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April 19, 2004

You see the defensive blocking tactics of the energy intensive industries to the need for them to undergo a green modernization in this story.

The industry says that "without investment, the Victorian economy will fail to grow at the rate the Government wants."

True. But this lobby group is not referring to investment in renewable energy as that brings jobs and investment in regional Australia. The industry is talking about a particular kind of investment----theirs.

Who are they? The article says they are:

"Victoria's heavy manufacturing industries: car and parts manufacturers, the aluminium sector, electricity generators, paper and plastics manufacturers, petroleum, chemicals and the cement industry. All are big power users and big emitters of carbon dioxide....[Victoria's] strength in manufacturing is based on cheap power from brown coal generators in the La Trobe Valley. The generators are also the worst polluters."

This manufacturing sector says that it creates 15 per cent of Victorian jobs and 60 per cent of exports. They are concerned that Victoria's power generation capacity will run short by 2010. And if brown coal is penalised for its greenhouse emissions in the form of costs imposed on industry for pollution, then there will be no incentive to invest in a new power station.

A coal-fired power station using dirty brown coal.

Sounds like blackmail to me. You can sense it in the text. The states cannot lead the way in green modernization now that the Howard Government is stuck. and won't move on green energy. The surface of the text says that green means less jobs, less investment and less growth. The blackmail is unspoken: We will go offshore if you go green. Its a threat.

That is the big end of town speaking to make sure the forthcoming Victorian budget is pro-business. Pressing the Brack's government to knuckle under and reign in a too active environmental minister.

That is one hand. The other hand is a plea for evermore protection and subsidy.

The intensive energy industries say no to Kyoto; no to a carbon trading system introduced by the states; no to an increase in the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (MRET) by Canberra; no to green modernization and sustainability; no to a carbon constrained world.; no to taxes on their greenhouse emissions. They should not be held responsible for helping to create a warmer world.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 5:00 PM | | Comments (0)