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October 28, 2008


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The EIA (Energy Information Association) has quoted reserve to production ratios for coal at around 164 years.
Source: http://www.eia.doe.gov/neic/infosheets/coalreserves.html

'We urgently need to mine as much coal as we possibly can'
- What about when atmospheric CO2 surpasses tipping points, possibly causing devastating changes in the average global temperature? Surely we should be looking away from coal as a quick fix for the impending energy (oil) crisis?

Banning coal mining now could also be a good option economically, as it is envitable that demand for coal will increase in the near future, and therefore the price will go up.

Waiting before further exploiting coal reserves in NZ could therefore offer economic and environmental advantages. Especially with improvements of CCS (carbon capture and storage) technology.

The Optimist

New Zealand has 1000 years of coal on the West Coast and about the same again in Southland based on current production volumes.

There is no evidence of an atmospheric CO2 'tipping point'. CO2 has been much much higher in the past, and probably operates as part of a natural cycle anyway.

Talk of an oil crisis is premature. We have plenty of oil. In my view coal is a cheap and dirty energy option which is not going to be attractive for much longer. We need to ship as much of this as we possible can.

Banning coal mining will cost us $500m per year for ever, plus whatever we might have got from Southland.

The time to mine is now.

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