a LOST place, for sure, full of waste and ignorance!

  10. muzza 10

    No mention of the global control over the oil price then, continued threat of war hiking transport prices up, and of course the control over the oil fields of the stolen nations. Add to that the futures markets all working to keep the prices artificially high..

  11. IS THE END NIGH?

    Motoring editor Peter King checks the oil supply — Summer 2004
    Snip
    In this country two separate groups have raised the issue. A group called Oil Crash led by Robert Atack and Kevin Moore; and the Green Party. Although they are not allied, both say that little or no new oil is being found globally, and that the oil companies have all the official agencies in their pockets and are playing fast and loose with the truth. They say oil prices can be expected to skyrocket to the point that our way of life and economy will come under sudden and catastrophic change.
    ———————————————————-
    «Odd as it may seem to some, building more roads quickly to make our fleet more efficient may be one of the best things we can do for ourselves, our economy and our planet.»

    Peter King
    Autumn 2006

    • xtasy 11.1

      Fossil fuels are here merely for transition. We will nonetheless face a total energy crisis, unless we switch to alternatives and regeneratives.

      • Jenny 11.1.1

        All that is missing is the political will.

        • Robert Atack 11.1.1.1

          If John Key woke up as Mother Teresa this morning or J H Christ, he would still not be able to reverse our situation, or even slow it down We are about 30 years behind when political will would have done something. We can’t even accept the fact we have missed the boat, let alone gear up this fucked system to catch up.
          To make the slightest dent on our collective problems would involve 80% unemployment for a start, as employment = destruction of the environment, and massive fossil fuel use. Just feeding 7 billion people will be enough to guarantee our extinction, let alone giving them all a flat screen TV and a heat pump. To maintain the statuesque is still pumping a thousand years worth of CO2 into the atmosphere, we are close to 400ppm and will not see sub 400 for at least another 1,000 years.

      • weka 11.1.2

        We will nonetheless face a total energy crisis, even if we now attempt to switch to alternatives and regeneratives.
         

        Fify.

          • weka 11.1.2.1.1

            Spamming again I see Jenny.

            • Jenny 11.1.2.1.1.1

              Just doing my little bit to shine a light on the Green Party CCI policy of self censorship around Climate Change.

              • Jenny

                By the way weka, in a previous thread when I asked you if the Greens would continue to ignore Climate Change during the next election as they had in the previous one. After quoting back to me, my original question, here, after a long winded preamble, you gave your answer stating:

                ……I just don’t think it’s the job or responsibility of the GP to do this at this point. Time for others to step up.

                weka

                In response to your answer. I asked you another, and even simpler question:

                Who?

                Jenny

                You didn’t respond. Maybe you would like to now.

                So weka, if, it is not “the job or responsibility of the Green Party to do this at this point.”

                Whose is it?

              • Good on you Jenny
                I was asking Jeanette Fitzsimons back in March 2000 if the green party was going to talk about Peak Oil .. http://oilcrash.com/articles/greed.htm ……… It never happened. And I mean in a on going truthful way.
                Now they want to promote growth and manufacturing.
                Nothing has changed really they are still focused on getting votes, and so will never come out with the truth, they do not want to frighten the horses, and lets face it ‘the people/voters’ do not want to hear the bad news/truth.
                The Green politicians don’t want to face reality, let alone the members or voters. I think the Green politicians have been responsible for the most children born to standing politicians, even their spokesperson on energy has 2 or 3, he has a massive investment in ‘the system’ hanging together.
                They ether haven’t got a clue, or are a bunch of bloody lyres. Stupid or corrupt?
                But as I proved with my 37 votes in the 2005 elections the people do not want to know.
                I’ve always thought the Greens were set up by the Labour back room boys, to suck up the far left vote, then once in government, they were to act like tickle me Elmo and just role over and keep quite about the real issues, Gay land rights for whales, free range chickens, and lipstick, come to mind.
                Promoting Kiwi Saver is their biggest act of betrayal, as Kiwi Saver is growth based, for the under 40 yo Green voter it means to get a payout from their Green party promoted saving scheme the planet has to spew out a growing amount of resources for the next 25 – 47 years.
                What can they say now? “We think the planet is truly fucked and all you people we convinced to invest in this growth based scheme are never going to see a return on your investment”, hell no, they will just maintain the lie.
                And the people will keep voting for them …………….. the bullshit just keeps going around and around.
                I kind of gave up after watching this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIraCchPDhk

  12. Lloyd 12

    Just a few points.

    Fracking has increased USA gas production so that 9% more of the US electricity generation is now using natural gas than when Obama was elected and has increased US oil production to the point where the US is looking to become a net oil exporter again. My point? If the level of fracking carried out in the US is carried out in other oil producing countries “peak oil” may turn out to be “gently down-sloping plateau oil”. I think the crisis is not likely to be the oil running out but that global warming causes some of the cities using the oil to disappear under the sea….

    There is no electric powered railway from Wellington to Auckland. The low voltage Wellington system stops at Waikanae and the higher voltage electrification runs from Palmerston North to Frankton Junction. Present high voltage electrification work in Auckland is planned to get as far south as Papakura with the likelihood of extension to Pukekohe. The two gaps and the different voltages means it is presently impossible to put an electric locomotive on the front of a train at Wellington and detach it at Auckland. Hopefully a Labour policy will be completion of the main trunk electrification. Dual voltage locos are possible eg, the Eurostar under the English Channel.

    The nats opposition to the rail loop through Auckland is a most effective way of forcing Aucklanders to stay in their cars and therefore to use petrol and therefore cause New Zealand’s balance of payments get worse. I think even dyed in the wool blue voters in the suburbs now accept this. If the nats keep opposing the loop they will definitely loose votes because of this.

    Labour was never happy about alternative energy generation in the past. In the days of the NZED making power on your own roof was seen as crazy anarchist activity and was actively discouraged by regulation. After the NZED was broken up into corporations, making electricity on your own roof was seen as a potential threat to a state asset and would reduce the sale price if the corporations had to be sold.

    One significant way of reducing electricity use in New Zealand would be to put solar water heaters on every dwelling’s roof. The pay back for an individual home owner would be in a few years and the reduction in load would be significant. Presumably some of the fossil-fueled power generation in NZ would be reduced.

    One alternative to extending the motorway into Wellington (which will eventually be shown to “need” to have a second Mt Victoria tunnel and wipe out half of Haitaitai) could be to extend the suburban railway to the Wellington Airport, using the Miramar School site for a terminal. This, just like the Auckland loop, would need a cut and cover tunnel to Courtenay Place and then would need a tunnel to Cobham drive where an elevated section could lead to a curving tunnel under the airport. Logical other end on the line would be Palmerston North Airport which is usually open when Wellington is fogged in.

    Jeanette Fitzsimons has always had concerns about peak oil. She was concerned about oil price
    shocks on the NZ economy in the early 1990s.

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Recent Posts

  • Steven Joyce takes the scalpel to medical students
    This November access to the Student Loan scheme will be cut off at seven years seriously harming medical students. Studying to become a doctor takes years of hard work, dedication and intense study and it’s a blunt tool and… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 days ago
  • Tolley must assure safety of vulnerable clients
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley must guarantee the safety of Relationships Aotearoa’s thousands of Māori clients – some of whom are very vulnerable – following the closure of the nationwide counselling service, Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. Relationships… ...
    2 days ago
  • ANZ has moral obligation to fully compensate farmers
      The ANZ Bank has a moral obligation to fully compensate farmers after the High Court today declared it breached the Fair Trading Act by misleadingly representing interest rate swap loans, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. The Commerce… ...
    3 days ago
  • Fairfax can’t use restructure to cut terms and conditions
    The restructure and upheavals at Fairfax should not be used as an opportunity to cut journalists’ terms and conditions, Labour spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Businesses have to adapt to new technologies and consumer demands and there is… ...
    3 days ago
  • McCully excuses unravel in Saudi sheep scandal
    Murray McCully has misled New Zealanders, Parliament and his Cabinet colleagues on the real reasons for paying millions of dollars in the Saudi sheep scandal – it’s time for him to clean, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David… ...
    3 days ago
  • Nats break health and education spending promises
    National has outstanding promises of almost $1 billion to be spent on health, education and agriculture from the Future Investment Fund but has only $536 million left in the fund, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “John Key and Bill… ...
    3 days ago
  • Manurewa youth leaders acknowledged
    The depth and breadth of leadership of youth throughout Manurewa, which has been recognized at the Youth Week Award ceremony held at Parliament this week, should make the community extremely proud, Manurewa Labour MP Louisa Wall says. “The 'Limitless Youth… ...
    3 days ago
  • Oi Auckland Transport: fare’s fair
    Auckland Transport should go back to the drawing board on its proposal to charge commuters for its park-and-rides, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “When we need to be getting people out of their cars and onto public transport, it’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • Is Nick Smith making it up as he goes along?
      Housing Minister Nick Smith must release the list of Crown land parcels which formed the basis of the Government’s Budget announcement, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “If the public is to have any faith the Government is not just… ...
    3 days ago
  • Norway moves first to dump coal investments
    The Green Party today called on the Government to secure cross-party support to sell its investments in coal mining companies.The Norwegian Parliament's finance committee agreed in a bipartisan motion yesterday to instruct the $1.2 trillion Government Pension Fund to sell… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    3 days ago
  • Fonterra payout $13b black hole over 2 years
    Fonterra’s dramatic cut to its forecast farmgate payout over this season and next will lead to a $13 billion black hole over two years, and shows the need for a plan to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant… ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour calls for select ctte inquiry into Rural Broadband Initiative
    Labour is calling for an immediate inquiry into the flailing $300 million rural broadband initiative, before companies and consumers are forced to pick up the tab for the new $150 million broadband tax, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran. “Rural… ...
    3 days ago
  • Public broadcasting takes big hit under National Government
    Public broadcasting funding has been cut by 25 per cent in real terms since the National Government took office in 2009, leading to the erosion of our once world-class news and current affairs culture, says Labour Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran. … ...
    3 days ago
  • Hospital food plan hits another snag
    The Government has been left with egg on its face with Hawke’s Bay District Health Board today giving a plan to outsource hospital food services the thumbs down, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Doing away with local kitchens by… ...
    4 days ago
  • Hospital food plan hits another sang
    The Government has been left with egg on its face with Hawke’s Bay District Health Board today giving a plan to outsource hospital food services the thumbs down, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Doing away with local kitchens by… ...
    4 days ago
  • Wilkinson appointment wrong in principle
    The appointment of former Conservation Minister Hon Kate Wilkinson as an Environment Commissioner is wrong in principle, says Labour’s Shadow Attorney-General David Parker. “The doctrine of separation of powers requires judicial processes to remain separate and independent from the legislature… ...
    4 days ago
  • McCully doesn’t deny bribe in Saudi sheep scandal
    “In Parliament today I asked Murray McCully directly: Why is he the first Minister in history to back a multi-million dollar facilitation arrangement which in other jurisdictions is called a bribe? says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker.… ...
    4 days ago
  • National must back our future doctors
    National must support our future doctors and agree to the calls from the Medical Students’ Association and the Young Nats to lift the arbitrary 7 year cap on student loans for medical and dental students, Labour’s Tertiary Education Spokesperson David… ...
    4 days ago
  • Taxpayer the loser after Government folds
    Steven Joyce today admitted the main exhibition hall at the New Zealand International Convention Centre is 19 per cent smaller than what was described at the time other bidders were edged out of the process, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David… ...
    4 days ago
  • Govt’s lack of ambition for women
    Yesterday, the Government put out a media release entitled “Number of women leaders continues to grow”. It was to inform us that the percentage of women on state-appointed boards has increased to 41.7%, up from 41.1% in 2013. Well, woo-hoo… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Auditor-General exposes Key’s scapegoating of Council
    The National Government's blaming of Auckland Council for the city’s housing crisis has been exposed as scapegoating in the Office of the Auditor-General’s latest report, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Auditor-General says Auckland Council’s part in fixing the… ...
    4 days ago
  • Reform – not money – needed for meat sector
    The National Government continues to throw good money after bad at the meat industry instead of addressing the fundamental problem of its dysfunctional structure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The latest Primary Growth Partnership grant to the venison… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government cuts corners on school bus funding
    The safety of children – not cost cutting – should be the main objective behind the Government’s funding of school buses, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Buried in the detail of this year’s Budget are $19 million of funding… ...
    4 days ago
  • Women the losers under National’s cuts
    National’s poor performance in appointing women to state sector boards is set to get worse with funding cuts to the nomination service provided by the Ministry for Women, Labour’s Woman’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Minister for Women Louise Upston… ...
    4 days ago
  • Help sought by agencies now asked to help
    The organisation Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has tasked with setting up an emergency hotline for stranded Relationships Aotearoa clients has just lost a bid for a government contract to launch a new national helpline, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson… ...
    4 days ago
  • Wellington got loud again on climate
    On Monday night, in Wellington, I attended the last of the Government’s climate target consultation meetings. It was quite well attended with maybe 150 people, not bad for a second meeting with very little notice and, as far as I… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Final nail in coffin for Solid Energy workers
    Today’s confirmation of job losses at Solid Energy’s Stockton and Spring Creek mines shows the urgent need for new economic opportunities on the West Coast, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our economy can no longer rely on… ...
    5 days ago
  • Ramadi proves Iraq deployment high risk, low benefit
    The fall of Ramadi and the collapse of the Iraqi Army proves Labour was right to be concerned about the deployment of our troops to Iraq, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “The fall of Ramadi brings IS fighters within… ...
    5 days ago
  • English admits new taxes on the cards
    Eight months after pledging “no new taxes” at the election Bill English today admitted he would bring in more sneaky taxes along the lines of the border tax, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Not only did National bring in… ...
    5 days ago
  • What the Dickens is going on at SDHB?
    Problems at the financially-strapped Southern District Health Board appear to stretch to its HR department with information obtained by Labour showing it still records staff leave entitlements using manual book-keeping methods. “The Board’s draft 10-year plan document forecasts a cumulative… ...
    5 days ago
  • Teachers turn backs on new professional body
      The fact that just 56 per cent of nominations for the Education Council came from registered teachers shows the profession has turned its back on Hekia Parata’s new professional body, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Answers to written… ...
    5 days ago
  • No spade work done on big building plan
      Only a quarter of the 500 hectares of Crown land the Government wants to use for new homes is understood to be suitable for building on, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This was National’s bold new idea to… ...
    5 days ago
  • National: Seven KiwiSaver cuts in seven years
    National’s campaign of KiwiSaver cuts has reached seven in seven years as it dismantles KiwiSaver block by block, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “KiwiSaver is critical to establishing a savings culture in New Zealand but National has taken a jenga-style… ...
    5 days ago
  • Tolley’s actions contradict reassurances
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has serious questions to answer following the forced closure of Relationships Aotearoa just days after her reassurances she was looking at ways to keep the service operating, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson Annette King says.… ...
    5 days ago
  • SkyCity downsize another broken promise
    The downsized SkyCity Convention Centre does not deliver on the promised iconic world-class centre and shows the true extent of Steven Joyce’s incompetence, Labour Leader Andrew Little said today. “New Zealanders were promised an iconic world-class convention centre that would… ...
    5 days ago
  • Te Arawa partnership model a step closer
    Councils around New Zealand have an opportunity to improve their consultation with Iwi Māori by following Rotorua District Council’s Te Arawa Partnership Model, Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Rotorua District Council will today decide whether to adopt… ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour mourns Dame Dorothy Fraser
    Labour Leader Andrew Little said the party is today mourning the loss of the youngest person to join the Labour Party, Dame Dorothy Fraser, who went on to be a stalwart of the Dunedin community and tireless worker for others.… ...
    6 days ago
  • The ultimate scapegoat: PM blames fruit fly for new tax
    The Prime Minister has found the ultimate scapegoat for breaking his promise not to introduce a new tax – the Queensland fruit fly, Labour’s Biosecurity spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “John Key’s first policy upon taking office and assigning himself the… ...
    6 days ago
  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    1 week ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    1 week ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    1 week ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    1 week ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    1 week ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    1 week ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    1 week ago

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