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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