Resource consent has been granted to convert the mothballed Marsden B power station to run on coal. Stuff story here.
No news as yet as to how long it took to gain the consent, nor how much it cost, but there were "almost 16o conditions" attached to the 35-year consent, and an appeal promised by those opposing the consent -- which naturally includes both Greenpeace and the Green Party, presumably unhappy at the derelict plant being recycled for productive use, or indeed any sign of productive enterprise at all. Northland Regional Council says "the restrictions are some of the toughest ever imposed in Australasia," and they say that like it's a good thing. (I've quoted before Ayn Rand's observation on the injustice of the productive have to ask permission from the unproductive in order to produce, and it seems time to do so once again.)
I've also noted before the restrictions on industry arising from the RMA's strangling of new power-stations, and the warning from the Electricity Networks Association (ENA) that the principal objective of having enough power to meet demand is steadily being eroded. "It's very hard to invest in coal [because of Kyoto], nuclear's a sort of four letter word...hydro is suddenly becoming too hard...what's left?...we can't do everything on windpower," warned Alan Jenkins from the ENA a few months back. Industry is the country's lifeblood, and if there's no power, there's no industry.
Solar, wind and microgrids won't cut it, at least not as long as every project from little to large gets caught up in the maw of the RMA. You'd think that, just once, there'd be some voices celebrating some productivity instead of trying to stamp on it.