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King Coal rules Australia again–Booker

September 2, 2018

By Paul Homewood


Booker reports on the new Australian Energy Minister:



Something so extraordinary has lately been going on at the other end of the world that, if it did not run so flatly contrary to the prevailing groupthink of our time, it would surely have made big headlines over here.

We may have gathered that there has been something of an earthquake in the politics of Australia, where the prime minister Malcolm Turnbull faced such a revolt by his Cabinet colleagues over “climate change” that he was eventually forced out of office, to be replaced as leader by Scott Morrison.

But the real significance of this has only now come to light with the unveiling by Australia’s new energy minister, Angus Taylor, of the country’s wholly new energy policy, which completely reverses that of the Turnbull government.

Taylor has made it clear that he is not remotely interested in reducing Australia’s “carbon emissions”, or in pouring ever-larger subsidies into the wind farms which were one of the previous government’s chief obsessions. In recent years, he said, something had gone “terribly wrong” with Australia’s energy policy – which resulted in soaring electricity prices and power blackouts like the one which in September 2016 plunged South Australia into darkness, as the state which, more than any other bar Tasmania, had come to rely on wind turbines for its power.

From now on, said Mr Taylor, he would fix this “mess”, with “one aim only: to reduce power prices while keeping the lights on”. Instead of getting bogged down in ideological complexities, he said his overriding priority would be to end all subsidies to wind farms, and to use Australia’s vast coal reserves to ensure that it would once again draw its electricity from the cheapest, most reliable source.

The full ramifications of this complete policy U-turn, however, stretch far beyond Australia. For a start, coal is far from being as cheap as it was. On the international market, its cost in the past year has more than doubled, thanks to huge demand from China and other eastern countries which, to keep their economies growing, are building hundreds of new coal-fired power plants, as if the much-touted Paris climate “accord” had never happened. Hence President Trump’s decision to pull America out of it.

Following the US, Australia – whose biggest coal customer is China – has called the bluff of that delusion that a country can somehow replace fossil fuels with hopelessly weather-dependent renewables without doing irreparable damage to its economy.

It is already clear that few European countries, least of all Germany, have any prospect of meeting their crippling “CO2 reduction targets” set by the EU for 2020 and beyond. Sweden is another country where the unreliability of wind power now threatens the survival of its “green” pro-renewables energy policy.

All of which leaves Britain locked into this delusion more than any other country in the world, committed by the Climate Change Act to precisely the suicidal energy policy Australia has firmly rejected. In recent windless weeks, we have repeatedly been drawing more than half our electricity from the gas our Government wants to see phased out; while only one per cent or less was coming from the windmills which are costing us billions a year in subsidies. If only we had a single politician with Mr Taylor’s common sense to grasp the great black hole this is heading us for.

  1. Neil M. Dunn permalink
    September 2, 2018 7:20 pm

    Thanks for posting this article. So clear and so obvious.

  2. Charles Wardrop, permalink
    September 2, 2018 7:46 pm

    A breath of fresh “green” policy air, amazingly contrasting with ours in UK and absolutely crazy proposed California policies for decarbonisation, with a misplaced evangelistic fervour, but with no sense!

  3. Immune to propaganda permalink
    September 2, 2018 7:52 pm

    Our politicians are so gullible and easily fooled by the lobbying of greens, or eco commie organisations.
    Letting hysterical people dictate/ influence energy policy is foolish beyond any reason and will bring the UK to it’s knees. People are already struggling to find the extra £300 per year to fund wind turbines through their utility bills plus CO2 taxes on cars and flights. UK industries are also hampered by green nonsense. Added to falling wages and rising costs staying ‘ green’ will mean heading into the eye of the coming financial storm.

    • September 2, 2018 9:31 pm

      You’re right. But without wandering too far off topic it’s worth considering that what is slowly bringing Britain to its knees is the susceptibility of the modern politician to an almost infinite variety of lobbyists, special interest groups, their own quangos and others.
      The climate activists are only the tip of a very large iceberg funded with our money either directly or indirectly. Modern politics must be the only sphere where the man who foots the bill has virtually no say in how his money is spent!

      • George Lawson permalink
        September 3, 2018 10:06 am

        One of the problems with the current Parliamentary system is that more and more of our parliamentary representatives are professional politicians that have emerged through the party systems, without any experiences of the out side business world,.and are totally reliant on their increasingly attractive salaries and expenses to survive, unlike MPs of yesteryear, most of whom had professions outside Parliament and whose life did not rely on their incomes from Parliament. Too many current MP’s do not have much experience of business and could not survive without their job as an MP. That’s why you have fewer MP’s these days, prepared to vote against the party leadership, and why few MPs are likely to follow the line of Frank Field and resign their positions in protest at Jeremy Corbin’s anti Semitism stance – salaries.are far more important to them than their principles..

  4. The Informed Consumer permalink
    September 2, 2018 8:27 pm

    Governments are supposed to make life easier, not harder.

    We need to get rid of at least half the talking heads in the UK.

    • Derek Buxton permalink
      September 3, 2018 10:45 am

      At least half, preferably more, they are of little use at the best of times.

  5. Bitter@twisted permalink
    September 2, 2018 8:37 pm

    We have a very simple solution if this blinkered, moronic, virtue-signalling Government could, or would, see sense.
    Get fracking for real.

  6. markl permalink
    September 2, 2018 10:05 pm

    Reality is catching up, the alarmist know it, and are becoming more shrill and demanding as their dream of eliminating fossil fuels is failing …. one by one countries are realizing they’ve been duped. Yes there is a “tipping point”.

    • Paddy permalink
      September 3, 2018 12:12 pm

      Yes, but the activists see which way the wind blows, and are moving from CO2 to air pollution. PM 2.5 is the New CO2.

  7. Bidefordcamel permalink
    September 2, 2018 11:14 pm

    This very evening I looked out over the Taw/Torridge estuary in North Devon. In the distance I could see the site of the old coal-fired Yelland power station, that once lit up this area. It closed in 1984. Over the other side up on the hills is Fullabrook wind farm with its 22 massive turbines visible for miles around. None were turning. The Aussies can see the folly but we can’t. I

    • September 3, 2018 6:33 am

      But you mustn’t forget that the old Yelland Power Station has now been replaced by 24 diesel generators of total capacity 9MW. Clean and green diesel, that’s Government policy to reduce CO2 emissions. Put together with 66MW of Fullabrook wind turbines, what could possibly go wrong.

      • richard verney permalink
        September 3, 2018 8:56 am

        Madness is contagious, witness this picture of an electric Belgium Police car being charged by a diesel gen pack! Replace IC cars with electric cars being charged from IC generators. That is the mad mad world the political correct global elites have led us into.

  8. Graeme No.3 permalink
    September 3, 2018 12:08 am

    Yes, a change in Canberra is welcome but at least 3 States are still committed to more renewables and the Opposition is riding high in the polls and wants more renewables. The new government in Canberra has to reduce electricity bills in the next 6 months to hope to be reelected.
    Tasmania relies mainly on hydro, with wind turbines and diesel. To reduce the last they want a better connection to Victoria to get more (brown) coal fired electricity from those stations the Premier of Victoria wants to shut. Said Premier is know colloquially as Dopey Dan.
    South Australia wants more renewables despite blackouts, higher bills and a change of Government at the election earlier this year. I have a generator.
    Queensland has a target of 50% renewables (from a very low percentage installed) but has the newest (black) coal fired stations and is making lots of money selling to NSW which shut down too many of theirs. Qld. is also heavily in debt and can’t afford lavish spending on renewables and was counting on the money coming from the Federal Government.
    It is bit early to claim that australian politicians have come to their senses.

    • September 3, 2018 1:21 am

      Yes, sadly our idiot Labour politicians are hell bent on destroying cheap electricity, jobs with their anti coal stance. The filthy Greens are of course right behind this nonsense plus all the usual rent seekers. Conservatives have many of the same in their ranks so it is anything but settled. Ex prime ministers son (Merchant Banker, of course) is financing new labour candidate to try and bring down the government.
      Question, who holds these renewable certificates that government use to pay off renewables? It is not the people who buy the panels so are they traded by merchant banks? Victoria is almost certain to re elect Dopey Dan who would love to destroy our last few jobs to appease the latte sipping greens in the inner city areas. Peak irony, the air around the “dirty” brown coal power stations is consistently cleaner than that in these same inner city areas who vote against cheap power.

      • Graeme No.3 permalink
        September 3, 2018 1:54 am

        Turnbull junior is a real chip off the blockhead in throwing good money away on hopeless causes. Labor’s chance of winning that seat are slghtly more than the chance of Teresa May doing a striptease in the House of Commons. At least it is his own money, unlike his father’s activities.

  9. Geoff Sherrington permalink
    September 3, 2018 5:14 am

    It is too early to deduce much of the intentions of the new Morrison government. The several States really control electricity generation and resource development like fracking, but the Federal government can in various way come in over the top and get its way on particulars. As well, there is still a lot of emphasis on ‘honouring’ past treatries and agreements like Paris. Also, the judiciary, so far as I can tell, will be swayed to honour international treaties – at least that was their attitude when I was last arguing before some of them.
    There is awareness by the new Government of the coming federal election, less than a year off, and the need to avoid creation of major issues with the Opposition while voter reaction is uncertain. I read the PM’s structuring of separate Depts of Environment and Energy as a way to duck the hard decisions until after that election.
    Actions speak louder than words, but I suspect that before the election we will have more words than actions. After that, it depends on which side wins. Geoff

    • RobbertBobbertGDQ permalink
      September 3, 2018 7:43 am

      How about a legislative clause that compels Wind and Solar production for the previous day to appear in a small box next to the Newspaper title as part of The Renewables Guarantee to actually provide a BaseLoad that drives a first world city.
      I am aware this be Big Government advocacy from a conservative voter to compel behaviour but it would thoroughly entertain me to see the fantasy contribution of renewables exposed to such a degree.
      And another box near the Weather Forecast to tell us that, if any excess was created how much was sold off at half price or, if that was not ‘saleable’, just how much was dumped or junked. But Wind and Solar is still ever so much cheaper than Fossils nowadays!
      This winter in Melbourne has been a typical winter…chilly…drizzly…overcast and quite still in the sense of wind…yet our government behaves as if Wind and Solar is the answer to all our energy prayers.
      With an election a few months away the goodies and show bags are being redistributed.
      A 10 year plan to cover half the cost of a Solar factory on your roof and a 4 year free loan period to pay the rest off. 1.4 Billion tax dollars over 10 years for 65,000 units per year.
      Bribes and BS are beautiful things when they are dressed up as Election Glitter.

      • Geoff Sherrington permalink
        September 3, 2018 9:09 am

        There are many remedies, but they require political will. Remember the original Ross McKitrick proposal that any fossil fuel tax should be calibrated against harm? Geoff

  10. Tim Spence permalink
    September 3, 2018 9:04 am

    Just heard the news that Vespas windmills have gone bang!

    • Tim Spence permalink
      September 3, 2018 9:10 am

      Correction (Vestas) it’s the Spanish setup that has layed off staff and owes the taxman billions, too big to fail I suppose.

  11. Athelstan permalink
    September 3, 2018 9:56 am

    The Westminster ship of fools and green blob in tow is earnestly steering the UK ‘ship’ onto the jagged rocks of economic catastrophe and we know who’ll pay for that and their egregiously ignorant policies – yep: you and me folks.

    That’s all.

  12. Tim Spence permalink
    September 3, 2018 10:49 am

    More on Vestas. The Danish owners are closing their wind turbine factory in León Spain due to lack of demand. The Parent company are moving production to Russia and Argentina. The closure of the León factory resulted in the loss of 300 part time, 362 full time and 1,400 associated jobs.

    The León subsidiary owes social security €24m, the tax collectors a higher sum and has received grants of €15m towards running costs plus additional grants for setup costs.

    • Athelstan permalink
      September 3, 2018 12:55 pm

      Vestas, erm……………..they were buildin’ a new plant in Hull – ‘umberside…….weren’t they in anticipation of the subsidy windfall (pun) of the great UK taxpayer giveaway planting bird choppers in the seas around England.

  13. September 3, 2018 3:02 pm

    For a start, coal is far from being as cheap as it was.

    But Australia sells far more coal per year to other countries than it’s ever going to consume at home, so hardly a problem?

  14. It doesn't add up... permalink
    September 3, 2018 6:05 pm

    I read Angus Taylor’s inaugural speech, available in full as a transcript and a video at STT here:

    First thing I noticed: here is a minister who has some background appropriate to the job. The next is that he shows some sign of understanding the depth and complexity of the problems, and how things got to be how they are – something he was happy to share openly. If he were allowed a long enough spell there would be some hope for Australia that they could straighten out their energy policy. Meanwhile, other countries would do well to emulate his stance.

    Taylor is a breath of fresh air. Worth reading his speech – especially if you’re Australian.

  15. September 5, 2018 7:06 pm

    King Coal might be getting a rival…


  16. APW permalink
    September 5, 2018 9:37 pm

    Many people think off peak prices (i.e. overnight, so called economy 7) are cheaper than peak prices – once upon a time this was always true, however, this summer electricity prices were more expensive over night than during the peak demand of the day – a consequence of massively over subsidised intermittent generation

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