A blast from the past. Interesting in the context of the gigantic outlays that are about to be sunk into expensive and unreliable renewable energy to make up for a shortage of cheap coal-fired power. Sinc writing in 2012 on the reason for power price increases as far back as 2007. That was a prospective change, reflecting concerns in the coal-fired power industry about the future impact of emission controls which thanks to John Howard became bipartisan.
Concerns were triggered by the release of the Shergold report which advocated a carbon emission target, in clear sight of the cost.
Shergold said Australians should know a carbon emissions target would come at a cost to economic growth, business and households.
“What we are doing by seeking to prudently manage risk is bringing forward costs from the next generation, costs that we impose on ourselves,” he told reporters in Sydney.
At that point climate change policy became bipartisan with the Howard government adopting ALP policy – always a mistake in the post Hawke-Keating era. So it looks like a combination of climate change policy and gold-plating (the desire to extract as much value from existing assets before the government expropriates their entire value) is responsible for the massive increases in electricity prices.
We can argue about why the Howard government lost its nerve on climate change in 2007 – it was a mistake and Howard did go on to lose government and his seat – but there can be little doubt that regime uncertainty associated with climate change policy is the cause of the price hikes we have experienced in the last 5 years.
To the extent that Gillard owns climate change, she owns those price increases.