Posts tagged ‘Australian Financial Review’

August 13, 2011

Those communists at GE on climate change…

Part of the secret communistic and anti-science world government conspiracy, GE is quoted in the Friday 12 August Australian Financial Review (p 11)…

“The reality is most of our trading partners – China, Japan, South Korea, and the UK – are taking action and in fact Australia is a laggard… despite our challenges, the Australian economy is in far better shape than most other economies around the globe… now is the time to take action not continue to defer to inertia.”

August 6, 2011

From Australian Financial Review – Slow Start Tipped for Clean Enery

Australian Financial Review
5 August 2011
Slow start tipped for clean energy
Marcus Priest
A price on carbon will not drive significant investment in renewable energy until 2027 and is unlikely to affect regional economies such as the Latrobe and Hunter valleys, according to new research.
Despite the government’s claim that the scheme will drive investment in clean energy, reports by SKM-MMA and ROAM Consulting, which underpin Treasury modelling, highlight that it will produce relatively little reduction in emissions by 220 from the electricity industry.
This is because the low carbon price of $23 a tonne is not high enough to force closure of the major emitting coal-fired power stations, nor drive investment in baseload gas power plants because of high gas prices…

July 4, 2011

AFR clippings 4th July

Business to pay fuel carbon tax
4 July 2011
Louise Dodson and Laura Tingle

Business will pay more for petrol and diesel through reduced fuel tax concessions under the carbon scheme being finalised by Labor, but individuals will be unaffected….
The exemption for motorists is a disappointment for the Greens and a win for rural independent MPs Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott….

Dumbing down carbon tax debate (page 23)
Alan Mitchell
So, the carbon tax debate is about to be enriched by the addition of yet another television advertising campaign – this one sponsored by business. Sadly, there may be some loss of subtlety in the translation from detailed discussion papers to plasma screen, particularly if business has its usual difficulty in distinguishing between legitimate issues of public policy and its own grubby rent-seeking.

And there’s a long profile piece on Greg Combet too, if that sort of thing floats your boat…

July 1, 2011

AFR clippings 30 June 2011

The AFR (30 June) is full of meaty goodness, as usual.

Fuel subsidy trade off in climate deal
Marcus Priest and Louise Dodson
The federal government will order an official inquiry into fossil fuel subsidies and fuel taxes as part of its carbon deal, as senior business leaders publicly backed an emissions scheme.
The inquiry, by the Productivity Commission, is a big win for the Greens, who have proposed restructuring excise so that fuel is taxed on its carbon content. And in a win for the NSW regional independents, it is understood that the carbon deal – likely to be announced next week – will include fuel concessions for farmers through a new fuel credits scheme.

Other snippets – The tax to an ETS after 3 years instead of the five Gillard floated in February.

Mirvac and Gloucester Coal chairman said the carbon price was not something that was going to affect the economics of the coal industry perhaps “as much as Bob Brown would like it to.”

And “Foster’s Group chief executive John Pollaers said an emissions trading scheme “has to happen.”

Meanwhile, the Fin’s political editor, Laura Tingle, has this to say about
Abbott’s dream run coming to an end

But in the past two weeks, there have been signs [Abbott’s] campaign is stuttering. The media was getting bored with his daily doorstops. More questions started to be asked about the Coalition’s “direct action” plan.
Then, confirming he really had reached the bottom of the barrel, Abbott pushed his plebiscite idea, which went brilliantly for a few hours until someone asked whether he would abide by an outcome that went against him…

In a day-to-day news sense, if the Coalition’s vote isn’t needed, the news interest changes.
The focus will be more on what all the vested interests have to say.
Here too, things are changing. The business commentary on the carbon tax is changing. The hysteria is going. The “let’s get on with it for God’s sake” is growing.

And there’s a full-page analysis
The other side of the carbon coin
“Business is not doing as much as it can to take advantage of energy efficiency schemes. This provides a counter-point to public statements on carbon, writes Marcus Priest.

June 24, 2011

Australian Finanical Review – what a paper!

The great things about the business press are
a) that they don’t cover celebrities and sports and all that stuff that you’d otherwise have to filter out
b) the facts per page ratio is bearable (compared with the dross in Murdoch)

Friday 24th’s paper is no exception.

How Gillard took on Rudd
Pamela Williams
Gillard has made an even greater mess since, with her own failure to adequately explain her reasons for breaking a 2010 election promise not to introduce a carbon tax – and those reasons that she has advanced (circumstances change) have failed to find any traction in a sullen and disenchanted electorate.

Yup.  I must say, it’s very unreasonable of the electorate to expect “no carbon tax” would mean “no carbon tax.”

New or old, it’s a precarious paradigm
Laura Tingle [who is the best regular reporter/commentator I’ve encountered. If people have better suggestions, please let me know.]
The farce of Abbott’s call for a plebiscite on a carbon price (which he would only take notice of if it agreed with him) seems to confirm that the Coalition is starting to run out of ways to keep its daily assault on the carbon price in the news cycle. [ACN: I am sure the Murdoch press will continue to oblige him, as long as is inhumanly possible!]
The opposition must now hope that any signs of dissent on the other side of the carbon debate will provide some new fodder because otherwise it will have at least five or six weeks over winter when the bicyle-like momentum of Abbott’s whole raison d’etre could slow.

There are real political dangers ahead for Lab/Lib/Greens/Indies in this. The number one danger – that we will emerge with a scheme that does SFA for carbon emissions – seems like a racing certainty. So it goes, as Kurt Vonnegut (RIP) used to say.

The Multi-Party Climate Change Committee may still not agree at all, or only in part, on a carbon price. While there will then be intense pressure on the Greens to make a deal on a climate price, if the tricky issues like coal and electricity generation compensation can’t be solved, Labor may yet have to take its chances with bits of its packaged on the floor of both houses, as independent MP Tony Windsor noted last week.

Quite. Labor needs to not look weak, and might just take the game of chicken through to the lower house instead of faffing on into mid-July. This whole shamozzle will drag on till September when the legislation comes out. Nerves of steel and all that…

Meanwhile, business ain’t happy…

Carbon confusion unites retail giants
Sue Mitchell
Woolworths, Coles, Bunnings and David Jones yesterday called on the federal government to provide greater clarity on the carbon tax and expressed doubt it could be introduced by July next year because they had yet to be consulted on its implementation.

and who’dathunkit – elsewhere a Coal Miner sez the sky will fall…
Vale Australia’s head of coal operations asserts ”Coal, if it is thermal, I don’t think can live with any carbon tax.”

June 21, 2011

Carbon tax would need to be $60 per tonne…

This from those noted communists and techno-phobes at the Australian Financial Review (21 June 2011)

$60 will cut it: energy experts
by Matthew Dunckley

Energy experts have warned that a carbon price must be higher than that already flagged by the government to produce the desired shift in the shape of Australia’s energy generation.
The federal government is in negotiations with the independents and the Greens to strike the price that the nation’s top greenhouse gas emitters will pay, but the government has already indicated the starting price will be much less than $40 per tonne.
Creative Energy Solutions director Carl Daley said if the government still wanted to achieve a 5 per cent cut in emissions by 2020 compared to 2000 levels, as signalled under the junked carbon pollution reduction scheme, it would need to put a much higher price on carbon.

Pigs will fly.

June 8, 2011

#TiserTosh June 8: OMG, Kenny killed me

There is an extraordinary piece today [not online that I could find] by Advertiser hack Mark Kenny – endless pejorative adjectives and nouns (“spat”, “mini-tantrum”) and attempts at humour so clumsy they make Benny Hill look like Dorothy Parker (“Massive sun-obscuring edifice of egos”? Is this what they teach at the Murdoch laughing academy these days?)
Kenny builds his, um, story, around the fact that the Greens and Independents on the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee were miffed that Treasurer Wayne Swan trailed bits of a Treasury report to the media rather than letting them see it first.
If the Liberals were on a committee (and remember, they turned down the MPCCC invite) and felt they were being rolled like this, then on such point of parliamentary procedure, does anyone doubt that Advertiser hacks would be told to fulminate about it and bang on the table? Normally Labour would cop a kicking for the use of spin (“parliament insulted” etc etc -), but on this occasion the desire to give the Greens and Indies a smack has trumped that. The enemy of my enemy and all that…

It’s also a bit alarming that the senior analyst at the Tiser seems unable to understand how parliamentary legislation comes into existence. He writes “A fait accompli on the carbon tax delivered by a committee elected by almost no one.”
Yes, that’s right – the MPCCC is going to produce its findings and then THE VERY NEXT DAY everyone’s 4WD is taken away and their children sold into white slavery to give Cate Blanchett a tax break for her next island hideaway. No legislation will introduced into parliament, debated and haggled and so on like, um, any other law.

Mr Kenny has an opportunity here. He could show us how transparency is done. He could invite MPCCC members to sit in on the editorial meetings of various Murdoch rags (and frankly, the Tiser barely rises to even that description), where decisions are being made by unelected Murdoch goons (two can play that game!). Decisions about what? Well, about which democratically elected politician who doesn’t support gerontocratic plutocrats (see how easy it is?) is going to get it in the neck on in the next day’s waste of dead tree.

UPDATE 8/6/2011. If you want to see how it could (and should) have been done, check out Laura Tingle, political editor of the Australian Financial Review. Taking the same basic events, she manages to explain what is going on, point to specific facts that help you understand the possible ramifications. Her piece, “Swan appeases as tempers flare” on page 16 of the AFR 8.6.2011, is sadly behind a paywall. It concludes “It appears the government is loading in as much wriggle room as it can ahead of difficult negotiations.”

May 29, 2011

“Better informed about the complexities” = “still hate each others’ guts”

So this story, Slow going on carbon pricing talks, from the Australian Associated Press is highly entertaining and informative. It’s about the ‘progress’ in discussions among the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee, and begins thus

THE federal government appears to have made little progress in reaching a carbon pricing compromise with the Australian Greens and crossbenchers during two days of “robust” talks in Canberra.

Greens Senator Christine Milne today said the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee (MPCCC) remained split on key issues surrounding the government’s plan to introduce a carbon tax and emissions trading scheme.

Asked if any progress had been made during the talks, Senator Milne said: “I think we’re a lot better informed about the complexities.

“There’s a long way to go till we get all on the same page.”

You can – and should – read the rest of it via the link above. It sounds like there was a “free and frank exchange of views”, eh?

I went and googled the outfits mentioned in the story, and it helped me a lot.

Business Council of Australia (and their emissions page)
The Business Council of Australia is an association of the CEOs of 100 of Australia’s leading corporations with a combined workforce of one million people. It was established in 1983 as a forum for Australia’s business leaders to contribute to public policy debates to build Australia as the best place in which to live, to learn, to work and do business.
(i.e not the complete knuckle-draggers. Capitalists, obviously, but not stupid ones.)

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Is Australia’s peak council of business organisations& an authoritative national voice for Australian businesses of all sizes, in each industry, globally,nationally & regionally. The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) is Australia’s largest and most representative business association and the peak council of Australia’s State and Territory Chambers of Commerce and our major National Industry Associations.
(comparable to split in UK between the CBI and the BCC – outward-facing big picture sorts, versus (usually smaller) domestically orientated , yes?)

So I wonder if they have a little “good cop/bad cop” thang going on? A couple of days ago the BCA called for at the carbontax to start at ten bucks a tonne. So a day latter the ACCI say “No Great New Big Tax on Everything.” Playing Malcom to the BCA’s Martin?

Clean Energy Council
“The Clean Energy Council is the peak body representing Australia’s clean energy sector. It is an industry association made up of more than 440 member companies operating in the fields of renewable energy and energy efficiency.”

Yeah, makes sense… Sort of all the wind and solar thermal and so on people…
Not sure how this fits with what I read in the Australian Financial Review on the 26th…

Push for clean energy fund
Marcus Priest and John Kehoe
Pressure for a new clean energy technology fund attached to a new carbon price scheme is growing from a broad coalition of unions and environment, investor and renewable energy groups ahead of negotiations this weekend between Labor, the Greens and independent MPs.
The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) yesterday called for more than $6 billion over the next six years to be set aside for a new clean energy fund and energy efficiency programs.
AMWU secretary Dave Oliver said the government needed to establish a fund to partner private investors and provide grants, loan guarantees and tax breaks to support the low emissions industry and technoolgy development….

May 28, 2011

“Climate Politics in Australia” for beginners

There is a long blog post called “Climate Politics in Australia” at the The Daily Maybe. It’s not terribly accurate perhaps, but it gives a bit of a picture…

Here’s the first bit of it.

Climate Politics in Australia seem to me, a recently returned ex-pat, both fascinating and depressing. The Labor Government, only in power with the agreement of a small band of independents and a Green, are trying to push through a carbon tax that will morph into an emissions scheme. The Opposition, led by a man whose position on the reality of climate change changes from day to day, is calling for an election on the issue. Meanwhile, the “climate movement” is punching below its weight and is – by the admission of knowledgeable participants – all at sea.

As little history as I think you’ll read.
The history of White Settlement in Australia is a litany of careless extraction. Whether it was cutting down trees in, extracting the value of the soil via sheep and cattle or mining and exporting gold, the economy and mindset has always been one of pillaging natural resources and worrying about the consequences later, if at all.