Frydenberg falling short in his attempts to defray regulatory-induced energy costs

The following is a condensed version of an article I have had published in Quadrant on-line

The Australian broke a story about dissension in the Coalition ranks regarding the “in principle” decision, announced by Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg, to allow Australian firms to acquit their carbon dioxide emission obligations by buying overseas credits. 

Mr Frydenberg said this merely advanced a decision to “consider” these measures taken when Tony Abbott was at the helm.  And when Mr Abbott and others denounced the option of overseas emissions purchases, which will, of course, be either totally bogus or downright fraudulent, Minister Frydenberg made a smart-alec comment: “It is worth noting that Mr Abbott’s position on international permits is closer to the Greens than that of Australia’s big employers.”

Perhaps Minister Frydenberg was simply trying to claim a continuity of support for what he saw as the least-worst option available to him, but bagging his former leader made him appear to be undermining a rival to his likely and widely mooted ambition of becoming the next leader of the Liberal Party.

Faced by the reverence of Mr Turnbull, and his departmental head, Martin Parkinson, for wind and solar energy, the Frydenberg strategy has been to ensure the costs of the policy are fully understood, including requiring the inherent unreliability of “renewable” plant is recognised by forcing those contracting to buy it also to buy a “firming” contract as insurance for when it is unavailable.  This feeds into the National Energy Guarantee, which will allegedly provide us reliable energy at $110-115 per MWh (a little over twice the price that would be available under the coal-based system now being deliberately destroyed).  It will also provide a pathway to meeting Australia’s targets under the Paris Climate Change Agreement which specify emission reductions of 26%-28% (50-52 per cent per capita) on 2005 levels by 2030.

The progress on that path — how each year’s target will be set and what disciplines will enforce it — are all left unexplained.

These matters take on an ethereal nature when set against the reality of international developments.  Now that Trump has taken the US out of the Paris Agreement, countries having agreed to abatement measures account for only one quarter of global emissions.  Even their one-quarter share of emissions overstates their importance since any carbon taxing actions they take will ensure their energy-intensive industries shift to developed countries with no carbon taxes.  Australia is already seeing this with the departure of aluminium smelters, previously the nations’ paramount manufacturing sector (Kurri Kurri in NSW and Point Henry in Victoria have already closed).

Compounding this is the actions of President Trump in making the US more business friendly.  Not only has the president rejected the Paris Agreement, reversing the Obama Era restraints on coal and gas, but his taxation reforms and deregulatory agendas are proving extremely attractive.  The Pratt organisation, the Visy group of companies, has committed to a $2 billion expansion of its US pulp and paper business. Australia is too uncompetitive for the Pratts to make such an investment at home.

The search is on for palliatives to the damage from wind and solar.  The Prime Minister’s favoured Snowy 2 pumped-hydro plan was initially costed at $2 billion.  But the feasibility study puts this at $4 billion, with one observer estimating an outcome price at over $8 billion for a largely worthless investment.

Australia seems a long distance from adopting the novel Trump solution of allowing the market to operate freely and without subsidies, a system that at the turn of the present century gave us the cheapest electricity on earth.

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32 Responses to Frydenberg falling short in his attempts to defray regulatory-induced energy costs

  1. stackja

    Australia seems a long distance from adopting the novel Trump solution of allowing the market to operate freely and without subsidies, a system that at the turn of the present century gave us the cheapest electricity on earth.

    Then came RGR following Al-AGW.

  2. John Constantine

    Buy black market permits from the Mafia.

    Should have just done it from the start.

    Better than deindustrialising Australia, buying our crap from the Chinese communist party, then borrowing money to import socialist voteherds to ramp up gross economic numbers through a Ponzi welfare immigration scheme.

    At least the mafia are honestly corrupt, unlike our venal, ratlike Austocratic quisling elites.

  3. Art Vandelay

    Then came RGR following Al-AGW.

    The Renewable Energy Target was introduced by Howard.

  4. Ubique

    The Renewable Energy Target was introduced by Howard.

    It was, but through gritted teeth. Howard knew it meant bad news for the nation, but the Green-left, through the channels of schools, universities, newspapers, electronic media, government departments and agencies, had convinced a substantial majority of the electorate that global warming was happening,; something had to be done; and wind and solar was the easy remedy, providing supposedly “free” energy.
    The RET was Howard’s way of mollifying the electorate and staving off Labor. A disaster nonetheless.

  5. mh

    Compounding this is the actions of President Trump in making the US more business friendly. Not only has the president rejected the Paris Agreement, reversing the Obama Era restraints on coal and gas, but his taxation reforms and deregulatory agendas are proving extremely attractive. The Pratt organisation, the Visy group of companies, has committed to a $2 billion expansion of its US pulp and paper business. Australia is too uncompetitive for the Pratts to make such an investment at home.

    I’m sure Americans won’t get tired of winning. But will Australians ever get tired of losing?

  6. Infidel Tiger 2.0 (Premium Content Subscribers Only)

    The Renewable Energy Target was introduced by Howard.

    Australia’s most disastrous PM by the length of Highway 1.

    It will take a century to undo what he has wrought.

  7. Another old bloke

    Yes, it’s a major mystery that Howard and Abbott were so deeply influenced – in principle, at least – by the untalented and unlovely Greg Hunt, who, ironically, seems to have escaped most of the ordure for the Coalition’s energy policies.

    Another mystery, prompted mainly by some Liberals, is that a mob who seemed deeply and irrevocably committed to free market ideology have now been busy for more than a decade in building an entirely artificial energy market, untrammelled by anything to do with free markets.

  8. struth

    They’re hands are tied because they are “in allegiance” with the purely SOCIALIST U.N.

    They can’t fix it .

    They won’t fix it.

    Only politicians not owned and operated by the U.N. can.

    If these fuckers worried as much about keeping their word to the people of Australia as they did to the U.N. (without the people’s permission) we wouldn’t be in this mess.

  9. manalive

    According to Trading Economics the Australian GDP has fallen in the past three years, a fall substantially greater than the GFC and the only substantial fall for the past 50 years while government spending has continued its inexorable rise.

  10. Bela Bartok

    … and yet in Spectator, State Liberal MP Tudehope is begging conservatives to stop leaving the Lieborals and still prop up the carcass of what was (if ever?) a conservative Liberal Party.
    We haven’t begun to even start on the road of dumping the ‘elite’ to save ourselves.
    I wonder whether a 30% voter abstention or spoilt ballot would even concern these cucks?

  11. mh

    The Renewable Energy Target was introduced by Howard.

    Wasn’t the target 2% under Howard? This was a concession to the Australian electorate that bought anthropogenic global warming hook, line and sinker. Now Labor has a target of 50% and the Greens 100%.

  12. The Renewable Energy Target was introduced by Howard.

    It was, but through gritted teeth. Howard knew it meant bad news for the nation, but the Green-left, through the channels of schools (partly funded by the Howard government), universities (funded by the Howard government), newspapers, electronic media (partly funded by the Howard government advertising expenditure), government departments and agencies (all under the control of the Howard government), had convinced a substantial majority small but vocal minority of the electorate that global warming was happening (without the Howard government lifting a finger to stem the tide of Howard government funded BS),; something had to be done; and wind and solar was the easy remedy, providing supposedly “free” energy.

    So poor little Johnny Howard had no choice other than to destroy the Australian economy in order to try and stay in power.

    FIFY

    So help me, I’m convinced if you served up sh1t on a shovel and got Howard or Abbott to say it was chocolate mousse, the average bolted-on, Liberal-loving Textorite would agree it tasted yummy.

  13. Bruce of Newcastle

    Just in case Mr Frydenberg drops by, here is an article from last night:

    485 Scientific Papers Published In 2017 Support A Skeptical Position On Climate Alarm

    Part 1. Natural Mechanisms Of Weather, Climate Change

    Solar Influence On Climate (121)
    ENSO, NAO, AMO, PDO Climate Influence (44)
    Modern Climate In Phase With Natural Variability (13)
    Cloud/Aerosol Climate Influence (9)
    Volcanic/Tectonic Climate Influence (6)
    The CO2 Greenhouse Effect – Climate Driver? (14)

    If you are scientifically trained and aren’t being paid to be a CAGW proponent it is pretty easy to work out that about half the warming last century was due to the Sun, and another third due to the ~60 year cycle in the oceans (which is what “ENSO, NAO, AMO, PDO” are referring to since they all have a ~60 cycle time). That leaves a sixth or less for CO2, which if you do the sums means it is harmless.

    The actual data shows very little warming has been occurring this current century because the solar influence has slowed, and the ~60 year cycle has started to turn over into its down-phase. That is why there has been a Pause in global temperatures.

    The CAGW promoting climate scientists have tried to hide the Pause by “adjusting” terrestrial temperature data speciously. However other data like snow cover also supports the Pause, and contradicts the veracity of the temperature adjustments. Snow cover is easy to measure via satellite and doesn’t have to be adjusted because it always melts at the same temperature.

    All this is why you can buy a CO2 emission credit overseas for just 17 euro cents per tonne. Not just now either – for the next three years in the UN CER futures market. That is all the world is charging for CO2 emissions. So why are we ruining our economy for nothing?

  14. Paul

    One of the most stupid decisions by Turnbull and Frydenberg was to allow Weatherdill and Andrew’s shut down basepower coal, and take the blame for what are incompetent state govt decisions.
    Still no state govt is proposing new coal power, elsewhere the world there are over 1500 planned.

  15. Faye

    The politicians legislating this CON are criminals.

  16. manalive

    The Prime Minister’s favoured Snowy 2 pumped-hydro plan was initially costed at $2 billion.  But the (mainly redacted) feasibility study puts this at $4 billion, with one observer estimating an outcome price at over $8 billion for a largely worthless investment …

    Judith Sloan in The Weekend Australian puts the overall cost at “considerably more than $10bn” as it’s likely the federal government will be forced to buy out reluctant Snowy Hydro co-owners the Victorian and NSW governments.

  17. Robber Baron

    Frydenberg perfectly represents modern day Liberal party politicians. They are smug duplicitous lying bastards that should never by given power again. These frauds to conservatism and small government must be taken on and disendorsed. It is time to engage in some devious branch stacking.

  18. It is time to engage in some devious branch stacking.

    You’re about a decade too late for that tactic.

  19. Texas Jack

    Lessons, lessons everywhere…

    There are plenty of them in the Frydenberg saga.

    Like Morrison, the price of being a willing lieutenant under Turnbull is that you destroy your career faster than you can be sworn in. Then, when you’re not being thrown under all manner of metaphoric buses, from mini-vans to double deckers, in this Cabinet you’re never really sure if you’re safe to swing a politically heavy punch, no matter how inviting Peanut Head’s undefended jawline may seem. Even if he wanted to go all John Stone and harden the fark up on the stupidity of the renewables charade Frydenberg has accepted a political chalice that will only destroy his career. Fancy being asked to defend Turnbull on energy policy after retail prices have spiralled on your watch and Turnbull’s fondness for solar and wind wafts along any corridor you walk!

    The reality is this. Frydenberg hasn’t been able to land one punch at a single opponent, state or federal, and is thus the easiest target for an ALP dirty-tricks campaign come an election – snippets of which we’ve already seen. “Energy prices double under Turnbull” is all the ALP need signal, and the MSM will do the rest. Frydenberg may just as well walk up to the nearest wind tower and piss into the breeze. It’d be about as effective as trying to explain why Bill, Jay and Daniel are really the bad guys in all of this…

  20. Frydenberg is my local MP. Based on my interactions with him, and observing him, he seems to me to be completely out of his depth. I have concluded that he cannot think on his feet. He appears to work hard at his lines, given to him no doubt by the office of the PM, and delivers them in measured tones to the media. I do not believe he has the capacity to understand them. Not really what I want in a local MP. I wish he was better at tennis.

  21. Not really what I want in a local MP. I wish he was better at tennis.

    Then fire him.

  22. zyconoclast

    Why is Friedeggburger still in parliament?

    He is a foreign agent/usurper blaming his mother for eating his homework.
    If I am wrong, let the HC decide.

  23. md

    A couple of reminders:
    The stupidest thing the federal government does.

    A bloke bought a sheep property of half a million acres in western Queensland for $2.0 million. Instead of running sheep on it, he now gets $350,000 per annum under the federal government’s Direct Action scheme for not using the grass on his property. The idea being that the grass locks up carbon and reduces Australia’s carbon emissions. A neighbouring property gets $600,000 per annum. Direct Action is a $1.7 billion per annum program funded from general taxation revenue.

    Labor threatens renewed land expropriation to meet greenhouse emission reductions.

    To summarise: in order to meet the Kyoto commitments, the Howard Government under Environment Minister David Kemp pressured the ALP governments of NSW (Carr) and Queensland (Beattie) to prevent land clearing. Both Premiers readily acquiesced in the process though, at least in the case of NSW, the planning authorities had to be cajoled and threatened by Canberra.
    The seizure of private property allowed a “saving” in greenhouse gas emissions of 87 million tonnes a year – about 15 per cent of the nation’s emissions and sufficient to allow Australia to claim that it had met its Kyoto commitment. No compensation was paid to the landowners, who were estimated to have seen $ 200 billion of worth stripped from them.

  24. candy

    He seems a nice bloke who will say whatever the PM wants him to say. I don’t see any outstanding firm beliefs, values, vision. Just do what you paid to do, say what the PM wants you to say.

  25. Rockdoctor

    Robber Barron couldn’t said it better. Quite sure Frydenberg was one of the 5 paliamentarians who thought he was above having to provide proof with their declaration that they were not a dual citizen. That sort of flippant attitude to the Constitution says it all. Bumbling & out of his depth he may appear but I’d say he knows the pain he is causing but doesn’t care, as it is all for the common good or a personal choice to ignore to keep his snout in the trough. His behaviour with s44 dec suggests the latter IMO.

  26. egg_

    Friedeggburger is Lord Waffleworth’s fall guy but doesn’t know it.

  27. Fat Tony

    Infidel Tiger 2.0 (Premium Content Subscribers Only)
    #2601488, posted on January 5, 2018 at 3:16 pm
    The Renewable Energy Target was introduced by Howard.

    Australia’s most disastrous PM by the length of Highway 1.

    It will take a century to undo what he has wrought.

    Argentina has had a century to “undo” – how’s it going?

    Don’t forget that, by the time the damage has been done, Australia will no longer be a nation, but a collection of warring tribes and an Islamic Republic.

  28. Roger

    Don’t forget that, by the time the damage has been done, Australia will no longer be a nation, but a collection of warring tribes and an Islamic Republic.

    We’re already “a nation of nations”, according to the ABS report on the last census.

    For them that’s a feature, not a bug, of modern Australia.

    Useful idiots, everywhere , destroying a once great nation within a lifetime.

  29. Cynic of Ayr

    So, lemme get this straight.
    An Australian company burns some coal to make something. They sell this something to us Aussie customers, and give some of the profits to an overseas company, because the overseas company grows trees, or says they grow trees. (No one actually checks to see if they do grow trees. After all, the Nigerians wouldn’t try a scam, would they?)
    Now, said company finds that there is little profit left after paying the overseas company to pretend they grow trees, so they have to ask for more money for their product. This is known as “jacking the price up” So, in short, the Aussie customers – sorry – we Aussie customers give money indirectly to someone overseas to pretend to grow trees.
    Can’t quite put my finger on it, but it seems, at first glance, to be a bit sus.
    Fearful that this scam – sorry – initiative, might indeed to be seen as bit sus, Turnbull Dolts and Company Pty Ltd, double down, and decide to offer me 200 bucks if I buy a new washing machine that has f0ur stars, instead of the three stars on my present groaner.
    Not really knowing what three or four stars actually means in real money, I take a punt and say four stars is a quarter better than three stars, in roundish sorta figures. I doubt it’s as good as that, but anyway…
    Now, at present, my washer says it will use 90 KWh a year. In fine print, it says, “Actually, it will be a fucking sight more than that, if you actually wash clothes in it,” but let’s stick with 90, Bugger it! Say 100!
    So, my new 200 buckly subsidised washer will use a quarter less, say 25 KwH less, per year.
    At present, I’m paying 28 cents plus per KWh. Say 30 cents, to allow the subsidy for a few more solar panels next door.
    So, 30 cents by 25 comes to the magnificent sum of $7.50 per year. Let’s be generous and double it. Fckit, triple it! That’s $22.50. So, it will take 8.8 years to recover the 200 bucks, long after the machine has shit itself, and ceased to be saving anything.
    And somehow, this is supposed to be a good thing? I’m also led to believe that Turnbull has put aside – meaning added to the deficit – 20 million for this stupid, outrageously moronic, lying scheme, to try and add a decimal point or two to Turnbull’s dismal approval rating, and/or a decimal point or two, to Frydenberg’s chances in the Prime Minister Lottery.
    What a jackass this Turnbull really is.

  30. Rob

    Any discussion of Australia’s disastrous energy situation must start and end with nuclear powered electricity production.

    Nuclear power means no emissions (activists and greens neutered), sturdy and reliable supply (unlike renewables), cheap electricity (excellent for consumers and high energy industries), no subsidies (great for government budgets), no need for “Paris” dictates (rebuilds sovereignty), no need for UN treaties (simplifies withdrawal from the UN), and finally, puts an end to the mind-blowing and stultifying bickering that has dogged the Australian energy conversation for two decades.

    It should be a no-brainer – nuclear powered electricity is the cure for our nation’s steady drift into total insanity.
    Consideration of the nuclear option must be constantly high on the agenda.

  31. Rabz

    I have concluded that he cannot think on his feet.

    That’s why he prefers a good lie down.

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