Agenda setting by Abbott on energy needs to go further

I have a piece on the Spectator on line addressing Tony Abbott’s latest demarche into political controversy with his weekend address to the Young Liberals.  Mr Abbott continues to demonstrate his credentials as an Opposition leader addressing deregulation, Section 18C, curbing union excesses and so on.

He also gets into energy and renewables, saying the 23 per cent renewables share he negotiated is too high and is causing the demise of key industries.

He makes the point that the Liberals cannot feast off the fact that Labor is even worse than them in this vital area of the economy.

But he glosses over the fact that his government agreed to the 26-28 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions Australia signed up to in the December 2015 Paris Climate Change agreement.

That target can only by met de-industrialisation and replacement of coal by wind.  He claims as a great victory that the Abbott Government reduced the renewable target to 33,000 GWh from 41,000 GWh.  But, aside from the fact that this total excludes the solar roof top subsidised supply, it still means that 23 per cent of electricity comes from wind and large scale solar.  Only around eight per cent of the 23 per cent total comes from commercial sources (mainly hydro).  The rest is forced upon consumers by regulatory means; it costs three times as much as the coal power it replaces, while driving down the reliability of the system and requiring billions of extra spending on transmission lines.

Mr Abbott points out that the policy is bringing problems to major industrial facilities among them Alcoa, Arrium and Roxby Downs.  His solution is to call for a further reduction in the RET target from the level of 23 per cent agreed to by his government.

This is not good enough!  Renewables comprise nowhere near 23 per cent of supply as of now but the policy supporting them is already causing price escalation and bail-outs of prized industrial plant.  If he is trying to lead the debate he must recognise that the RET as it presently stands is poisoning the productive landscape of Australia. It needs to be totally abolished with no more payments to the unwelcome, uncompetitive, high cost renewable plant it is fostering.

The lobbyists will scream “sovereign risk” at such a suggestion but they have for over a decade enriched themselves by foisting upon a hapless public their high cost product.  Anything less than eliminating the toxic renewable subsidies will see a continued haemorrhaging of valued industrial and agricultural processing and the existing cost, mainly levied on households – of nearly $5 billion a year.

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44 Responses to Agenda setting by Abbott on energy needs to go further

  1. Andrew

    Since the one job he’s uniquely qualified for is LOTO, it will almost be worth a CFMEU govt to see
    – TurnCoaT permanently retired
    – A666ott back in his correct role
    – Watching the punishment as he whales on the hapless SLF

  2. Dr Faustus

    Mr Abbott continues to demonstrate his credentials as an Opposition leader addressing deregulation, Section 18C, curbing union excesses and so on.

    He also gets into energy and renewables, saying the 23 per cent renewables share he negotiated is too high and is causing the demise of key industries.

    He was well aware of that fact at the time it passed into legislation under his Prime Ministership.

    Which says very little positive about his leadership either in government, or opposition – or the capacity of the rest of the vermin that infest Parliament to act in the interests of Australia.

  3. Roger

    What can one say?

    It’s a pity he didn’t realise all this while PM.

  4. Beachside

    Clive Palmer will help axe carbon tax but courts Al Gore in push for ETS

    [ … ]

    Mr Palmer revealed yesterday that his party would back the repeal of the carbon tax only if lower power prices for consumers were guaranteed, but would vote to stop the Government axing key climate change bodies.

    Flanked by climate change campaigner and former US vice-president Al Gore, Mr Palmer said his Palmer United Party (PUP) would vote against the Coalition’s bid to abolish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, the Renewable Energy Target and the Climate Change Authority.

    The PUP leader said his party also wanted to see the creation of an emissions trading scheme similar to the one proposed by former Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd.

    But this version would “only become effective once Australia’s main trading partners also take action to establish such a scheme”, Mr Palmer said.

    [ … ]

  5. Fred

    Imagine if Tony Abbott became leader of the Liberal Party and then won an election to become Prime Minister.

    He could then address deregulation, Section 18C, curbing union excesses and so on.

    What are the chances of that happening?

  6. B Shaw

    Imagine if …. ??
    Tony Abbott would spread out his arms in priestly fashion
    and reach out to all the peoples of the nation.

    No thank you.

  7. Jannie

    Abbott did manage to get through his tax increase on the evil rich people of Australia, and he was dumb enough to hope the Left and MSM would be nicer to him. I dunno.

    Keating said a soufflé never rises twice, but Howard did. But Abbott?

    It will be interesting to see how he reacts to the insurgent Australian Conservative movement. Will he become the LNP hit man and destroy it, or will he join its leadership

  8. Art Vandelay

    This is standard operating procedure for Abbott. That is, tell the base what it wants to hear when he’s not in government and then implement the chattering class’s agenda when he becomes PM.

  9. jupes

    This is not good enough!

    He was onto a winner in the days of “climate change is crap”.

    It’s been all downhill from there.

  10. Leo G

    That target can only by met de-industrialisation and replacement of coal by wind …

    and the retirement of agriculture.

  11. Howard Hill

    Fake news!
    We need a Donald Trump not a Benedict Arnold, we have too many of them already!

  12. bushwalker

    To be fair to Abbott, his prime mininstership had ended well before the SA crisis erupted.

  13. Driftforge

    Well, no, that is not the only way that it can be met.

    You meat that goal by emulating France in the 1980’s and aggressively deploying nuclear power across the nation.

  14. Driftforge

    Meet.

    But anyway.

    Tony seems better as an opposition leader. In power, he wanted to lead for everyone rather than lead for those who voted for him. One can only assume the same would happen again.

  15. Wal of Ipswich

    The usual anti Abbott bulldust here in response to the former & future Prime Minister’s statements. Do you clots really want Shorten & his dullards running the show? Have you got a realistic position that doesn’t include a fanciful new Conservative party or the moronic Hansonites?

  16. OneWorldGovernment

    Fraser lost his pants in Memphis but Howard lost OUR shirt.

    Howard created the RET.

  17. B Shaw

    I object to “moronic Hansonites”.

  18. Leo G

    Tony seems better as an opposition leader.

    Do you regard Shorten as only the ceremonial Opposition Leader, with Abbott the real McCoy?

  19. James of the Glen

    Alan Moran again has clearly made the case for removal of the RET and the iniquitous subsidies. The rent-seekers should be trembling along with the god-awful “project manager” spivs of wind farm companies. The latter class of beings make used car salesmen look like saints.

  20. Senile Old Guy

    Imagine if Tony Abbott became leader of the Liberal Party and then won an election to become Prime Minister.

    He did.

    He could then address deregulation, Section 18C, curbing union excesses and so on.

    He wouldn’t; he did not even try last time.

    What are the chances of that happening?

    Nil.

  21. OneWorldGovernment

    Howard was the Federal Treasurer of Australia from 1977 until 1983.

    Talk about a crony capitalist.

  22. Anonandon

    I think you are being pretty harsh on Abbott. He did stop the boats and the mining tax but he lost his nerve under the relentless attacks from the left. It was a different time. Trump has proven that you can defy the left and still succeed. The next leader of the Liberal party after MT is given the boot, whether it is Abbott or not, has the template provided by Trump to give them some backbone (please, please).

  23. Bruce of Newcastle

    He makes the point that the Liberals cannot feast off the fact that Labor is even worse than them in this vital area of the economy.

    That is correct. Because of the LNP RET policy I cannot in conscience vote for them nor allow my preferences to go to them. If I did I would be a hypocrite.

    You can’t be half pregnant.

    A fair number of righty voters vote on conscience not tribalism. While the LNP has policies like RET which are unacceptable to people with an informed understanding of the field they won’t vote for the LNP until that roadblock is removed. Because there is no dangerous global warming it would be dishonest to vote for someone who has a stupid half-baked policy to not address a non-problem.

    It is notable that PHON, the ALA and the Shooters and Fishers have policies of repealing all climate crap, and are attracting large numbers of voters.

    Sorry guys. Get a brain or die.

  24. incoherent rambler

    It [the RET] needs to be totally abolished

    Well said Alan!

    The scam has been taking slices of flesh from taxpayers for far too long.

  25. Stackja

    ALP/Greens don’t support TA!

  26. Dr Faustus

    The usual anti Abbott bulldust here in response to the former & future Prime Minister’s statements. Do you clots really want Shorten & his dullards running the show? Have you got a realistic position that doesn’t include a fanciful new Conservative party or the moronic Hansonites?

    It’s hard to imagine what would make a person actually want to see a Shorten Government – and according to the polls, that apparently includes a fair chunk of the Labor voteherd.

    Realistically, however, what we are likely to see is Turnbull flabbily directing the conservative and centre-right of politics over the cliff and into a long stint of rebuilding/realigning in opposition.

    Bernardi and Hanson are noise, not signal – and Abbott has done nothing obvious to make a case that he could lead and rebuild a fractured parliamentary Liberal Party and grab hold of a coherent national agenda.

    To succeed he would need a strong and capable team behind him to counter the stream of scalding shite his resurrection would invite in parliament, in the media and from large sections of the community. He does’t have that team, and he doesn’t have the personal and political capital do it himself with the B Graders he has to work with.

  27. Defender of the faith

    Alan Moran persists in linking Alcoa viability with power supply when it’s clearly about the end of its 30 years (!) of public subsidy. The plant has never paid its way and both the Cain and Kennett Givernments failed to undo the appalling deal done by the Hamer Government. Not only was the base cost of power subsidised but an enormously expensive transmission line had to be built as the project was sited as far as possible from the generation. Located as it happens in the home town of the then minister for state development.
    Alcoa gets another few years of public money despite the fact that the implied job subsidy is utterly astronomical.

  28. Deplorable

    Abbott is finished he had his chance and despite being advised by plenty of conservatives that he was not acting in the best interests of Australians he refused to listen over islam, climate change and 18C plus a whole host of other drain the swamp items. I thank him for the removal of climate tax and stopping the Islamic invasion by boat but he failed on just about every thing else.
    I also will not give a vote to liberals instead I will vote for real conservatives. I know I will be disappointed at times but the majors are not listening to Australians.

  29. Yohan

    Such brave words from the trojan horse of Australian conservatism. I bet Abbott now wishes he acted (while pm) like the right wing culture warrior the left pretended he was.

  30. Yohan

    If Abbott had punched back against the progressive media even a 10th of what Trump did, he would still be PM, with a far larger majority than Turnbull.

  31. nerblnob

    Abbott was dumped due to his party taking fright at polls.

    It was just as people were beginning to realise that the polls were significantly wrong on major issues:
    Cameron’s victory earlier in 2015

    then Brexit
    then Trump

    Trump’s team realised you could leapfrog the polls, like MacArthur in the Pacific islands.

  32. nerblnob

    The polls and the established opinion-setters, that is.

    Abbott probably could have, but hadn’t the foresight, or the fortitude.

  33. Mark M

    @Beachside
    #2279175, posted on January 30, 2017 at 1:58 pm
    “Clive Palmer will help axe carbon tax but courts Al Gore in push for ETS”

    And then there was “the night of the banana splits” that preceded the appearance of the Goracle …

    http://www.news.com.au/national/clive-palmer-and-malcolm-turnbull-busted-in-secret-dinner-meeting-along-with-head-of-treasury-dr-martin-parkinson/news-story/237d20a8ff52aba1724014886499624d

  34. mem

    Turnbull is wedded to the green energy scam and will not give up.It is as if his life (or his liberty) depends on it. Heavens the man crossed the floor for it. The Liberal Party has no choice. It has to get rid of him and the RET or hit the dustbin of history. It’s a case of who will do it, and when. From where I sit it doesn’t matter who is the new leader as long as they have a nose for the scam, present well and are backed up by the party. But it needs to happen in time for the next election. There are a lot of bleeding industries out here and consumers are now starting to hurt to the point where it is also affecting our retail industry. And if you are in one of the states that have eaten the green pill you are doubly worse off. All this rip off has no impact on the climate whatsoever. And the public has finally woken up to this fact. Time to act now is my view.

  35. The usual anti Abbott bulldust here in response to the former & future Prime Minister’s statements. Do you clots really want Shorten & his dullards running the show?

    The Textorite Ambit:
    “Vote Liberal ‘cos at least they’re not Labor”.

  36. Boambee John

    Defender of the Faith,

    Since you seem to be an “expert” on the subject, could you give us an estimate of the cost of all the transmission lines built and yet to be built to connect wind farms (often in isolated areas) to the main grid?

  37. Muddy

    Abbott who? Is he one of the Kardashians? Otherwise, why are we talking about him/her?

  38. RobK

    “Agenda setting by Abbott on energy needs to go further.”
    Yes, all energy sources should be unsubsidized and in direct competition. CO2 is not a major issue but it would be in Australia’s interest to be competent in nuclear power and it’s vertically integrated industry. This would open opportunitiees and bolster our energy inventory.

  39. Karen

    Are you all forgetting the knighting of Philip, the onion eating, the suppository…..? He was not/is not PM material! He cannot communicate. He cannot think on his feet. He cannot countenance the other sides argument! And, that’s Abbott. The current one is even worse – all of the above built on jelly.

  40. egg_

    Do you clots really want Shorten & his dullards running the show?

    The “Don’t Matters” that Textor is contemptuous of, or those who want real reform?

  41. John Constantine

    If their redfilth gillard came back, she would flog their turnfraser at the next election.

    How does that possible future make you feel?.

  42. Zulu Kilo Die Onuitspeeklike

    How does that possible future make you feel?.

    An honorable death and an open grave are the only options.

  43. .

    Alan Moran persists in linking Alcoa viability with power supply when it’s clearly about the end of its 30 years (!) of public subsidy

    Please outline the nature of these subsidies.

  44. Tony Abbott is correct in advising Prime Minister Turnbull that the Renewable Energy Target is without science. UNFCCC science based COP3 (COP21/22 are watered down ideas) there is no non-polluting renewable energy.
    Invited by UNFCCC 1996 to join a panel to prepare Kyoto Protocol I toured the world to meetings to develop protocols to lower temperature and mass CO2 build-up.
    Renewable energy in CO2 accounting (amount of emission, raw materials, to build, transport, install, operate maintain, dismantle, a unit Wind and Solar it take 10-14 years of “constant” operation to payback CO2 in a 15year life cycle
    The only non-polluting energy is stoichiometric hydrogen (Brown’s Gas H2O-Energy-H2O) Australian science.
    The hard science fact rejected by PM Turnbull, since COP3, and the following 20 years of CO2 build-up has altered global weather the density of CO2 build-up acts as a heat reflector). Unfortunately, PM Turnbull also rejected the trillion-dollar opportunity to lower CO2 to become soil, soil-carbon into the Australian anthropogenic desert-drought land. This would have rebuilt our rural industry backbone to replace manufacturing mining.
    Following is the Australian science meeting UNFCCC COP3 100year rule lowering 8Bn tonnes CO2 pa to the 100yr rule! Before Australia can become the Turnbull’ republic vision the nations restore its accounts and a sustainable export dollar industry. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbI8YZmBP8g
    Robert Vincin
    Chair
    Emission Trading Association Australia Ltd 1998
    *Vincin; Former Branch Secretary to Hon John Howard 95-99 showing him how to win greens PM-ship!
    *Wrote Direct Action for Tony Abbott (Adelaide Review June 96) he PM 2013-
    *UN USG invited me 96-99 to join the panel that prepared science Kyoto Protocol. Travelled the globe to meetings side toured to desert/poverty regions.
    *2005-Invited Foreign Expert PRC Central Government advising 7 Ministers, 9 Governors, teach Law, Science, Agriculture, Forestry at Peking et al Universities. Leading in field physical growing soil soil-carbon food fodder forestry funded by UNFCCC CO3 offset trading to UNFCCC 100year rule! PRC 2020 lower8Bn T CO2 pa.
    *Recipient Genghis Kahn Peace medal 2008 teaching growing soil roof of the world.
    *October 2016 Invited by Global Energy Award Foundation to submit to 2017 award!
    See Facebook Google Twitter https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbI8YZmBP8g
    .

    a
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbI8YZmBP8g

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