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Friday, September 5

Biofuel Bill will do more harm than good

More harm than good will come from making biofuels compulsory, says National's Environment spokesman, Nick Smith.

The Government's Biofuels Bill passed under urgency in Parliament last night.

"The international evidence is overwhelmingly showing that biofuels are contributing to a world food crisis, are destroying indigenous forests, and making minimal impacts in reducing carbon emissions.

"It is particularly galling that the Government has ignored the advice of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, who said the bill would put New Zealand's clean, green image at risk.

"It is badly flawed policy to make biofuels compulsory from 1 October when the standards to address sustainability issues are at least a year away.

"Nor is there any logic in giving imported ethanol, most likely from Brazil, a huge excise tax advantage over domestically-produced biodiesel from tallow.

"The compulsory biofuels requirements will add an extra four cents a litre to the price of fuel, or $240 million a year to the economy.

"It is a sign of how out of touch this Clark/Peters government is to the recession and pressures on family budgets that such costly measures are being imposed when they have so little environmental benefit".

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