Victoria and energy: more on political interventions

The following piece of mine in today’s Herald Sun (A carbonless economy comes at a high cost) sees the Victorian energy minister cast both as a faint-hearted villain (banning gas exploration) and as a hero (closing the state’s wasteful renewable energy scheme).

It also addresses the impediments the ALP-Green coalition left in place to thwart a more responsible governments’ attempts to undo the damage their ideologically directed policies are causing.

Economists estimate that if increased carbon dioxide emissions raise global temperatures by a degree or two over the next century, world income might be 1 or 2 per cent lower than it would otherwise be.

In the context of overall income doubling over the same period that’s tiny, especially since the costs do not account for the massive disruption in moving to a carbonless economy.

For electricity alone, Australia’s energy taxes and regulations increase bills by 25 per cent.

Labor and the Greens want to see emissions falling to 20 per cent of their current levels.

This could only be met by blasting our living standards to below those of our great grandparents.

Even then, meaningful emission reductions would require the rest of the world to adopt similar measures.

The fact is that cheap energy is the key to modern living standards.

Without this everything from the ABC to zucchinis would be as unattainable now as they were 200 years ago.

Terry McCrann correctly pointed out that removing energy taxes and renewable requirements on electricity is more important to the economy than passing the Commonwealth Budget.

This week Victoria moved in the wrong direction when Energy Minister Russell Northe spinelessly surrendered to green alarmism by banning gas drilling.

Last week, however, he took a positive step by closing Victoria’s Energy Efficiency Target (VEET).

Abandoning the scheme saves Victorians $700 million over the next 15 years and reduces household electricity bills by $50 a year.

The VEET scheme was introduced by the Labor Government which idiotically claimed that without it Victoria would obtain insufficient industry development.

One spin-off, a taxpayer investment in a windmill blade factory, was to take the world by storm.

Like all such Pollyanna projects dreamt up by wide-eyed politicians, it closed after a few months. Since then another $140 million has been wasted on pie-in-the sky low emission proposals under the state’s grandly but inaccurately named Energy Technology Innovation Strategy.

The VEET also helped to attract $2 billion investment in hopelessly uneconomic renewable energy which costs three times its worth in electricity production.

Victoria is following the Commonwealth in lightening the regulatory load on electricity.

As well as repealing the carbon tax and reviewing the damaging Renewable Energy Target, Canberra has cut $5 billion in carbon-reducing subsidies.

This entails dismantling the Australian Renewable Energy Administration (ARENA), the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and monies spent on chasing the mirage of carbon capture and storage for coal.

However, in setting up these bodies, the Gillard/Milne government sought to make them immune from any future government’s attempts to curb their wasteful spending.

And they ensured the agencies were led by green zealots, supported by over-remunerated public servants – the Clean Energy regulator gets $486,000 a year and the head of ARENA $358,000.

Government measures to reduce carbon dioxide emissions have proved costly to the economy and the consumer.

The process of dismantling them has commenced but ALP obstructiveness will make reform difficult.

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21 Responses to Victoria and energy: more on political interventions

  1. handjive

    “Terry McCrann correctly pointed out that removing energy taxes and renewable requirements on electricity is more important to the economy than passing the Commonwealth Budget.”

    No argument here.

  2. Rabz

    Economists estimate that if increased carbon dioxide emissions raise global temperatures by a degree or two over the next century, world income might be 1 or 2 per cent lower than it would otherwise be.

    Any person (‘economist’ or otherwise) who takes a statement such as the one above in any way seriously is an idiot, end of story.

    Oh – and BTW, how’s that wonderful desalination plant coming along, you morons?

  3. jupes

    Victoria is following the Commonwealth in lightening the regulatory load on electricity.

    Good. However they still ‘believe’.

    The national interest demands they reduce the regulatory load to zero.

  4. Pete of Perth

    But krudd 07 said it would only cost $1/week/family to save the world from frying.

  5. Pete of Perth

    And what he said must be true because he is quoted at brainyquote.com

  6. MemoryVault

    But krudd 07 said it would only cost $1/week/family to save the world from frying.

    Trouble is, we are spending $50/week/family, so the world is cooling.
    To quote Maxwell Smart: “Missed it by this much”.

  7. johanna

    The Baird Liberal government in NSW has come out in support of retaining the RET.

    It’s not just Labor getting in the way here.

  8. incoherent rambler

    The fact is that cheap energy is the key to modern living standards.

    Terry McCrann correctly pointed out that removing energy taxes and renewable requirements on electricity is more important to the economy than passing the Commonwealth Budget.

    Boom, boom.

    ALP obstructiveness will make reform difficult.

    Since when is ceasing self abuse, acting in interest of the majority, halting insane behaviour and behaving rationally “a reform”?

  9. JohnA

    Abandoning the scheme saves Victorians $700 million over the next 15 years and reduces household electricity bills by $50 a year.

    My electricity bills are about $1000 per quarter (very painful!) and whilst every little bit helps, this represents only a 1.25% “saving”.

    Chicken-feed!

    And has anyone established the impost created and imposed on the consumers of electricity, now that there will be no Alcoa taking baseload, and thereby providing for a minimum guaranteed generating capacity?

  10. manalive

    Oh – and BTW, how’s that wonderful desalination [scandalous union boondoggle] plant coming along, you morons?

    LOL, yes remember when we were never to get the same av. rainfall — never, ever again.
    Or as the then responsible minister John Thwaites (now Chair of its Sustainability Institute and ClimateWorks Australia, on the boards of the Climate Group, the Green Building Council, consultant to the Sustainability and Climate Change group at Maddocks, Chair of the National Sustainability Council …Wiki) put it (paraphrasing) ‘building dams won’t make it rain’.

  11. manalive

    John Thwaites (Professor at Monash now Chair of its Sustainability Institute … ).

  12. entropy

    Don’t worry , this year’s El Niño event will help the rainfall doomsayers along a bit.

  13. nerblnob

    I presume you mean that “unconventional” gas drilling is banned? Bass Strait and Otway Basin drilling will surely continue, no? Living abroad, i’m not up on these things.

    Remember the outrage in 1998 when Victoria was without gas for ten days due to the Longford explosion? _(except for a bit of southwestern Victoria, but it wasn’t connected to the wider grid back then)
    Is that what these idiots want?

  14. David

    you morons

    I assume you refer to those who voted the Bracks/Brumby f…wits into gummint and not to those of us who are trying to turn the Socialist Sinkhole of Victoria into a living entity worthy of our habitation?

    If not, and you include all of us in your little outburst, you may exercise your sex and travel option.

    :-)

  15. Walter Plinge

    I’m OK with the gas ban as long as we exploit our 100s of years of coal for all it’s worth. Dirt cheap & clean burning — a wonderful energy source.

  16. nerblnob

    You’re OK with blocking supplies of natural gas?

  17. David

    You’re OK with blocking supplies of natural gas?

    Yes. Particularly that which emanates from the adjoining table at a restaurant.

  18. nerblnob

    I believe there are plugs for that David. Simply reach across and ask the offender to bend over and spread ‘em.

  19. David

    bend over and spread ‘em

    LOL :-) .

  20. Dr.Sir Fred Lenin

    This soshalist /groin booby trap laws business flies in the face of True Democracy.If All legistlation was subjected to Referenda this sort of filthy law trade Fascism would never pass through any referendum.this would place Power in the hands of the people ,where it belongs,after all they pay for it and the crooked lawtradespersons who treat us with contempt.

  21. James B

    Baird is a statist, and quite an aggressive one on all fronts. An absolute traitor, nothing less. Even more so than his predecessor Barry O’Fatfuck.

    Another good article, Alan. We’re pretty much always in agreement at this point. Energy defines progress more than anything else. In fact the best way of ranking technological development is energy use. Societies that use low amounts of energy are primitive, and people in them lead shit lives.

    We need to use MORE energy, and the cheapest energy available. Scrap ALL “clean” energy until the market decides it wants to use it, if it ever does.

    Greenturds want to send us back to the stone age.

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