July 2014

June 2014

Why nobody has energy to burn

by Richard Denniss in The Australian Financial Review

Australia has one of the lowest levels of energy productivity in the developed world. We use more energy to make a dollar’s worth of gross domestic product than the countries we typically compare ourselves to. But while labour productivity, multi-factor productivity and the productivity of our ports elicit interest from our political and business leaders,

Surf Coast gas field risks too great

by Mark Ogge in Surf Coast Times

MAKE no mistake, if a gas field is approved over the Surf Coast Shire it will industrialise the region. The economics of unconventional gas are pretty simple; once approval for a commercial gas field is granted, the company needs to extract as much gas as possible to maximise its return on investment. That typically means

Tony Abbott is out of step on green business

There is a disparity between politicians’ love of symbolism and shareholders’ love of results. Unfortunately for Prime Minister Tony Abbott, that disparity seems set to distance his government even further from the agenda of the mainstream business community in Australia. As if proposing to introduce a new levy on corporate profits and increasing the top

May 2014

March 2014

Gas prices are rising despite protests

by Richard Denniss in The Australian Financial Review

Santos has been salivating at the prospect of selling gas for two to three times the domestic price for years. But as the big pay day draws near, the company has started blaming protesters, who oppose the harm that gas exploration does to farms and forests, for the impending price rises; the same price rises

February 2014

Fossil fuel campaigners win support from unexpected places

by Richard Denniss and Tom Swann in Issues Magazine

If you haven’t heard about the growing campaign for fossil fuel divestment, and what it means for both your retirement funds and for the global economy, it’s time to pay attention – because now even the World Bank is on board. At the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim called for

January 2014

Coal royalties a tiny part of state revenue

by Rod Campbell in The Newcastle Herald

In the old Chinese proverb, the frog in the well thinks he knows everything about the world, based on the little patch of sky he can see. The view from the bottom of an open-cut coalmine might be a little wider than that of a well, but NSW Minerals Council chief executive  Stephen Galilee’s discussion of the role

Big risk for Liverpool Plains residents

Chinese mining company Shenhua has quite a battle on its hands.  It has loudly and proudly promised employment, investment, and royalties for the Gunnedah region, if its Watermark coal project goes ahead, but locals are publicly calling “foul” on Shenhua’s claims. Residents have managed to stuff the NSW government’s letterbox full of appeals against the

Roll up, roll up, it’s coal magic

by Richard Denniss in The Queensland Times

Bundaberg is experiencing a flurry of exploratory drilling for coal deposits. The local mining sector is buzzing, and its investors are trumpeting the region as Queensland’s newest coal centre.  They promise jobs, money, and a shiny white rabbit from under their hard hat! The Bundaberg community isn’t convinced.  They fear the coal mine expansion will

Another way to look at the impact of coal

by Rod Campbell in The Newcastle Herald

Mining industry lobby group the NSW Minerals Council this week released yet another report on mining’s importance to the NSW and regional economies.  Not surprisingly, the report contains lots of big numbers.   But this report, like many before it, is a case of ‘‘what’s true isn’t surprising and what’s surprising isn’t true’’. Let’s start

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

PR spin is big business

by Richard Denniss in The Canberra Times

When politicians lie, make things up or simply get important things wrong, we take for granted that it is the role of their political opponents to highlight such errors. Our politicians are so focused on each other’s words that a mere slip of the tongue can become a news story for days. This isn’t so for

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