The New Daily, 30 August 2018
Energy Minister Angus Taylor has unveiled a new energy policy focused exclusively on reducing electricity prices, in a strong signal the Morrison government will abandon all efforts to lower carbon emissions.
The move comes a week after the issue of climate change precipitated the ousting of former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.
“My No.1 priority is very, very simple,” Mr Taylor said in a speech on Thursday. “It is to reduce power prices, and to do this while we keep the lights on.”
He would do this, he said, by empowering consumers to shop around, cracking down on price gouging, and increasing “reliable supply” – a phrase that has come to refer to keeping coal-fired power stations running.
“It’s ironic that in a country with an abundance of natural resources – coal, gas, water, solar, wind – we should be in the position we are today. We have to leverage those resources, not leave them in the ground.”
He listed two ways in which this would be done: encouraging states to lifting moratoria on coal and gas exploration, and underwriting “new stable low-cost generation for commercial and industrial customers”.
The latter appeared to be a commitment for the government to guarantee that coal-fired power stations would remain open. Not a single policy to increase investment in renewables or lower emissions was announced.
Mr Taylor attacked Labor for putting climate change at the centre of its energy policy.
“The difference between us and them could not be more stark. Labor’s platform puts climate change at the centre of their broader economic strategy.
“But as the Prime Minister said, this government is instead focused on delivering for all Australians and that means reducing electricity prices and cost-of-living pressures.”
Despite announcing no policies to address carbon emissions, and despite attacking Labor for prioritising the issue, Mr Taylor insisted he was not a climate sceptic.
via climate science
September 2, 2018 at 01:30AM