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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

coal industry's future « Previous | |Next »
February 24, 2008

In the Sunday Age Jason Koutsoukis makes the following judgement: matter how much spin the Liberals put on last week's poll results, the numbers are brutally honest. Brendan Nelson's leadership is finished before it has really begun.....The tumbril is ready and Nelson will doubtless be carted off to the guillotine when those jockeying to succeed him see fit.The question is, who will be next on the list?

Garnaut.jpg Matt Golding

If these are the bad days of opposition, then what of Australia and global warming? They are bad days for the coal industry, despite all the hype about technology coming to the rescue in the form of pumping carbon dioxide underground. The coal sector is in peril until carbon capture is a commercial reality.

At least Garnaut had the sense not to advise that emissive intensive firms should not be given free emission permits when Australia's Emissions Trading Scheme is introduced in 2010:

"There is no tradition in Australia for compensating [businesses] for losses associated with economic reforms of general application [for example, general tariff reductions, floating of the currency or introduction of the goods and services tax] ... the business community has been aware of the risks of carbon pricing for many years."

This implies selling all the permits, rather than just some of them and giving the rest away free to selected businesses.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:16 AM | | Comments (6)


Nelson was only ever going to be a temporary measure until the Liberals reorganised and worked out who they really wanted. Julie Bishop's probably the best bet for a viable alternative who would get Rump support. Electorally they'd be better off with Turnbull, but he'll have to wait for some of the upcoming Rump retirements. He'd also be the most convincing on global warming.

that's a good assessment as any that I've seen of the leadership of a decimated Liberal party.

I see that the Liberals are contesting the Gold Coast election by standing against Ron Clarke; and they are doing so on a development platform that says to hell with global warming, rising sea levels and the risk of inundation of the 465km of canal properties.

Turnbull is doing all the work in carrying the fight to the Rudd Government. He's the one putting the pressure on Swan.

the Liberals and Nationals should unite to form one political party. They should start in Queensland under Lawrence Springboard. It's their best option in Queensland.

Local mayors have better public profiles here than anyone in the coalition parties at a state level. Campbell Newman has way more credibility and appeal than Springborg. And you'd be surprised at the regional animosity directed at Brisbane (read State Labor) and state control over just about anything in the region from developmental guidelines to water control to fisheries management.

It's a weird setup but it does look as though the Liberals have given up on the state and are working at gains at the council level instead. If their campaign around here is any indication they're not short of a quid.

Turbull's good. Whoever is coaching him is worth their weight in gold. I wonder whether Tanner might have been a better choice than Swan, but then the opposition he's facing now isn't going to last all that long.

When it comes to putting pressure on the Rudd Government in any other area there's effectively no opposition at the moment. That's my impression anyway. Turnbull seems to be the only one who's moved on from defending Howardism.

one threat to the coal based energy industry is the Rudd Government's commitment to increase power from renewable energy by 20% of all power by 2020. That cuts into market prospects for existing energy generators. It also puts a damper on any fossil fuel-based power generation.

So the sale value of the energy infrastructure in NSW is lessened. This will be even further lessened by the proposed carbon trading regime that will require permits to be purchased to emit carbon dioxide. So you can see why the energy industry is wanting the NSW government to indemnify buyers of its coal-fired electricity generator infrastructure against the impact of a carbon trading scheme.