Why is Asia allowed cheap electricity fired by Queensland coal but we are not?

June 20, 2018

It’s day six of the great coal rift in the Queensland Liberal National Party.

The Conservative Party's lead Queensland senate candidate Lyle Shelton says Resources Minister Matt Canavan’s excellent piece in The Australian today reads like yet another repudiation of LNP state leader Deb Frecklington’s “future beyond coal” budget reply speech.

And if the Turnbull Government supports Senator Canavan’s pro-coal rhetoric, it makes no sense that our coal can be burned overseas to generate affordable electricity but not here in new power stations.

As Tony Abbott leads party room discontent in Canberra over the proposed National Energy Guarantee’s apparent bias against coal-fired power, uncertainty continues to mount.

At issue are growing concerns that expensive and unreliable electricity supply will force jobs off-shore to countries in Asia where dozens of power stations are being built to burn Queensland coal.

Unreliable supply also risks the lights going out, surely enough to jolt inner city voters out of their complacency about renewables.

Sure, England can run for 55 hours coal-free but it has the option of importing nuclear power from France when the wind is intermittent. Given our uranium reserves, there’s an idea.

The Paris targets, which are driving high electricity prices and the unreliability in the grid, were only aspirational, Senator Eric Abetz says.

Mr Abbott has reportedly indicated that he was misled by bureaucrats when he signed the government on to the Paris emissions reduction agreement.

And with the United States having pulled out of Paris, it seems pointless to have an energy policy driven by its emissions reduction targets when our chief scientists says what we do has virtually no effect on global temperature. Did you get that? We have virtually zero impact.

As Senator Abetz pointed out on Sky News today, Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano (pictured) has emitted more greenhouse gas than Australia would in a year.

Amid all the rejoicing by Senator Canavan (and the Conservative Party rejoices with him) about global demand for Queensland thermal coal, no one can explain why our coal can’t also be burned here to generate affordable and reliable electricity.

In the meantime, at least one disgruntled LNP member can see through the spin.

Picture: Hawaii's Kilauea volcano

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