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Monday, April 8, 2013

Australian coal industry and politicians argue with renewable straw man

... while China races to an unbeatable low-cost energy lead.

Straw man - a distraction from substantive issues
 Straw man - a distraction from substantive issues 
Governments of New South Wales and Queensland are addicted to royalties from coal mining and coal exports.

Both major Australian political parties in the federal government and opposition identify coal seam gas as a significant new revenue base in a Petroleum Resource Rent Tax.

These factors must be behind the incredibly silly debate within Australia that wastes newspaper columns, radio broadcasts and television news reports on lame energy policies of the Greens, Labor and Liberal parties.

China of course has no need to entertain such time-wasting and pointless debate. It is getting further and further ahead of Australia with expertise in advanced energy generation technology. This is giving China a world's best practice competitive advantage in cheap energy.

Using the technology China has acquired, Australia's energy needs can be met with no coal seam gas and half of its existing coal mine output.
  • The cost-savings for Australian industry are substantial. 
  • The loss of  royalties would create a significant headache for the New South Wales and Queensland state governments. 
  • Australian industry would benefit from increased international competitiveness.

Public debate over renewable energy targets, solar homes and cities, climate science and a carbon price are clever ways to avoid discussion of these facts. The coal royalty revenues of the New South Wales and Queensland State governments remain secure. The Australian Government's prospective revenue from a Petroleum Resource Rent Tax remains safely "in the bag".

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