Australian Taxpayer Dollars Being Used to Subsidise Coal-Fired Power Plants

Australian Taxpayer Dollars Being Used to Subsidise Coal-Fired Power Plants!

A new analysis has proven huge gas emissions by coal-fired power plants, and urges Australia to shut them down. Following this analysis, the Australian government is being implored to adopt regulations similar to those in place in America. Even after these findings, the government still wrestles with the Renewable Energy Target.

10 energy and mining companies are answerable for one third of the all greenhouse gas emissions in Australia. According to the report by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), a huge spotlight is cast on the largest polluters in Australia, and the immensity of their gas emissions.

gas emissions from a coal-fired powerplant

ACF President, Geoff Cousins stated that the Australian government does not give any incentive for companies to stop their use of fossil fuels and gas emissions. The ACF believes the regulations initiated by the Obama Administration on coal-fired power plants and the use of carbon capture technology must be considered.

“In Australia there are taxpayer subsidies to keep these plants open, whereas in the US, China and parts of Europe, the government is taking actual direct action to close them down,” Mr Cousins said. Closing down the worst gas emission plants in Australia needs to be on the table.

Here in Australia, there are high taxpayer subsidies available to these companies with high gas emissions. ABC News aired the subsidy findings of $4 Billion in November, 2014. In 2013-2014, Energy Australia (#1 of the Top 10 polluters) donated a huge $45,000 to both the Labor and Coalition parties. Rio Tinto (#4 of the Top 10 polluters) presented over $175,000 to the Cormack Foundation (linked to the Coalition). Is this the obstacle that prevents them from embracing the Renewable Energy Target?

There is some good news though. Numerous councils, shires and even state governments are acting on renewable energy, as they clearly see the benefits. The two most common benefits, are reducing expense and reducing gas emissions. This is seen as good governance for their bottom line, and by their constituents. Further evidence includes:

  • A good number of local councils now ensuring the council buildings are utilising solar power
  • The City of Melbourne working with local businesses to install solar power
  • Universities no longer investing in fossil fuel related activites
  • New Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk has a target of one million new homes using solar power

The ACF believes that renewable energy, mainly wind and solar power has the potential to provide one quarter of electricity demand in Australia in less than 10 years. In turn, reducing gas emissions!

Mr Cousins went on to say “I think this has led the population to realise that we are being left behind, that the government has pulled the wool over our eyes. And now we see fossil fuels and climate change are back in the top five areas of concern in voting intentions. It’s clear the government is completely out of kilter with the rest of the world.”

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