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Letting Craig Kelly dictate energy policy is as stupid as letting Tony Abbott destroy the NBN

The head of the misnamed Coalition backbench environment committee, Craig Kelly, has been all over the media with ever more strident calls to stop all subsidies to renewable energy.

His argument, which has been adopted by that jellyfish Frydenberg, is that, if renewables are cheaper then they don’t need subsidies.

On June 25, Mr Kelly gave a childishly sarcastic speech in parliament regarding AGL’s statement that coal cannot compete with renewables in the future.

This is wonderful news, because what that means, if coal truly “cannot compete with renewables”, is that we can simply finish the renewable energy target today.

We do not need it.

If renewables are truly cheaper, why do we need to continue subsidise them?

We can cut all the subsidies back to zero.

We can finish all the subsidised feed-in tariffs.

We can abandon any thought of carbon taxes in the future because of this wonderful news.

The Finkel report, because of this announcement by AGL, is now completely redundant, because renewables, according to AGL, are cheaper than coal, and coal cannot compete.

If we do a reverse auction’ to get more power in the grid to address the shortages that we are likely to have in South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria this summer, AGL should be all in favour of that, because that reverse auction would be won by renewables with storage. Haleluya

It is also great news for Australia’s international competitiveness, because we see around the world they are still building something like 1,000 coal-fired power stations. (Idiots !) These nations are making investments that are wasting billions and billions of their capital. This will put Australia at a great competitive advantage.

On the Paris Agreement, we can go back to “Paris” being known as the city of love.

Craig Kelly gets his advice from the Minerals Council of Australia and the IPA.  Despite being the chairman of the ‘environment’ committee, he makes no mention ever of climate change or pollution.  In fact, in July this year, he linked recent electricity price increases to subsidies for renewables that he said would cause deaths this winter. What Mr. Kelly didn’t mention were the subsidies the coal sector enjoys, the skyrocketing price of gas, or the well-established fact that coal kills.

In 2015, the International Monetary Fund released a paper projecting that, during that year, the world would subsidise energy consumption – mostly coal, gas and petroleum – by an astonishing $6.6 trillion.

In Australia, the IMF projected we would subsidise coal, petroleum and gas consumption by $41 billion in 2015, almost two per cent of our gross domestic product, with the consequences of global warming and air pollution representing about $25 billion of that figure.

This amounts to a per capita subsidy of almost $1600.

In September last year, the Bloomberg Editorial Board said fossil fuel subsidies were the dumbest policy they could find in the world, saying that the “ridiculous” outlays would be economically wasteful even if they didn’t also harm the environment.

“They fuel corruption, discourage efficient use of energy and promote needlessly capital-intensive industries,” the Bloomberg team wrote. “They sustain unviable fossil-fuel producers, hold back innovation, and encourage countries to build uneconomic pipelines and coal-fired power plants.

“Last and most important, if governments are to have any hope of meeting their ambitious climate targets, they need to stop paying people to use and produce fossil fuels.”

When 40 countries signed a communique committing to promote the phase out of inefficient government subsidies for the use of coal, gas and oil in Paris in 2015, Turnbull had to ring the NZ Prime Minister at the last minute to admit, because of opposition from the deniers in his party, Australia could not support the intiative.

These are the same dinosaurs who are screaming blue murder about renewables displacing their beloved coal.

Mr Kelly was an ok footballer and a not-so-successful businessman (who questionably avoided bankruptcy proceedings), but as a politician, he has proven to be an ignorant mouthpiece for vested interests.  The fact that the PM and Energy Minister are now echoing his hollow words is frightening.


23 comments

  1. pierre wilkinson

    I don’t know whether this government can outdo its’ stupidity across a number of portfolios, but I do know that they will continue, with the MSM backing, to declaim the success of all their policies despite their own cherry picked committees decrying them as failures. Sad.

  2. Kaye Lee

    Kelly keeps talking about all the coal-fired power stations being built in China. His sources obviously didn’t read the new 5 year plan released in January this year.

    China’s power sector is faced with a severe overcapacity problem. Slowing demand for electricity due to the economic downturn and the slashing of energy intensive industries has caused widespread under-utilization of existing power generation capacities, which are seeing their lowest utilization hours since 1978.

    Yet the country is still seeing a fast build-up of coal-fired power capacity as a result of inertia (many projects were approved in the heyday of the economic boom), and perverse incentives (dropping coal prices and a government fixed electricity tariff is increasing the profit margin for coal power).

    The situation has prompted regulators to consider putting a two-year “freeze period” in the Energy 13FYP for the approval of any new coal-fired power projects. At the press conference to launch the Energy 13FYP, government vowed to keep coal power capacity below 1,100 GW by 2020, setting an upper limit for new coal capacity.

    https://thediplomat.com/2017/01/chinas-ambitious-new-clean-energy-targets/

    And yesterday’s news….

    China is to stop or delay work on 151 planned and under-construction coal plants as Beijing struggles to respond to a flat-lining of demand for coal power.

    The newly released list implements a target announced by premier Li Keqiang in March to stop, delay and close down at least 50,000 megawatts of coal-fired power plant projects in 2017.

    The list affects coal power plants with capacity equal to the combined operating capacity of Germany and Japan (95,000 megawatts) costing around US$60 billion (389 billion rmb).

    http://reneweconomy.com.au/china-halts-150-coal-fired-power-plants-84937/

  3. diannaart

    Craig Kelly gets his advice from the Minerals Council of Australia and the IPA

    Nothing else need be said.

  4. darrel nay

    Harquebus must have a strong spirit to continue to post here despite the negativity and hate he is subjected to – thank you!

    Cheers

  5. Max Gross

    Vandals and saboteurs: pure LNP

  6. darrel nay

    Yesterday when I left posts on this site they were not displayed but were sent to spam – Michael Taylor e-mailed me to explain the ‘glitch’. I appreciate Mr.Taylor taking the time to set the record straight. Today, when I try to post, my comments are being held in moderation while other later comments by other posters are cleared – this will only motivate me to post even more.

    Cheers

  7. Roswell

    That sort of stuff is becoming fairly common in both the USA and Australia, Harquebus. It is now beyond a joke … it’s seriously scary.

  8. Roswell

    Darrel, that was me who emailed you.

  9. darrel nay

    It’s about time they run the X-files again.

    Cheers

  10. silkworm

    Cash for comment.

  11. darrel nay

    Thanks Roswell

  12. Harquebus

    Roswell
    I’m with you on that one.

  13. Michael Taylor

    Cash for comment

    They’re not getting any cash from us, Silky. But maybe we could start charging them. ?

  14. guest

    The Right is in a spin about what to do about “cheap, reliable and affordably” electricity. Chris Kenny, in a strange goulash of commentary in the weekend Murdoch press is supporting Abbott for his “sceptical and intelligent critique” given in London. All those MSM media, the ABC and others who pilloried him – what would they know?

    Well, what would Kenny know?

    Kenny says: “Some of the intensity has gone out of climate alarmism.Tim Flannery’s predion of dry dams and endless summer are now a running joke after rivers filled and desalination plants became expensive white elephants…a pause in global temperature rises, controversy over the temperature records…”

    Kenny lives in his debunked denier head-in-the-sand lost word of ignorance. Note also, no source for his claims about what Flannery is supposed to have predicted

    Of course he must refer to South Australia and its blackout, relying too much on interstate power. No mention of wind damage to the pylons in SA, nor any mention that the whole eastern part of Oz is connected to the power grid. It is all about renewables, for him. Then he goes on to say that gas supply people could not lock in gas contracts because their output might be undercut by wind output.

    He said what? Presumably he is referring to private contractors running power supply – no state operators thank you! And the wind turbines might actually work?

    Poor Kenny a sorrowful lament: “Coal fired baseload power is shutting down and no one in their right mind would invest in new thermal plants or upgrades.” So the solution is: No subsidies for renewables?

    When I read the scribblers in the Murdoch press I think they exist on another planet. I know they support business, not all business supports them.

    The opinionistas complain about the parlous state of Oz democracy, its economy, its governance, the people who vote, other media outlets…etc etc. but what has the Murdoch media achieved except one almighty muddle which obfuscates reasoned thinking.

    They rave on about “identity politics” and claim to be “The Heart of he Nation” or “For the informed Australian”, “Weekend newspaper of the year”, with a red map of Oz. If its readers are informed, why is there this big mess they write about. Every one is wrong according o them – except for those people who support them by writing comments to their echo chamber – ny criticism blocked by a paywall.

  15. Glenn Barry

    Craig Kelly is a buffoon – ‘nuf said

  16. Shutterbug

    I do hereby solemnly swear that if Kelly infects his upcoming speeches in Parliament with “….blahblahblah..rhubarbrhubarb……Mr Speaker” every 15 seconds, I shall jump through the AWA Radiola and strangle the bloated toad. SO much guff, SO much tripe, and once these diatribes are finished, one feels like a few handy vials of strychnine wouldn’t go astray.
    To be expected, I hope, from Coal -Age Dinosaurs whose days must surely numbered. Don’t care whether it’s for their good or not, but it surely will be for the rest of humanity’s.

  17. Wally

    Kaye Lee I do not think I have read anything in any article that you have written that is grossly wrong or indifferent to what/how I want our world to be. But I am sick of reading about what could be or should be. Please stop writing, take off your PJ’s and confront the idiots in Canberra face to face. You have my vote and the vote of many others.

  18. Johno

    Harquebus… Pruitt, now White. Very depressing.

  19. Kaye Lee

    Craig Kelly is singing the praises of Donald Trump on his Facebook page.

    “PRESIDENT TRUMP CONTINUES TO DELIVER”

    “THE TRUMP EFFECT ROLLS ON”

    declares Craig in response to some stock market gains.

    My response to Craig…..

    When wealthy investors profit, it doesn’t mean average folks do too. Only about half of America has any money at all in the stock market. Between 1980 and 2014, incomes for the top 0.001% richest Americans surged 636% while the share of income of US adults in the bottom half of the distribution collapsed from 20 per cent in 1980 to 12% in 2014. Governing for the wealthy is not what we need. Oh, and I have it on good authority from someone who should know, Trump is a moron.

  20. Matters Not

    Trump thinks that That Rising Stock Market Erases Debt.

    Major stock market indexes have also steadily soared in that time, but they have not yielded the amount of increased economic growth and federal tax receipts that would be necessary to begin reducing federal debt. Gains in the market, which are pocketed by investors , do not directly reduce the federal debt, which is how much the government owes on its borrowings. …

    (AND) The federal budget deficit increased in the 2017 fiscal year, both in dollar terms and as a share of the economy, the Congressional Budget Office reported this month. Total debt held by the public stands at $20.38 trillion, up from $19.95 trillion when Mr. Trump took office in January.

    He really has no idea. And that (he) pronoun applies to both Trump and Kelly.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/12/us/politics/trump-stock-market-national-debt-fact-check.html

  21. Matters Not

    From the same article:

    he also suggested he would refinance federal debt, telling an interviewer: “I love debt. I love playing with it.”

    This from someone who has been bankrupted 6 times. Perhaps Crag would like to mention that?

    One suspects that Kelly does not think about the future. What he says today will be remembered. And recalled at inopportune moments

  22. roma guerin

    Great article Kaye and thanks for those links. I wish the MSM would front-page that second one. On another tack, today is the second anniversary of the tragic death of George Bender. His family battle on.

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