Gillard "faces backlash on clean power"

Hazelwood brown coal power station, Victoria

More trouble at mill for Labor’s green crusade:

THE government’s push to mandate clean power stations could backfire as electricity generators threaten to delay upgrades to dirty coal-fired plants.

In a submission to the government obtained by The Australian, the power generators say tough new carbon pollution standards could apply to expansions to old power stations.

This is despite Julia Gillard’s vow during this year’s federal election that the standards would not apply to existing projects and were aimed at ensuring a dirty power station was never again built in Australia.

The electricity generators have joined Australia’s big miners and banks in warning that the government is raising sovereign risk concerns that could spook investors.

“Owners could be deterred from improving the performance of existing plant if an expansion could trigger new and costly regulatory requirements,” the National Generators Forum states in the submission.

The forum – whose members produce 95 per cent of Australia’s electricity – warns that the plan for cleaner power stations repeats mistakes made in the US, where a crackdown on emissions from new power stations has deterred investors from building them and led to greater use of coal-fired plants that are, on average, 44 years old.

They also complain that the plan is based on technologies that are highly uncertain and say it is probably doomed to fail in Western Australia.

The backlash from the generators adds to the government’s woes over its handling of climate change policy. The government wants to put a price on carbon next year and has maintained this is a crucial economic reform to encourage cuts to pollution and provide greater certainty for business investment.

A multi-party climate change committee is expected to make recommendations on a carbon price by the end of next year.

But the National Generators Forum warns that policies such as an emissions standard for coal generators are redundant when the government has promised to a carbon price.

The group says it is “alarmed by the proliferation of ad hoc policies, at all levels of government, which distort otherwise efficient electricity markets for what are often ill-defined or marginal environmental aims”.

“These policies are rarely complementary to a future carbon price and are usually token policies announced by governments in order to be seen as ‘doing something’ to address climate change,” it says. (source)

Let’s be clear about this. We all want to see power stations emit less pollution, and by that I mean real pollution, such as particulates and toxins, but situations such as the above are all driven by the “global warming” dogma of reducing harmless carbon dioxide. And whereas the former would be governed by market forces and rational cost/benefit analysis, the latter is governed by fairytale green ideology – with predictable results.


  1. The Loaded Dog says:

    None of this is surprising and it will be interesting to see how this pans out, but the funniest part in the whole document was this part:-

    “despite Julia Gillard’s vow during this year’s federal election that the standards would not apply to existing projects”

    Julia Gillards “vow” is the cause of all this uncertainty.

    This is because Julia Gillards “vows” aren’t worth a PINCH OF SHIT.

  2. It’s the typical “this sounds like a good idea”, but “failed because we didn’t really think of the full circumstances or implications” story.

  3. This is Labor’s Law of Unintended Consequences..
    when myopic politicians have a thought bubble &
    then go ..”Whoops….!”

    • The Loaded Dog says:

      “Unintended Consequences..”??

      Daffy Duck politics huh?:-

      [audio src="" /]

%d bloggers like this: