July 2013

June 2013

More than just greenies against Newcastle’s T4

by Richard Denniss in The Newcastle Herald

Last month, PWCS management halted development of its controversial T4 coal terminal after downgrading its demand projections, citing falling commodity prices and the shifting global energy market. Considering the opportunistic nature of the proposal, this was always likely to be the case. The company’s environmental assessment used historically high estimates for steaming and coking coal

Mining’s real contribution

by Richard Denniss in Gloucester Advocate

Politicians often claim that mining supports local communities such as Gloucester through job creation and attracting investment. However, Gloucester’s experience has been one of sluggish growth, environmental degradation and job losses in agriculture – the town’s biggest industry. Mining companies, including Yancoal and AGL, may tell communities that their business is the key to success,

Can we trust Clive? Commercial in confidence coal mines

by Richard Denniss in The Conversation

Clive Palmer’s Waratah Coal claims its Galilee Coal Project, which will create four underground mines, two open-cut mines, and 468 kilometres of railway line in central Queensland, will bring economic prosperity to the region. In its recently-released supplementary environmental impact statement, however, the company refused calls to release its modelling. Without it, the public is

May 2013

The real cost of mining exposed

by Mark Ogge in Maitland Mercury

Last week, the former NSW Treasurer and Minister for the Hunter Michael Costa attacked current Opposition Leader John Robertson for his comments suggesting the Labor Party was planning to phase out coal mining. Mr Costa labeled the move a betrayal of the party’s traditional voters. Michael Costa’s concern for the jobs of devout Labor voters

Limiting Australia’s ballooning coal exports is good for the economy

by Richard Denniss and Mark Ogge in The Conversation

Last week, Greenpeace released a report calling for a halt to Australia’s burgeoning coal exports and pointing to the catastrophic climate impacts they would cause. In response, Mitch Hooke, chief executive of the Minerals Council of Australia, took a standard industry line: “the proposal to stop Australian coal exports won’t stop global coal use –

In Australia’s New Carbon Tax, A Host of Missed Opportunities

The Australian government will begin imposing a tax on carbon emissions in mid-2012. But large giveaways to industry mean Australia’s scheme doesn’t go nearly far enough in reducing the nation’s CO2 emissions or providing economic stimulus. Another global climate conference has come and gone with little action to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, which makes efforts

Bulga’s David toppled coal industry Goliath

by Richard Denniss in Lithgow Mercury

NOBODY could have predicted that the might of Rio Tinto would be challenged by Bulga, a tiny NSW town of 300. Certainly, nobody could have predicted that Bulga would win. But when the Land and Environment Court overturned the NSW government’s approval for the expansion of Rio Tinto’s Warkworth coal mine, citing that the project’s

Newman’s power play is admirable

by David Richardson in The Courier-Mail

QUEENSLAND Premier Campbell Newman has stared down former federal treasurer Peter Costello and he deserves some credit for that. A stocktake of Australia’s electricity now, compared with two decades ago, confirms that the privatisation and corporatisation of the sector has been a massive failure. An analysis of the sector since Victoria privatised power in the

April 2013

March 2013

Abbott’s direct action lesson

by Andrew Macintosh and Richard Denniss in The Australian

Tony Abbott’s Direct Action Plan has been ridiculed by many as expensive and unworkable. One of the primary objections has been that the centrepiece of the policy, the Emissions Reduction Fund, is a baseline-and-credit scheme that will require counterfactual baselines to be set for every participating polluter. The baseline for a given polluter will be

Gray must not follow Ferguson’s path

by Richard Denniss in The Australian Financial Review

A cabinet reshuffle provides the perfect opportunity for a prime minister to clarify the role of incoming ministers. From his deeds, it’s pretty clear Martin Ferguson interpreted his job as representing the interests of those who profit from extracting our resources rather than the citizens who own those resources. And given their praise on his

Why new CSG law is not the green victory it may seem

by Richard Denniss and Andrew Macintosh in Crikey

Although the new water trigger law, recently introduced by the Government was cheered by the rural independents, Greens and environmental groups, the proposal is illogical, runs counter to existing policy structures and is unlikely to improve environmental outcomes. The government has unilaterally introduced this water trigger in breach of the 1997 Council of Australian Governments

February 2013

PM stokes the wrong fire

by Richard Denniss in The Australian Financial Review

The government’s obsession with speeding up the mining boom has delivered an exchange rate and a shortage of skilled labour that is devastating the manufacturing industry. Rather than take its foot off the mining boom accelerator or admit that the miners’ boom means a bust for manufacturers, the government is trying to buy itself some

Geelong’s boom pain

by Matt Grudnoff

The rapid expansion in the mining industry over the past decade has done more harm than good to Geelong’s economy. Mining has created virtually no jobs in Geelong and has induced a high exchange rate that is crippling Geelong’s manufacturing industry with more than 1 in 8 manufacturing jobs lost over the past six years.

January 2013

December 2012

The CCA’s forestry fumble

by Andrew Macintosh and Richard Denniss in The Australian

The Climate Change Authority’s final report on the renewable energy target, which was released yesterday, contains a number of controversial conclusions and recommendations. A standout amongst these is the recommendation that the federal government explore whether making native forest wood waste eligible to participate in the large-scale RET (LRET) would increase the rate of harvesting

November 2012

Data crunch: How many (con) jobs are there in Tassie forestry?

by Andrew Macintosh and Richard Denniss in Crikey

According to Rene Hidding, Tasmania’s Liberal spokesman for forestry, it is “insulting” to Tasmanians to inform them about the tiny contribution the forestry and logging industries make to that state’s employment. Presumably he thinks it would be better to deceive the people? For all of the analysis about what the collapse of the state’s forest

September 2012

Miners should pay premium

by Richard Denniss in The Australian Financial Review

Listening to the mining industry complaining about the high exchange rate is like listening to a three-year-old complaining about the noise of their own tantrum. It simply adds insult to injury. The surge in world demand for our resources and the flood of foreign money into Australia to buy or build mining assets has been

August 2012

Time to clear the haze of carbon price charges

by Matt Grudnoff in The Canberra Times

The question perplexing many ActewAGL green power customers is a simple one: if my bill says I am responsible for no carbon emissions why did my bill go up when the carbon price came in? Unfortunately, the answer from ActewAGL has been anything but simple. Since my first article about this in The Canberra Times

July 2012

Why pick green power under new pricing model?

by Matt Grudnoff in The Canberra Times

You would think that, with the introduction of a carbon price, the gap between the cost of coal-fired electricity and the cost of renewable energy would close, but, at least if you are an ActewAGL customer, you would be wrong. Surprisingly, despite not facing a carbon bill for the production of green power, the price

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