Energy Policy

Today’s Media has published two damming criticisms of government policy on global warming and, in particular, its predictions that NEG will result in falls in power prices. These come after yesterday morning’s seemingly desperate attempt by Frydenberg to support NEG including by his astonishing recourse to “experts” picked by Turnbull and himself viz “we are absolutely confident that prices will come down because that’s the best advice of the Energy Security Board which represents the best experts in the  field … This is no subsidies. No taxes. No trading schemes. No carbon price”.  It’s using existing market mechanisms involving “contracts exchanged for physical electricity”. One pertinent comment I received (from a different expert) is that NEG is similar to a plan by Lenin!  (see Frydenberg Responds to Criticism).

Andrew Bolt argues that “Turnbull last week destroyed the government’s last hope of winning the next election” by promising inter alia lower prices – “but only in about ten years”. “The public is demanding prices fall, and this plan won’t do that job no matter how many politicians and journalists praise it”.

Also, in sticking with the Paris cuts of carbon emissions, Bolt says this means “we must still triple the wind and solar farms we already have in 13 years”. This could mean an agreement with Labor, which has a 50% renewable policy by 2030 (see Bolt on Turnbull Belief in Falling Prices).

Emeritus Professor Ian Plimer, who has just published another book, Climate Delusion and The Great Electricity Rip-off, writes in a much more direct and angry manner than those usually allowed to publish in daily media on climate policies. His Op-Ed in today’s The Australian does not directly address Turnbull’s NEG . But his more analytical contribution points out that “Australia’s energy crisis is based on a flawed fundamental. Global human emissions are only 3 per cent of total annual emissions. It has never been shown that human emissions of carbon dioxide drive global warming … In the geological past, Earth’s atmosphere had hundreds of times the CO2 content of the modern atmosphere yet there were no carbon dioxide-driven catastrophes”.

Plimer claims Australia has “signed a suicide note yet didn’t seem to notice that China, India, Indonesia and the US did not commit to reducing their large carbon dioxide emissions” he points out that

“the grasslands, crops, forests and territorial waters of Australia absorb more carbon dioxide than Australia emits”. Other relevant points include

  • ”The National Energy Market was the nail in the coffin and, after 40 years of falling electricity costs and a reliable grid, Australia now has energy poverty and destruction of businesses”.
  • ”The solution requires political courage. Cancel the renewable energy target, large-scale RET, ­renewable energy certificates, clean energy target and any funding that subsidises renewable ­energy”.
  • ”Change the Corporations Law such that green activists, environmentalists, unionists and lobbyists abide by the same conditions of probity as company directors”.
  • ”Because investment confidence in energy in Australia has been destroyed, governments must build modern coal-fired and nuclear power stations”.
  • ”Only elections can change the madness but no major political party has nation-building leaders and a coherent policy to cut electricity costs and ­increase reliability”.
  • ”Australia’s energy policy is based on the fallacious assumption that human emissions of CO2 drive global warming. This underpins the Finkel and Australian Competition and Consumer Com­­mis­sion reports, the Paris ­Accord and political quick-fix ­solutions. Renewable energy has become ruinable energy, thanks to green ideology”.

Meantime, in the US two science-based petitions for reconsideration of the 2009 Endangerment Finding for Greenhouse Gases have been lodged with the new head of the Environment Protection Authority (EPA). One is by the Concerned Household Electricity Consumers Council, and one  jointly by the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Science and Environmental Policy Project (see Letter on US Endangerment Finding By EPA).  It will be recalled that, under Obama, the then EPA head announced environmental regulations on the basis that, although they had adverse effects on economic growth, they were needed to prevent danger to humanity. This move illustrates the effect that bureaucratic changes can have (relevant to those made here by Turnbull).

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