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Liberal Energy – The “too hard” party


How poor is the understanding of our energy market by the Coalition government?

Check these data.

When Tony Abbott became PM he slashed the Renewable Energy Target from 41,000 gigawatt hours to 33,000 claiming the target could not be met.

Not only was that revised target met, the original is going to be exceeded, too. Tony’s much-touted skills as an economic Rhodes Scholar failed big time as did his other ideas about redistributing wealth … to the wealthy.

Now keep in mind we need to do more on carbon emissions, because this original target was a lighter measure to ease into our new economy and this target needs to be moved to speed up the transition and ease the pressure on the environment. Forget dragging it out as long as possible. It needs to be done.

What is the current Liberal plan, you might ask?

Currently it is to leave the RET where it is, unless Frydenberg has a surprise in store for Friday’s CHOGM meeting.

Now he may move that target, indeed he will probably have to if he wants the Labor states to sign on, but in his normal chaotic way, he is not signalling a change, probably out of fear, but this is the exact reason we have high energy prices. Generators hate unpredictability.

Quite clearly, this government has forgotten what the original plan was, so allow me to restate it in case someone from the Party is interested.

To transition the Aussie Economy to one based on a sustainable energy model.

Sure, that’s easy to say, and indeed it comes with challenges, but some of the current challenges are unnecessary like the internal factional fights in the Party Room. Right from the start they have been the party of “it’s too hard” so they have dragged out the transition and attempted to make things harder than they need to be. To some degree that came from ignorance of the newer technologies, and another part was using the required change for political purposes with an amplified fear factor, but now that costs are fully understood, there remains a fair measure of damaged egos in play. To actually concede they got it wrong, or even, Tony got it wrong, is just too difficult to accept.

Have they learned from their mistakes? Are they going to be the party of “can do” and dazzle us with some progressive plans and a positive attitude?

It seems highly unlikely while they are wallowing in a pool of Minerals Council money and are haunted by a zombified Abbott, but imagine if they were to stumble over a Leader who decided to embrace the future and offer the Voters ideas rather than fear. Instead of trying to undermine Labor policy, they could start building their own. A Liberal party progressives could consider voting for.

If they captured the imagination of voters, they wouldn’t have to be running silly programs like the “Kill Bill” fiasco. Rather they would be more excited to be talking about the future and their management of it.


Aust Financial Review: Wind and Solar boom makes Malcolm Turnbull’s NEG a dead letter.

Renew Economy: Coalition Renewables naysayers were wrong. So so wrong

SMH: Monash group under fire in coal powered power station debate

New Politics: Kill Bill and the failure of a smear campaign

This article was originally published on 1PETERMCC’S BLOG.


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  1. johno

    Thanks 1PETERMCC
    The proverbial shit is hitting the fan, as we continue to burn (lots of) fossil fuels.
    Saw this today re study of the March 2016 coral bleaching event.
    “They didn’t die slowly of starvation, they died directly of heat stress. They cooked because the temperatures were so extreme.” Professor Hughes
    “I had colleagues up at Lizard Island as the bleaching was unfolding and they said to me at the time that it was awful being in the water, that it was very warm and very still, but also they got out of the water and they smelled bad,” Dr Ward said.

    And we must not forget the 700 kilometre strip of mangrove die off across the top end that happened around the same time.
    Dr Duke said many people saw mangroves as ugly.
    “They don’t look as pretty as coral reefs, so they don’t get that attention,” he said.

  2. New England Cocky

    Oh dear 1Petermcc haven’t you worked it out already? The Liarbral Party and their regressive mates believe that the 19th century IS THE FUTURE!! They are all striving for the Willie Wentworth I ideal of a hereditary peerage based on wealth and freedom from taxation at all costs. Just the ideal you would expect from the son of a highwayman.

  3. Keith

    Donations and lobbying by fossil fuel companies are factors in the decision making of the LNP. Canavan front bencher, and his unruly backbench mates display that to be the case through over the top spruiking of coal power. The other factor is the ideology they embrace, the need for change is hard for them to accept. The irony is that they support a free market and small government approach to matters; yet, are happy to subsidise the fossil fuel industry, though subsidising renewables is a huge no no.

    Prime Minister Gillard’s policy of placing a price on emissions saw them begin to come down; Abbott’s promise of stopping a price being placed on emissions has seen emissions climb again.

    The LNP are pushing hard for new coal mines and extensions for old coal mines, as well as, pushing hard for new gas developments. These matters are mutually exclusive to any initiatives which reduce greenhouse gases. The excuse being “we are not using the coal or gas, we are exporting it”. A bit like a child saying “he/she did it” when caught out doing a mischief with a mate.

    Already in 1912 a very short article in a New Zealand paper recognised that coal use causes grief. Major fossil fuel companies were informed of the science decades ago showing the impacts of greenhouse gases on climate. Rather than begin to research for alternatives they funded denier groups to create doubt in science.

    Thanks to the fossil fuel companies, their political sponsored mates, and other supporters; we are now in the midst of climate change.
    We do not know where tipping points are which are irreversible. We are playing a continuous game of Russian Roulet with more bullets being placed in the chamber of a revolver as time goes on.

  4. Terry2

    What do you reckon that Canavan’s plans for the NAIF will do : he wants to overhaul the lending rules of the $5billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility to make it much easier to finance major projects that are unable to attract commercial lenders.

    ‘Matt Canavan, the resources and northern Australia minister, said the NAIF was only allowed to provide 50% of an infrastructure project’s total debt, and that was too restrictive’. So, Canavan plans to remove that cap to require that the Australian Taxpayer take on 100% of the debt risk of these projects.

    The white shoe brigade are even now rising from their graves like so many festering zombies as the get the scent of taxpayer dollars with no need to put in their own money : what could possibly go wrong ?

  5. totaram

    ” A Liberal party progressives could consider voting for.

    If they captured the imagination of voters, they wouldn’t have to be running silly programs like the “Kill Bill” fiasco. Rather they would be more excited to be talking about the future and their management of it.”

    Seriously? Are you all right? Missed your meds? Don’t you understand, even now, that the entire raison d’etre of the “liberal Party” is to somehow fool people into voting against their own interests and in the interests of their backers, the 0.1%?

    They are not interested in any bright future for most of us – just for their backers. Any “progressive” who considers voting for these charlatans is deluded. If they ever say something that sounds good for the general populace, it’s very likely a lie. Just go through all the statements made by this govt over the past few years. Lie after lie after lie, with some clever word-play thrown in, so they can claim later it wasn’t a lie.
    Jeebus help me!

  6. etnorb

    I seriously doubt there is ANYONE in the Liberal/Nationals coalition who would have the brains & foresight to actually be able to even consider what a “proper”, considered & workable “Energy Plan” was. Starting with Rabbot, they have “progressed” further backwards NOT “Moving Forward” to enable this country to have a decent, proper, workable solution towards setting any type of Energy Policy, & then have to implement that! If (when?) Labor regains the Federal Parliament I would assume that they will have a full, workable & “genuine” Energy scheme. Time will tell about that though.

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