Yesterday economic development minster Steven Joyce showed that he doesn’t understand economics. Which must make his job a little difficult. Well, either he doesn’t understand economics, or he’s rather ham-fistedly trying to misrepresent the oil industry’s economic worth.

He trotted out a report yesterday which ignored capital costs, and also ignored the external costs associated with pollution. And, even then, it still showed that exports of oil and coal are on the slide and fossil fuels are no longer profitable.

But still, despite all Joyce’s efforts to misrepresent the figures, the fossil fuel industry still looks like peanuts compared to the clean energy sector that this country could have.

Almost 30,000 jobs could be created in areas such as the geothermal and bioenergy industries right here in our country. The geothermal industry alone could be worth over NZ$4billion to the economy every year. And a growing bioenergy sector could see New Zealand becoming increasingly less reliant on foreign oil imports, saving the country over NZ$7billion each year by 2035.

The oil industry cannot come near to matching these numbers. If you want prosperity, jobs and an economic boost provided by the energy sector, and I certainly do, then the oil industry simply is not the place to go.

There is, quite simply, no economic case for oil drilling in our seas.