Mr Abbott said the nation’s power system should be run to provide “affordable, reliable energy, not primarily to reduce emissions”.
“My anxiety, based on the reports we have seen, is that the scenario which the Finkel report is recommending gives us not 50 per cent, but 70 per cent renewable energy by 2030 and coal, which is by far the cheapest source of base load power, and in most years is our biggest single export, coal goes from currently 65 per cent to 25 per cent of total energy generation,” he said.
“Anything that makes it impossible for us to bank new, efficient coal-fired power stations I think is a big mistake.
“The Liberal Party has to be the party that you can rely on to bring power prices down, let the Labor party be the people who send prices up. I’ve spent a lot of time talking about Electricity Bill Shorten, the last thing we want to do is let Electricity Bill off the hook.”
He also pointed out the global Paris agreement on climate change only set aspirational targets and was “not binding, it is not mandatory”, but stopped short of saying Australia should follow America’s lead and withdraw.
“As prime minister I made the point that we would use our best endeavours to get emissions down by 26-28 per cent, but we weren’t going to clobber the economy in order to reduce emissions,” he told radio station 2GB.
We could dismiss this as ravings of the lunatic fringe but we can’t. Within 12 months wither he or one his cronies will be prime minister as Newspolls keep dishing up the shit right along with the crashing Budget.
It’s a shame because the LET even has former hard core resistance to a carbon price on board:
In an interview with The Australian ahead of the release tomorrow of the Finkel review into energy security, BlueScope chief executive Paul O’Malley said the government had a chance to reverse a decade of bad policy by adopting a low emissions target that addressed climate change but did not lock out coal.
“We need reliable and secure baseload power,” Mr O’Malley said. “We are technology agnostic … but there are problems with renewable technologies … they don’t provide baseload power.
“The other fundamental issue is affordability, in both gas energy and power. The detail needs to be sorted out … (but) the government is on the cusp of a transformational policy. The lens through which this has been viewed has ignored the fact we need reliable, affordable and secure baseload. For the first time in 10 years we are finally addressing all three.”
No we don’t. We need an energy system that produces reliable, low carbon and cheap power. It doesn’t need to have any coal in it at all as the renewable/battery revolution grows. It can and should be tech agnostic.