The Institute of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ) has launched a new document, Realising Our Hidden Treasure: Responsible Mineral and Petroleum Extraction. The title says it all, and it’s the same message as the government has been feeding us for the last three years.
First the treasure. The document sets it out in dollar terms. I’ll mention only the fossil fuels here. They estimate the potential value of the resources as $109 billion for coal, $248 billion for lignite, $187 billion for oil and $45 billion for natural gas.
Then the question of responsible extraction. The document is concerned with the environmental effects. There are plenty to be concerned about, but in this post I’ll focus on greenhouse gases, which the document addresses in a short section headed “Can We Manage Greenhouse Gas Emissions?”