Meet your skylarking Resources Minister writing in The Australian:
A couple of months ago Bob Brown thought it was a fantastic idea to invade Queensland with an army of hypocritical and condescending activists.
It is the one thing Bob and I agree on: I thought it a fantastic idea, too.
…the truckies exploded. “Look at the hypocrites. They’re using petrol”, and “They’re driving in cars made of steel, which comes from coal!” And much more that can’t be printed.
And on it goes. It what universe is this kind ‘put the boot into ’em’ useful leadership? I’ll tell you which.
Resources Minister Canavan is part of a Coalition plan to use energy as a form of domestic economic terrorism. The energy wars are easily resolved. That’s because they are made up; a pure political fiction to win over the losers of energy transformation as a voting block. It is working spectacularly.
But at what cost? Forget climate change and the end of the world. I mean closer to home and the hip pocket. What are the economic costs of the LNP’s energy terrorism plan?
Leith has already described how Adani is a giant white elephant that will add nothing to the east coast economy so it’s a waste of resources. But there is a vastly larger cost that is hidden because it is not in coal, it is in gas.
The LNP’s plan for energy terrorism includes blaming rising electricity price upon renewable energy. This helps support coal as a political option but, crucially, it does one more thing. It hides the real cause of power price spikes on the east coast which is not renewable power at all, but gas-fired power.
Because gas-fired power is the marginal price setter in the National Electricity Market (NEM), it is singularly responsible for all power prices rises since 2014 when LNG exports began, leaving the local market short, and skyrocketed the price of gas to as high as $20Gj from $4Gj.
Thankfully Malcolm Turnbull at least limited the cost of the LNP’s energy terrorism plan in 2017 when he installed the Australian Domestic Gas Security Mechanism (ADGSM), through which the LNG export cartel agreed to benchmark local prices to the Asian gas price minus the cost of exporting, called the export net-back price.
That should be working great. The Asian gas price is today at $Gj6. The agreed net back price for the east coast under the Australian Domestic Gas Security Mechanism (ADGSM) is back to around $4Gj. Utility bills ought to be collapsing.
But they aren’t because the local price of gas yesterday was still rising instead at $10.20Gj. In short, the gas cartel is breaking the law and keeping prices much higher than it agreed to do under the ADGSM meaning your gas bill is more than double what it should be under existing law. Your power bill is also 30% higher than it should be under existing law.
So, why is the ADGSM not being enforced? Who controls and enforces that law? Who manages the ADGSM on behalf of the Australian people? Who is it that determines your power and gas bill?
The ADGSM is under the purview of the Resources portfolio controlled by…wait for it…Resources Minister Matt Canavan.
That’s right, just as Resources Minister Matt Canavan is busy preening himself in the media to promote coal in QLD as the solution to the high power prices, he is also refusing to enforce the ADGSM with the direct result being sky high power prices.
That is the real cost of LNP energy terrorism. It is a $15-20bn theft from the east coast economy in broad daylight by the gas cartel. From every single business and household.
So, sure, QLD truckies are right to point out the hypocrisy of the anti-Adani protesters. They’re probably all for mass immigration as well, which is pretty bloody contradictory.
But, honestly, if I explained over few beers to these blokes the depths of Matt Canavan’s hypocrisy, which steals around $1k out of each and every pocket, I’m pretty sure they’d usher him very politely out to the woodshed.
Which is exactly where the nation should send him.