As bushfires go out, Coalition goes coal crazy

It’s a laugh minute. Personal ambition and ideology crapping all over the national interest, Reneweconomy:

The Australian Coalition government has announced a new $4 million grant to pursue a new 1GW coal fired generator in north Queensland in one of the first acts of the new pro-coal resources minister Keith Pitt.

A joint announcement from Pitt, National leader Michael McCormack, energy minister Angus Taylor and Queensland MP and assistant minister for norther Australia Michelle Landry says the $4 million will be given to Shine Energy to conduct a feasibility study for a proposed 1GW HELE coal plant at Collinsville in Queensland.

A further $2 million will be allocated to a pre-feasibility study for a rival project, a 1.5GW pumped hydro-electric plant proposed by Renewable Energy Partners which is to be developed in conjunction with the proposed Urannah Water Scheme, and located between Collinsville, Proserpine and Mackay.

The funds are being allocated through the $10 million “Supporting Reliable Energy Infrastructure program.” It is not clear whether this is part of, or additional to, the $10 million announced to study different generation options, including coal fired generation, that was announced as part of the Underwriting New generation Investment program in the lead up to last year’s election.

But wait, there’s more from the backbench, via News:

Barnaby Joyce has clashed with a climate expert in a fiery debate about bushfires, coal and climate change.

And it comes as Australia considers adopting a net zero emissions target by 2050, similar to the United Kingdom and dozens of other nations, ahead of a UN climate summit in November.

The Nationals MP and US climatologist Professor Michael Mann went head to head during a 60 Minutes panel discussion which included former fire chiefs.

Prof Mann said Australia faced even more devastating bushfires in the future unless the government acted on climate change.

But Mr Joyce quickly rejected the argument: “We’re not going to (put out fires) by having this incredible debate in Canberra”.

Joyce supporters are all going to the backbench in a  move to unseat McCormack, who is just not pro-coal enough. At The Australian:

Queensland MP Llew O’Brien has quit the Nationals in a new blow to Coalition unity in the wake of Barnaby Joyce’s failed bid to win over the party leadership last week.

The Wide Bay member advised Scott Morrison of his decision on Sunday night, The Courier-Mail reported.

The Prime Minister reportedly granted the right for Mr O’Brien to stay in the LNP, but he will not sit in the Nationals or Liberal partyrooms. He will still give the Morrison government supply.

Add Matt Canavan, coal’s greatest champion, already sitting on the backbench.

This is all about QLD votes where the Nats are endangered by pro-coal One Nation and Clive Plamer. It is no more complex than that. There is no bassi for new coal power output.

I would like to say that Labor has a better notion of the future of the species but it’s too busy chasing QLD votes as well, at the ABC:

Mr Marles said the feasibility study was the first step by the Coalition towards funding new coal projects, which was more about ideology than common sense.

“A Labor government is not going to put a cent into subsidising coal-fired power. And that is the practical question as to whether or not it happens,” Mr Marles said.

The Victorian MP had previously said the collapse of the global coal market was a “good thing”, before backtracking ahead of the last election.

“I absolutely support coal mining jobs and coal miners, and the role that that plays within our economy, and it will continue to play a role for a long time to come,” Mr Marles added.

“The reason I said that my comments last year were ‘tone-deaf’ is because I think they didn’t acknowledge the significant role that coal miners play and the communities play within our economy, and it’s a very significant one.”

Burn, baby, burn. It’s an Auatralian inferno…

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  1. Labor has no idea, the Marles interview on Insiders was an absolute car crash. The Coalition could be shooting each other in Canberra and Labor would still not be able to take advantage.

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      Speaking of car crashes, see Barnaby on 60 Minutes last night?

      Our Tony might have called him a great retail politician but once there is nobody to run interference a good, solid set of facts makes him flounder. Watch the body language of the firey next to him. As they all talked about losing lives and property, Barnaby kept banging about winning or losing votes. That firey wasn’t happy at all. Barnaby tried to talk over and dominate but not one of the others would cop his sh!t.

      • Thanks MB, a very good reminder .
        Lest we Forget
        What is it that makes the Coal industry untouchable ?
        It employs 38,000 people, accounts for 2% of GDP
        but the effects on our environment, other industries ,and lives are becoming far, far greater than the “benefit” we gain from it.

        • This is not pro coal, just points to consider
          Those 38000 direct, very high paying jobs, carry a 4 or 5 to 1 indirect ratio, so say it keeps 150,000 people employed in manufacturing, contracting, services etc etc. Theres votes as they say.
          If we close up coal mining here ‘to do our bit’, do we really think the gap wont be taken up by other countries eager for export income and development. maybe not at the current rates but they will certainly try.
          A Coal mine employs say 300 people, power stations employ say 300 people. Have you driven past a wind farm or solar farm. They employ about 6 people when running. The people employed in coal know it and aren’t looking forward to working back in the agri sector where a lot of them ‘escaped’ from.
          Are you prepared to have others vote on ‘your’ representation in our democracy. As they say democracy sucks but its better than the alternative

          • No one beyond the extreme Greens are advocating that as of January 1st 2021, all coal mines will shut. The transition away from coal is over 20 years a with assistance to aid workers with the transition. The Government closed the car industry that resulted in far more direct and indirect jobs being list that only aided the decline in manufacturing to the point we now have no fvcking idea about how to build and operate mass manufacturing. The renegade Nats are only doing the budding of their donors; nothing more, nothing less.

    • The Coalition could be shooting each other in Canberra and Labor would still not be able to take advantage.

      Labor is trying to identify its base by, through a combination of stupidity and recalcitrance, seeing who sticks with them until the end.

  2. FFS! Waste $4m on a study to tell us what the market already knows, coal is no longer economically competitive!

    Don’t QLDers know there are more & longer lasting jerbs in renewables?

  3. Some CO2 comments from a Principal CSIRO Research scientist (retired)

    Coal is the largest organic fossil-sunlight filled battery… with no maintenance and indefinite energy storage… It is renewable in a geological timeframe.

    Note that every 27kg of CO2 feeds a tree for a year…removing this from the air starves a tree to death. Time to stop policies that kill plants perhaps?

    Note that doubling CO2 levels in air broadly does the following, all for FREE:
    1) Doubles food and fibre production;
    2) Simultaneously reduces water consumption by 20% whilst doubling growth;
    3) Simultaneously increases plant resistance to heat stress by up to 11C degrees… greening deserts;
    4) Greatly assists feeding and watering the worlds poorest subsistence farmers for free.
    Caveat… CO2 levels below 180 ppm will cause extinction of our planetary life, as plants starve to death at this threshold. Ideally, we need levels of 1200-2000ppm (levels at which plants evolved), still a way to go to avoid threat of extinction.

    Time to quit the human-caused climate change hoax and policies based thereon, and green and feed the planet using fossil fuels.

        • Who? Name and final position in CSIRO?

          There are lots of so-called experts being quoted to drag dead cats across the argument.

          Do you have insurance on your house and car?

          • Principal Research Scientist & Project Leader
            CSIRO Exploration & Mining
            This isn’t an attempt to be obstinately anti the “Climate Change” camp – simply offering up some qualified comments from a coal expert.
            I don’t have a car (waste of capital) and I don’t have a house.
            Any relevant questions ??

          • The climate debate is about uncertainty (ie. taking out insurance) rather than certainty. I suspect many of the anti are more concerned about maintaining the status quo (and rents from this) rather than insuring for future generations and gaining benefits form being early adopters rather than laggards who are paying littlle of the negative costs of the externalities of fossil fuels.

            Most Nuclear supporters do not acknowledge that no country has successfully put in place a long term solution to storing the nuclear waste and handling decommissioning of obsolete plants. The taxpayer ends up with the bill directly or through a more polluted environment.
            How can they when in Australia, most decommissioned coal power stations and the associated very big holes will need major taxpayer inputs to rectify the situation, eg. Hazelwood in The Latrobe Valley and Leigh Creek in South Australia.

          • Hi Turvile why are you hedging around the name of the person wo is the Principal Research Scientist and Project Leader ?
            Your reluctance to name your source damages your arguement

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