Fears Labour’s North Sea plans will lead to blackouts


A BAN on oil and gas drilling is being revoked in New Zealand amid fears of blackouts, as Labour pledges similar laws in the UK.

Families across the country have been forced to limit their electricity usage as the government prepares to invite energy giants to resume exploration in three major offshore fields to increase gas supply.

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Industry bosses in New Zealand are praising the return of “sensible, pragmatic policy”, and have also sent warnings to other countries.

John Carnegie, chief executive of trade body Energy Resources Aotearoa, said: “If you cut off your own supplies then you push up prices and destroy jobs…our politicians wanted to look like leaders in tackling climate change but instead they generated an energy crisis.”

Industry in the UK has repeatedly warned the Labour Party that their plans for the sector, which include no new oil and gas projects, an extended and increased windfall tax on profits and the removal of investment allowances, could cause the loss of up to 100,000 jobs.

Mr Carnegie added: “We now urgently need to attract further investment in exploration and production to keep the lights on, our houses warm and business humming.”

He said the policy drove investors away and created chaos.

It comes as union, as well as industry, warn Labour against implementing its “irresponsible policy”.

Sharon Graham, the Unite general secretary, said: “Labour needs to pull back from this irresponsible policy.

“There is clearly no viable plan for the replacement of North Sea jobs or energy security. Unite will not stand by and let these workers be thrown on the scrap heap.

“North Sea workers cannot be sacrificed on the altar of net zero.”

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