Something new is happening in Australia’s eastern gas market. On December 14, for the first time in its 40-year history, the Moomba-to-Sydney gas pipeline began to run in reverse. Pipeline operators have completed modifications to allow reverse flow. A name change to Sydney-to-Moomba pipeline may now be in order! This reflects big upheavals in Australia’s gas market as exports expand significantly.
Many fossil fuel companies pay little Australian tax. Part of this is, when a company borrows to invest, they can deduct the interest costs from their taxable income. So fossil fuel investment in things like oil exploration, coal railways and coal ports generate tax deductions.
These tax subsidies for fossil fuel expansion should end. Not all investment is good investment. The fossil fuel era is over. All too soon, we will have to stop using all this fossil fuel infrastructure. It is dangerous for our climate and economy
Ending tax subsidies for fossil fuel expansion would give energy companies like Exxon a big incentive to abandon opposition to renewables – and indeed incentive to invest in renewables.
In 2006 Australia exported 237 million tonnes of coal, making it the world’s largest exporter of coal. This export was 25% of world coal exports, ahead of Indonesia (18%) and Russia (10%).
Australia also consumed over 70 million tonnes of coal domestically, of which approximately 85% is used in power generation.
The Environment Department wrote to Jeyakumar Janakaraj in August seeking information about the environmental record of executive officers. He is driving Australia’s biggest mining project. He failed to disclose that a company he ran in Africa was guilty of serious environmental breaches, despite this request.
If any company is reckless or negligent in the information they provide, it’s an offence and there are criminal fines and prosecutions that can be brought.
The article shows a good map of the Adani proposed rail line.
ABC: Mark Willacy: 10 Dec 2015
Key Words: Climate Change, risks
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Wealthy nations spend 40 times as much money subsidising fossil fuel production as they contribute to the Green Climate Fund to help poor countries adapt to global warming.
Eight industrialised nations – Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States – spend a combined $80 billion a year on public support for fossil fuel production, but have pledged only about $2 billion a year to the Green Climate Fund, “Oil Change International” said.
Rehabilitating coal fired power station sites and mines is an expensive business. One solution is to introduce a site remediation levy on each tonne of coal produced in Australia. Based on last year’s coal production such a levy of $0.50 per tonne would have generated over $200 million.
The 2015 Hazelwood mine fire inquiry found that site faced expenses of over $100 million dollars, but that only $15 million had been put aside for rehabilitation. The Sustainable Minerals Institute estimates that rehabilitation bonds held by governments as little as 10 percent of rehabilitation costs. Taxpayers are facing huge potential liabilities unless funds are put aside to cover these costs. Worse still, it is the existence of these huge, unfunded rehabilitation liabilities that provides an incentive for end-of-life power stations and mines to keep operating. The longer they can avoid that cost, the better it is from a financial perspective.
Renew Economy: 4 Dec 2015
Key Words: Climate Change, fossil fuels
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Promoting carbon capture and storage (CCS) has long been a mainstay of the global coal industry’s PR pitch. They argue that it is possible to keep building new coal plants and cut greenhouse gas emissions.
As crippling cost overruns and other problems with Mississippi Power’s US$6.4 billion Kemper CCS project have mounted, hyping the SaskPower Boundary Dam CCS project in Canada was the last card left in the coal lobby’s CCS deck.
In February this year the World Coal Association proclaimed that CCS technology is “a reality, as evidenced by the Boundary Dam coal-fired power station in Canada. This pioneering project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one million tonnes of CO2 annually, the equivalent to taking more than 250,000 cars off the road each year.”
Now the coal lobby has to acknowledge that the “reality” is the plant doesn’t work reliably and doesn’t yet capture a million tonnes of CO2 a year.
While it’s true that the world will burn coal for many years to come, Australia’s reliance on this industry now looks like a bad strategy. Not only is thermal coal under major threat from global action on climate change, but the export market is also undergoing a profound change. An increasing share of the coal burnt in existing and new power plants will be sourced from the US, India, China and Indonesia. Consequently, Australia’s export prospects for thermal coal will be heavily affected.
Australia has 52 proposals to build new coals mines or expand existing ones! But we should be joining a moratorium on new coal development – because coal’s days are numbered.
The rapidly falling price of renewable energy such as wind and solar, combined with the growing resolve of China, the US and others to reduce their emissions, put a dark cloud over the future of coal.
Coal mines are intended to have lives of 50 to 90 years. Will coal prices be high enough in 30 or 40 years to make continued production profitable? If not, investors in new coal mines won’t get their money back, but will be lumbered with “stranded assets” – assets that no longer earn much of a return.
Green’s Leader: Richard di Natale:
National Press Club: Wed 30 Oct 2015
. A great bulk of coal mines are operating at a loss.
. Many are closing down
. A massive one-third of the coal workforce has been lost in the last 18 months
. Yes, one-third of the coal workforce has been lost over the past 18 months.
And now the Government wants to blame environmentalists for this. But this is due to the decisions of coal companies and their executives and governments who have failed to understand the declining markets are costing us those jobs . We’re now seeing coal mines sold for $1 to avoid remediation costs and the hardest hit from all of this would be those coal workers who are thrown out of work. We’ve got State governments who are deeply exposed by holding grossly inadequate bonds that are sup[posed to cover the cost of rehabilitating the mines. And we know that the public purse will end up covering these rehabilitation costs