Australia’s future vs Abbott lies on renewable energy

abbott

Spreading blatant mistruths.

There are three schools of thought to explain the Abbott lies on renewable energy. One is that our PM is under the influence of the fossil fuel energy companies and is happy to repeat their propaganda; two is that is he has been ill-advised by dodgy minders and three (to put it politely) he may have temporarily taken leave of his senses.

How else can you explain Mr Abbott’s statement this week that the Renewable Energy Target was responsible for energy price rises? The Prime Minister said the RET was making Australia “ the unaffordable energy capital of the world” and was somehow “…very significantly driving up power prices”.

What?

This in the face of indisputable evidence from a number of independent studies including the government’s own commissioned climate modellers (ACIL Allen) which showed clearly that the long term trend would be a fall in electricity prices for consumers.

But let’s recap. In the wake of the government’s review of the Renewable Energy Target (RET), the big energy companies have been spinning the bull … er running the line … that it is clean energy and the carbon tax that has been causing the electricity price hikes.

This in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Indeed the real reason for the massive price gouges has been the wanton expenditure on power infrastructure such as power poles and wires.

According to Richard Denniss, executive director of The Australia Institute, “…the main reason that electricity has been getting dearer is the overinvestment in poles and wires, and the fundamental inefficiency in the way that the national electricity market’s working,”. Mr Denniss was interviewed as part of the Background Briefing program “The Price of Power”.

According to the program, Treasury has estimated 51 percent of  the average household bill is spent on these network costs.

However, the spinners over at FossilFuelCentral have repeatedly used renewable energy as a scapegoat for their price hikes. Of course these fabrications are repeated ad nauseam by supporters such as Abbott, as was witnessed this week.

However as other recent developments have shown, the potentially massive financial and environmental benefits of clean energy is appreciated by a majority of Australians. Those politicians who know which side of their bread is buttered in this debate (quick nod to the populist Clive Palmer and his brood of PUPs), have started to flex their political muscle.

The Renewable Energy Target has become the new battleground of Australian politics with fossil fuel energy companies and their supporters on one side and the Australian people on the other. Up for grabs is more than a financial stake in how Australia’s energy future is to be played out. It’s our future quality of life, our environment, even our very existence as a species.

The issue is of paramount importance as the new composition of the senate in Australia, with independents now holding the balance of power. Will these independents see sense and reflect public opinion on this issue? Or will they fall to the Abbott lies on renewable energy?

Comments

  1. Where on earth does anyone get the infantile idea that government actions are the result of one man’s decisions? The Liberal and National Parties hold 100 seats in the current parliament, and if you think about it for a moment, decisions can only be made by a majority in assent. That particularly applies in an LNP environment. There are far brighter minds than Abbotts making decisions of this nature. It suits people from the socialist left to focus on one person because the realities of government are probably far too complex for such people to comprehend. So much easier to go with the Abbott bashing line. How on earth do you ever hope to be involved in the processes of government with such a simplistic attitude – you simply cancel out any credibility your experience carries with it. Lift your game.

    • Your point is well made and taken thanks Colin. However our PM is Prime Minister is the head of the government therefore he wears the results of the collective decisions, whatever the machinations of the LNP. You may recall we have written elsewhere on the rise of the (supposedly pro-renewables) NSW moderates within the party.

    • Couldn’t possibly be his “Climate change is crap!” comment that has earned him his reputation as an ostrich, could it? With our current LNP government, if you simply ignore what’s happening, or block access to information regarding what’s happening, it *ceases to exist*! Wonderful stuff! Australia is slowly moving backwards, due to flawed economic, environmental and social priorities. Staunch dyed-in-the-wool Liberal voters are unlikely to extract their noggins from the proverbial ostrich stance until these changes *impact the economy* … as they will.

  2. “… he may have temporarily taken leave of his senses…” Why would you imagine this is a temporary condition? The pre-election ‘reasonable, rational being’ was the temporary fix. Tony Abbott is the result of decades of conditioning, both Church and industry-induced. Alternative energy solutions are, in his view, small irritating cheese. Fossil-fuel industries are massive, powerful financially-generous (to those who support them) entities, whose influence ensures their supporters stay in ‘power’. We’re proceeding down that frightening path to lobby group dominance of political and economic decision-making, which thrives in the US. The sooner this untruthful schemer is discarded by more rational heads in the LNP, the better. It can’t be soon enough… .

    • Why would you think ” lobby group dominance of political and economic decision-making,” is any more frightening than that (compulsory, yet!) ‘lobby group’ called ‘The Electorate’ ~ a herd of unknowing and uncaring more-or-less moronic lemmings aka ‘Voters’? You know…the very ones who elect Abbotts and the like. They include child-molesters, individuals with an IQ the same as their hat-size and a large variety of ‘Gimme’ addicts whose vote can be bought for a $2 increase in a Centrelink payment or for breeding like a rabbit on Viagra.

      At least ‘lobby groups’ (usually) have some idea of the issues involved, even if they only voice one aspect of them.
      Not unlike the Solar Lobby, in fact.

      But talk’s cheap.
      If you don’t like politicians, stop voting for the bastards.
      And stop paying taxes. It only encourages them.

  3. Yes Minister says

    Financial statements from Energex, Powerlink & Ergon show a billion per annum in dividends (that used to be spent on maintenance) disappearing into consolidated revenue since corporatization. Then there is the four billion dollars per annum soaked up by AGL / Origin / rats and mice retailers (fatcat largesse / operating profits / shareholder dividends), all of which can be verified from financial statements in the public domain. In short, those items alone account for five billion per annum EXTRA paid for by electricity consumers in Queensland purely as a result of corporatization and privatization. We could easily reverse that expense by UN-corporatizing Energex / Powerlink / Ergon, and reverting control of retail electricity to the same bureaucracy that previously had the task. Mind you that would mean that our bottom-feeding politicians would also be forced in to accepting responsibility in exchange for their wildly exorbitant salaries.

  4. I followed up the referred links
    http://cmeaustralia.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Mountain-ceda-paper.pdf

    The crux of the matter seemed to be here
    “Furthermore, between 2004 and 2011 (during which the aggregate RAB of NSPs
    in the NEM has expanded by 91 per cent) the total length of the NEM network
    increased by just three per cent. Most of this increase has been in [ reticulation
    voltage cables ] ”

    I have been unable to find what “reticulation voltage cables ” actually means. I thought all power cables carried voltage ?

    Evidently they are ” likely to have been funded mostly by newly connecting
    customers (and hence are not recovered through regulated charges). ”

    The best guess is that it is new power connections requested by new buildings. So while power demand is not increasing – the number of new connections is. If that is the case, then spending on the power grid is apparently justified.

    More detail on the logic would be useful.

  5. Peter Taylor says

    Abbott is nothing but a puppet of his minders. It’s the only explanation for some of his inappropriate and apparently ill-informed statements. Whether it is refugees, the environment, welfare, mining or renewable energy, it’s pretty obvious which group of minders are pulling the strings.

  6. One only has to look at what is going on in Queensland where there seems to be a push to limit the impact of household solar systems by limiting the size of individual systems to 2 KwH. Seems to me that this is market manipulation to benefit the major players in the electricity generation game and that governments are complicit. I would have thought that this sort of behaviour may be illegal or a restriction of trade.

  7. phase.verocity says

    Abbot is the leader and so he represents the whole party.. Just a thought about all those on the bench being guilty. That’s why he’s pm. In fact he represents the whole of Australia. You know if this was America i’d see how sponsor’s paid the politicians and how the carbon companies could do just that but aren’t we living in Australia where the sponsorship isn’t there. What bugs me is that i’m always being told that there trying to save our future by converting to green energy when there really spending it on people who already have enough money. Maybe the people who need the new connections should pay for it themselves. People who can’t afford high electricity prices can then live peacefully again instead of hating the electricity companies. Of course the ceo’s don’t care if you hate the company names so I guess we’ll need to find a way of making those ceo’s public on TV etc so we hate them instead.

    • we now have ample evidence that many decisions are the Prime Ministers alone, as per the backlash against lack of consultation in his own party

      • Well… YES. It’s his lifestyle choice. The decisions Mr Abbott makes are based on his perception of an ideal lifestyle. We tend to surround ourselves with those who agree with our lifestyle choices, so the COALition does need to answer for their support for our PM and his choices… .

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