'The government supports the introduction of biofuel as an alternative fuel source with potential for New Zealand,' Mr Brownlee said. 'However, we do not support any form of mandatory obligation.
It will mean consumers have a free choice and certainty for the future. Fuel suppliers will make decisions to supply biofuels based on commercial, environmental and marketing considerations. 'There are a number of reasons why National wishes to repeal the biofuel obligation. The old law brings uncertain costs to consumers, oil companies estimated it would increase the cost of fuel between two and eight cents a litre.'
The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment warned against Labour's bill, saying it could damage New Zealand clean, green image and importing biofuel could contribute to hugely damaging environmental and social impacts in other countries,' said Mr Brownlee.
'Labour failed to even put in an environmental sustainability standard when it pushed through the old law.'
The government will consider other issues in respect of biofuels. These include tax considerations relating to biodiesel and bioethanol, and biofuels, as well as electric vehicles and other alternative fuels. All of these have potential benefits, so must be considered in an even-handed way.
The Energy (Fuels, Levies, and References) Biofuel Obligation Repeal bill has been tabled in Parliament. It will be passed under urgency through all stages next week.