Originally published in The Canberra Times on September 27, 2014

In a democracy, power is the ability to talk crap and get and away with it. And nobody talks more crap than coal companies. 

The public think that mining employs far more people than it really does, pays far more tax than it really does, and that it kept Australia out of recession during the GFC. In reality, coalmining employs just 1 per cent of Australians, even in Queensland, the royalties it pays for extracting our coal once and for all accounts for only 4 per cent of revenue; and during the GFC no one sacked workers faster than the big mining companies. Treasury estimates our unemployment rate would have hit 19 per cent if all industries shed staff at the same rate as the miners.

But power is the ability to talk crap, and the miners have spun crap faster than they have caused climate change.

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