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Solid Energy's Annual Publicity Stunt

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

24 NOVEMBER 2008 - Solid Energy's annual meeting today is an obvious publicity stunt, an empty public relations gesture designed to gain them some good press. If Solid Energy really wanted some public input, the very least they could do would be to hold meetings around the country at times and places when regular working people can attend, rather than one meeting at 11am, Monday morning. Almost all the press Solid Energy has had over the last few years has been bad press, and rightly so. They have planned to mine a pristine wilderness known as Happy Valley on the West Coast of the South Island which is home to several endangered native species including kiwi. They have been caught hiring private investigation firm Thompson and Clark to spy on environmental activists, which then Prime Minister Helen Clark was very unhappy with. And the most obvious reason why Solid Energy gets bad press is because their business is in fossil fuels which are hastening global warming. "Token efforts to appear transparent and consult with the public will never make mining coal acceptable," says Save Happy Valley spokesperson Malcolm France. "The public knows the reality of climate change, and that coal is a dirty, polluting substance which we should be leaving in the ground rather than mining. Solid Energy would like to convince us that coal can somehow be clean, but sensible people know how ridiculous that sounds. Clean coal technologies are impractical and unproven. There is no such thing as clean coal." Despite the awkward time of the meeting, members of the Save Happy Valley Coalition (SHVC) will be in attendance at Solid Energy's annual meeting to make their opinions clearly known, and to speak for the sensible New Zealanders who do not want the effects of climate change to spiral out of control.

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