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AGL rejects Alinta bid for Liddell, Coalition goes nuts

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Liddell Power Station

AGL Energy has – as expected – firmly rejected a bid from Alinta Energy and its Chinese owner Chow Tai Fook Enterprises to buy the ageing and decrepit Liddell coal generator in New south Wales, despite intense pressure from the Coalition government to do so.

In a statement on Monday, AGL described the $250 million Alinta offer as an “unsolicited, non-binding, highly conditional indicative offer” – and most observers would say highly opportunistic, inadequate and unrealistic too.

AGL came to the same conclusion on the latter, saying the proposal significantly undervalued the value of Liddell and the site it operates. It told them they’re dreaming.

“AGL has completed a thorough assessment of the Offer and, after careful consideration, has advised Chow Tai Fook and Alinta that it will not proceed any further with the Offer,” the company said in a statement.

“The AGL Board has determined that the offer is not in the best interests of AGL or its shareholders. The offer significantly undervalues future cash flows to AGL of operating the Liddell Power Station until 2022 and the repurposing of the site thereafter.”

AGL says it had again sought third party expert advice about the reliability and safety of keeping Liddell open longer than its planned closure in 2022 – and has reaffirmed its decision to close it at that time, and replace it with gas, renewables and storage.

It notes that the Australian Energy Market Operator has confirmed that completion of its plan for the Liddell site will address the capacity shortfall that may occur as a result of Liddell’s closure.

The decision follows intense pressure from the Coalition government to try and force AGL to sell the power station, despite the government insisting at the same time that it only ever wanted to leave the fate of the sector to the market.

The decision – and the planning and considerations to replace the power stations with cheaper and cleaner and more reliable alternatives – is an important and significant one for the expected clean energy transition that most consider inevitable in the country.

The need to close Liddell has been a blindingly obvious one to anyone with a basic knowledge of economics and engineering, but it has become a flashpoint for the conservatives and the Coalition government in their never-ending campaign against renewables.

AGL has made it clear that a combination of wind, solar, storage, demand management, gas and an upgrade to the more modern Bayswater generator would provide cheaper, cleaner and more reliable power than extending the life of Liddell.

This has become a proxy for the clean energy transition across the country, a debate mired in the conservative attachment to last century ideas that excessive amounts of “baseload” is the only way to provide electricity to consumers.

Most networks, retailers and energy market institutions now recognise that the shift to cheap wind and solar – combined with storage, demand management and other smart ways to provide “flexible” capacity – is the way of the future.

The conservatives don’t get it. Not only do they want Liddell kept open, they also want new coal generators to be built, regardless of economics and environmental and climate issues.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott and former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce (pictured above) on Monday demanded that the government step in and forcibly buy the assets from AGL and then sell it to Alinta for that company’s nominated price.

“We need to grab AGL, cart them back in and say: ‘This is BS, you’re taking us for a ride, you think we’re fools’,” Joyce told reporters in Canberra.

“The Australian people are not, they are not going to pay for your market manipulation which is what is coming next.”

Abbott also described the decision of AGL as “striking against the national interest” and compared its actions to that of a militant union.

“My very strong view given that the federal government has effectively now got responsibility for energy security, the government should compulsorily acquire this power station for the price Alinta were prepared to pay and then it should sell it to Alinta,” he told 2GB.

He later tweeted this above. Disturbingly, environment and energy minister Josh Frydenberg was trotting out the same line to journalists.

Conservatives were horrified earlier this month when Energy Security Board chair Kerry Schott said that there would be no new coal fired generators built -– even under the proposed National Energy Guarantee – because they made no economic sense.

And despite insisting that the NEG would offer the “best chance” for existing coal generators,  Frydenberg came under attack last week from 2GB’s Alan Jones who demanded that “this woman” Schott be brought to heel. Frydenberg did not defend her remarks.

AGL has made the point on repeated occasions that NSW has more than enough “baseload” capacity because of a massive overbuild in the state – and across the country – a decade ago.

And it says that its plans would ensure there was enough “flexible” and “dispatchable” generation to meet the demand peaks that might occur in hot summer days.

AEMO has agreed, and pointed out that this would be the case whether AGL went ahead with its projects, or an equivalent amount of dispatchable capacity was built by other parties.

But calls for intervention have increased. And while prime minister Malcolm Turnbull  and Frydenberg have insisted they will let the market do its thing, they have put enormous pressure on AGL, and personally intervened to encourage Alinta to bid.

Frydenberg on Monday expressed his “disappointment” at the decision by AGL, claiming – like Abbott and Joyce – that it was not in the national interest.

He also claimed that AEMO had said the closure of Liddell risked further blackouts, but he is verbalising AEMO there, because they have made it clear that that observation wass only based on the assumption that no more investment occurs.

Even so, the reliability panel of the Australian Energy Market Commission recently suggested that the risk of supply shortfalls in NSW even after the closure of Liddell is 0.0000010 per cent – so small it barely registers on charts.

The government has also intervened in the market to buy out Snowy Hydro so that it can go ahead with the Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro plan, despite the fact that the company has yet to complete, or release, its engineering, environmental and economic analysis.

Turnbull would like Liddell to stay open as long as it takes to build and complete Snowy 2.0. That would result in the most extraordinary government intervention, and basically a red light against any competing technologies.

It would almost certainly slow down the pace of investment in wind and solar, and other technologies such as battery storage. The Snowy 2.0 modelling is based on that assumption.

Analysts said AGL was never going to sell the Liddell plant because it shares infrastructure with Bayswater, which would be difficult to untangle, and until 2022 will benefit from government subsidised low fuel costs.

It will likely make huge profits from Liddell in the meantime, as other generators will make out of their fossil fuel investments – because they can, and because Australia has hopelessly inadequate  regulation, even when the gaming is obvious.

Joyce pointed to the possibility of “market manipulation”, but that’s an activity that is not centred around Liddell, but the whole of the wholesale electricity market.

The best way to address that is to encourage more competition, and the best way to do that is to encourage more “dipatchable” renewables, such as with wind and solar and storage.

The Tesla big battery in South Australia has already shown how it can slash prices previously gamed by the incumbent cartel by reducing the price of grid security services in South Australia by 90 per cent.

But who argues against battery storage and policies that would encourage more wind and solar? You guessed it, Abbott and Joyce and the rest of the so-called Monash Forum, who would have Australia’s electricity grid return to a by-gone era.

The Australia Institute, meanwhile, on Monday released a study that showed Liddell has failed four times in 2018 on days of peak demand because of high temperatures.

This follows Liddell’s failure in the 2017 heatwave, when the loss of 1000MW of capacity, and the tripping of the state’s two biggest gas generator, led to load shedding at the Tomago aluminium plant, and brought the coal-reliant state perilously close to a widespread outage.

“Liddell cannot be relied on to deliver power when we need it most,” Ben Oquist, Executive Director of The Australia Institute, said. “Hot days are when we need power most and coal power plants preform badly in the heat.”

  

Pocket
  • Steve159

    It’s becoming an increasingly entertaining spectator sport, watching the LNP sticking their fat fingers in their dyke*, hoping to prevent the renewable juggernaut washing away their 19th century world.

    Fish in a barrel as they say.

    “Dyke — a wall built to prevent the sea or a river from covering an area”

    • GlennM

      I was wondering why you thought it necessary to explain what a dyke is…..then I thought more and realised that saying someone was “sticking a finger in a dyke” could now using modern parlance be misinterpreted, so it was perhaps the wise thing to do….

      • Steve159

        Yes, you read my mind, so to speak

  • Robert Comerford

    Tell the LNP to ‘Fook’ off ! :>)

    May I buy the board a beer for a courageous decision.

    • solarguy

      “Fook off” I was going to use that. Great minds think alike.

    • Rod

      Just need to buy one for Andy Vesey.
      The board would have rubber stamped whatever he decided.
      When Andy said, “I’ll get back to you” (Both times) he was really saying “Fook off”.

  • Glynn Palmer

    National Party Backbencher Barnaby Joyce has already given a press conference on the ABC criticising AGL’s commercial decision to continue to operate Liddell until its 50 year retirement birthday in 2022 and then redevelop the site for future 21st century electricity generation.

    I guess the free market forces that the COALition promotes and espouses are not following their 20th century ideology.

    • Steve159

      19th century ideology — the first coal-fired power station (Edison’s) was built in 1882.

      • Joe

        Does Bananabee and Babbott want that one recommissioned?

        • Calamity_Jean

          I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they did.

      • Greg Hudson

        You beat me to it 😉

    • Hettie

      Does anyone here think that Liddell will make it through to 2022?
      With a failure every month this year, it’s looking every day of its age. Output is way down on rated capacity…… Staggering off to an early grave perhaps?
      How is AGL doing with building the wind and solar to replace it, does anyone know? And would anyone be surprised if, as soon as the renewables are in place, the old girl suffers a catastrophic seizure? The maintenance costs to keep her going must be a bitch.

      • Joe

        A few more hot summers still to come until 2022 with the ‘old girl Liddell’ in a world of pain and not generating…”Reliable Baseload Power”.

      • Glynn Palmer

        “wind and solar to replace it, does anyone know?”

        The 240Mw Coopers Gap wind farm about 250km NW of Brisbane is being constructed.

        The 200Mw Silverton wind farm is expected to be operational soon.

        The AEMO adjustment to Marginal Loss Factors will put a dent in the revenue received from renewable energy located long distances from the cities. This might affect the incentive to construct solar and wind in areas where the wind and sun resource is more optimal.

        • Hettie

          I think it’s not the distance from cities, but the capacity of the grid lines to which the wind and solar connect, that is the issue.
          As far as I know, the AGL plans are for new renewables at the Liddell site, hooking into the grid there, replacing Liddell’s failing output. So the grid capacity is clearly adequate.

        • Greg Hudson

          The dents are small in comparison to the profits that can be made. Just like solar panels on a residential roof… over size them to maximize exports. Nothing wrong with that solution that I can see…

      • Calamity_Jean

        I hope Liddell doesn’t suffer a catastrophic seizure before wind and solar capacity is available to replace it.

        • Hettie

          Wind and solar, not AGL built, are already coming on line now that exceed Liddell’s rated output. More is nearing completion.
          We are in the lowish load part of the year, too. Although the heat has been striking as early as late September in recent years, the real crunch month is February.
          So no need to stress just yet.

      • Greg Hudson

        A floating PV array on the cooling lake would be a good start IMO

  • Tim Forcey

    TYPO

    “decrepit Alinta coal generator”

    Should be “decrepit AGL Liddell coal generator”

  • Barri Mundee

    Frydenberg is trying to navigate a fine line between upsetting the hard line coal lovers in his party and the realistic assessment that the jig is up for coal.

    • Peter Campbell

      So why does he, or Turnbull for that matter, try to walk a fine line? Why not call out the BS for what it is. Why not read them the riot act and say ‘If we want to do what is right and win the next election, we need to do an about face on all this climate science and renewables denial.’ Call their bluff. What are they going to do? Stage a coup and make a lost election even more likely?

      • Hettie

        Because they have to keep in sweet with the coal lobby. They need to be seen to be trying to deliver on their promises.
        We know that Malfoy is ok for cash, but who else will give JF a job when he loses his seat?
        Trouble is, Josh, another few years and the coal cos’ balance sheets will be all bright red.
        Oh dear. How sad. Never mind.

    • Andy Saunders

      Yes, I suspect he’s no idiot, but trapped between some idiots and the truth.

      • Coley

        True enough, but his ‘fence sitting’ has lost him his political ‘balls’

  • Peter G

    Backbenchers will be backbenchers… But how is it that we ever had these people as PM and Deputy PM?

    • Joe

      First ask the 50 odd % that voted for them in the first place. Then ask The LNP Parliamentary members what they were thinking went they elected them as party leaders and then as PM and Deputy PM

  • Chris Fraser

    Shut Up you neo conservative fools.

  • Phil NSW

    Though Giles only touched on the topic Bayswater and Liddell share considerable infrastructure specifically on the delivery of fuel to the stations and power to the grid. Having two competing companies share this infrastructure is not wise and then in 2022 Alinta will suddenly want a divorce trying to offload the liability of a 50 year old industrial site. Why would AGL want to loose this when they have clearly articulated they have future plans for the site and the infrastructure.
    Gee these guys (Abbott and Joyce) really think the whole game plan through don’t they! Bring on the next election!!!

    • John Saint-Smith

      Can you imagine these two clowns, Abbott and Joyce, as a professional engineer and an economist employed by AGL,* presenting this befuddled nonsense to a meeting of the Board? How long would they last? Yet we don’t get to sack them for another year!
      *Cast them as you will

  • Matthew Cole

    AGL can tell Joyce and Abbott they are fools….

    • Joe

      AGL really don’t need to say a thing. Every time Bananabee and Budgie Smuggler boy open their mouths…..

  • MaxG

    Neoliberalism at work! 🙂

    There is only a free market as long as it suits our interests; then we start crying fault and get ideas of pillaging a corporation under the guise of national security.
    One has to watch this whole thing closely as it clearly demonstrates how these neoliberal fools think deep down… now letting the real face out, and gees its it ugly.

    Be very aware that this intended behaviour applies to all what they do; privatisation; any work against the public benefit; wolf in a sheepskin — and people do not catch onto to.
    How much more dramatic to these fools have to act before people ditch them? Well, 48% of Australians vote for them… think about it! This is the root cause of the underlying problem.

    • johannes

      Bang on the mark, Max. Security (against terrorism, blackouts, foreign invasion, etc) and the supposed national interest have been the go-to reasons for all sorts of abhorrent policy-type statements from the LNP in recent years. Laughable in the extreme that the Coalisation (deliberate typo) conservatives should advocate buy-back of a power station under such a flimsy premise. Please Barnaby, let private industry do what it’s supposed to – it’s currently taking far better care of the national interest than you are.

      • Coley

        The interesting bit is that they are advocating forcibly buying out Liddell at the price offered by the Chinese and then flogging it to the Chinese!!?
        WTF is happening ‘down under’
        Or have Australian politicians decided that Australia will be better off as part of the ‘belt and road’ inititative?

        • Joe

          Love the ‘Belt and Road’ jibe!

      • Greg Hudson

        BUT… The solar and Wind industry donations to the Bananabee fund are probably not high enough to offset the FF funding 🙁

    • Joe

      If Babbott reckons AGL is acting against the national interest then let him start the prosecution action on the grounds of …..economic treason? I love watching all this. The COALition, the champions of unfettered free enterprise, going to war against AGL who are doing what capitalism is all about.

      • Gyrogordini

        The Barbbotts are so out of touch with Liberal/National party “values” that it hurts…

      • fehowarth

        Maybe it should happen. Court is one place that one is more likely to get the truth. Proving so with CFMEU allegations.

    • jeffhre

      Photo above. Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce with Prime Minister Tony Abbott. “It is a matter for individual companies to make decisions about investment options as they arise” – 25 Nov, 2013

      Well, who knew they, individual companies, would still be trying such rot as late as 2018? And in a completely different economic sector no less. What gall…

  • Stephen

    Hi, enjoyed the article but a couple of typos you might want to fix.
    – dipatchable (unless that was a joke about someone saying it wrong?)
    – at the decision buy AGL

  • solarguy

    All credit to AGL for sticking to their guns, these climate bullies in the gov deserve a damn good thrashing.

    Well punters let’s give it to them, vote them back into the stone age where they like to dwell.

  • Chris Drongers

    Seems that Joyce, and probably Kelly and Canavan, would put Australian taxpayers on the hook to subsidize Alinta’s purchase of Liddell and then to further subsidize it’s maintenance as it falls apart.

    • Joe

      Nothing that a bit of NAIF funding can’t sort out?

      • Hettie

        Ah, but Liddell ain’t anywhere near Northern Australia.

        • RobertO

          Hi Hettie, No problem, just move the line on the map so that the coal ash group can spend our tax payer’s money, simple (they can’t read anyway so if anybody tells them this is in NAIF, they would believe anyway!)

        • Joe

          Rules, Geography…mere details. Those muppets pretending to be our Government will scrap the bottom of any barrel to keep their beloved Coalers chugging along.

    • Miles Harding

      This all part of having the “adults in charge” and “sound economic management” 🙂

  • John Saint-Smith

    Giles, I’m looking forward to your demolition of Minister Frydenberg’s amazingly unhinged response to AGL’s decision. He sounds as if he has no faith in market economics, and even less understanding of the state of the electricity grid in NSW.

    • MrMauricio

      or…completely beholden to the loony right!!!

      • Steve159

        “loony right” — that there is a dictionary-worthy example of “tautology”.

        • MrMauricio

          Hahaha-yeah fair enough!!Doesnt have the alliterative ring of “loony left” either!!!

          • Hettie

            How about rabid right?

      • Hettie

        That sounds more like it.

    • Joe

      The Joshua, did he lose or what! Unhinged and demented as he gave AGL a public spray. Perhaps Joshie is still recovering from the ‘trauma’ of his Q & A with the Jones last week.

    • bedlam bay

      Fryberg like Turnbull is just pandering to his many ignorant hard right colleagues. Fryberg sees himself as a future PM and Turnbull is desperately clinging to office (not power).

      • Phil NSW

        God help us!

  • john

    The compulsory acquisition of AGL’s Liddell power plant would create a sovereign risk to any investment in Australia.
    During a war yes acquisition of property does take place.
    However in this case the company has put in place plans to replace the present plant with alternate plant which will deliver cheaper power for the company to sell.
    It may or may not be able to gain a higher margin than at present, however not having any power to sell would appear not their business outlook.
    As to these Jaacks making public announcements it just goes to show their total ignorance about this whole energy supply situation.
    As to the sovereign risk aspect this is very serious.

    • Hettie

      At least we know that there is zero sovereign risk attached to killing the Adani abomination. The contract allows for that if the case for environmental damage can be made, and that’s a no brainer.
      But to Resume AGL would indeed have all overseas investors running for cover.

    • Ian Smith

      Not if it involves the Chinese.

  • howardpatr

    Abbott and Joyce; two BS merchants, continuing to work against the nations interests.

  • david_fta

    Who’s the idiot in the photo alongside George W Bush?

    • david_fta

      My mistake, I didn’t read down to see the photo is of Barnaby Joyce and Tony Abbott. I thought one of them looked like a much older fatter GWB, that’s all.

      • mick

        totally understandable

  • MrMauricio

    The “coaltion” would have fought Edison on behalf of candle makers

    • Coley

      True, but the ‘candle makers’ had more money, (think well stuffed, brown envelopes) at that juncture-;)
      Trouble for your current crop of politicians, is that they have grown rich due to their ability to govern mining licences, this area is now in sharp decline esp,coal.
      Now they have to find an alrenative source of ‘lucre’ and wind/solar farms don’t ‘cut it’

  • JIm

    How business-friendly do the Liberals look now? Seems the ‘coal socialism’ Cori Bernardi derides, now that he can be frank in his appraisal of some ex colleagues, is still in the hunt.

  • dono

    Gosh, The decision follows intense pressure from the Coalition government to try and force AGL to sell the power station, despite the government insisting at the same time that it only ever wanted to leave the fate of the sector to the market. Perhaps privatizing of power, finance, education, aged care etc was not a good idea.

  • Mark Fowler

    “We need to grab AGL, cart them back in and say: ‘This is BS, you’re taking us for a ride, you think we’re fools’,” Joyce told reporters in Canberra.

    I think Barnaby is finally reading the mood correctly – he is a fool.

    • Chris Fraser

      He’s drinkin’ the Fool-Aid again.

    • Hettie

      We don’t think they’re fools at all.
      We know as a proven fact that they are barking mad.

  • Andy Saunders

    Given AGL is making not far off $250m per year in profit from Liddell (which would mean a fair bit more in cashflow), there’s no way on earth they’d agree to Alinta’s $250m purchase offer.

    Either way, whoever owns it will likely run it until major maintenance is absolutely required, then shut it down.

  • Ken Dyer

    Yes , Barnaby Joyce, we are taking you and your right wing knuckle dragging mates in the LNP COALition for fools, because you are fools to think that any Australian with half a brain cannot see through your stupid and prehistoric views.
    Why should anyone want to persist with old, dirty and expensive coal, when new, clean and cheap renewable energy will reduce everybody’s power bills? Answer that if you can.

    • Joe

      Even Dr Kerry Schott belled that little pussycat. And didn’t Matteo COALavan and co go into hysterics after Dr Schott told it like it is….New Coalers are Dead.

      • Coley

        The. “That woman” comment would have killed off most politicians careers, how come he is still in government?

        • Hettie

          Aah , but this is Australia, and misogyny is perfectly respectable in certain circles.

        • Joe

          Perhaps the Jones can assist Babbott & co in removing Dr Schott by…. bringing out the infamous “chaff bag”.

  • bedlam bay

    Abbott and all his fellow climate change deniers do not live in the 20th C but the 19th century. They should be called out for their mendacity and chicanery and hypocrisy. They are responsible for our far too expensive power prices. The sooner they are punted the better and they will be deservedly massacred. This is the same crowd that will ask for police ID checks at our airports which puts us well onto the road to a POLICE STATE. All the lawyers including Turnbull in the LNP should be embarrassed.

  • Radbug

    Tony Abbott says “buy Liddell at the Alinta price”! As I recall, the Federal Constitution states that the Commonwealth Government can only compulsorily purchase anything at a “fair” price. The High Court will not agree that $AU250 million is a “fair” price, which means, if it follows Abbott, the Federal Government will be buying Liddell at much, much, more than $AU250 million, and then on-selling it to Alinta at $AU250 million, incurring a massive loss on the deal. For heaven’s sake, the Turnbull government is looking more like the Maduro government with every passing day!

  • Barry Alternative Fact Covfefe

    They didn’t go nuts, they are nuts 🤦

  • Rob G

    It’s when ‘coal’ ideology trumps normal Liberal ‘free market’ ideology. Funny when they contradict each other.

    Side note: Alinta were always banking on tax payers $$ to prop this white elephant up and why not with the coal loving Libs in power?

  • Grpfast

    Abbott and Joyce continue to work for themselves (chuck in Canavan also) and the Chinese government. Lost their principles as conservatives for their own pockets.

  • Cooma Doug

    I saw Barnaby talking. It was dumb stuff. Dumber than 94 year old Prince Phillip on Saturday night on the way to the wedding.
    He said,”hey Liz, where are we going again?”

    • Hettie

      Is lip reading one of your many skills?

    • Coley

      Now that nice Mr Abbot would love you Australians to get rid of auld Lizzie and replace her with a ‘shiny republican HOS’
      If you got really lucky, you could end up with someone as universally admired as The Dunnered, oops, the Donald-;)

  • geraldf

    those two fools don’t even underdstand the commonwealths own rules re forced acquisition – and ignore the fact that even if they were to cumpulsory acquire the asset they are obliged to make it a fair offer so that the owner does not incur a reasonable loss (ie they have to offer a “tested amount”) that the owner would get in an open market. and in the case of a major capital acqusition I reckon that could only be tsted via a tender so as to get a range of responses upon at which at that stage, the commonwealth could make an offer and then have to fight it through the courts if it was a lowball. and none of that would happen within 5 years. good luck trying to prosecute that case before the high court. the process of assessing Liddels worth would add even more muck to their mugs

    apart from the fact that they can’t establish a national interest reason to acquire, I wonder how close these mopes are to skating along defamation lines. I’m betting a good legal shop would be grinning from ear to ear about their intemperate chatter. certainly that fool joyce must be borderline with his red faced rantings…

    • Hettie

      Well over the line.
      Grandiose, reckless, manic.

    • Joe

      National Interest = Coal Interest….in the minds of The COALition, The MCA, the Rupe and his newsrags.

    • Greg Hudson

      In the interim, AGL should blow the bloody thing to smithereens IMO…

  • john

    I set out why the federal government taking over a company is going to
    cause sovereign risk.
    Do any one of you know what that will do ?
    It means immediate selling of any shares and no further investment in the country.
    The representatives in Parliament have let you down however if you believe they are doing well go with it.
    Frankly the mob of jaacks are such a jock but they get lots of attention.
    WHY.
    Basically these people are idiots.
    But they resonate with the average idiot in the land down there.

  • Fabio Barone

    Loved the reference to the Aussie movie The Castle: “Tell ’em they’re dreamin’!”

    • Joe

      A Great Aussie Film that

  • bedlam bay

    We need to call out Fryberg who said that with Alinta there would be more competition and so lower power prices. Very hard to justify.

    • Glynn Palmer

      I spread-sheeted some of the cheapest electricity retailers offerings, from energymadeeasy.gov.au, with the input of my consumption and export for the last 12 months.

      Energy Australia came in with the best financial outcome followed by Alinta.

      But then I discovered that Energy Australia has not paid any Australian company tax over 3 years despite taking in $24b revenue. I rejected them on principal that I want a total package of affordable electricity and government provided support and services.

      Then I emailed Alinta requesting information on the proportion of their total electricity sent out that is sourced from renewables. I expect about 23% as per the RET. They replied with marketing information that I already had from research on their energy price fact sheet. So I assumed that they are not sourcing the RET % of renewables. I rejected them.

      • RobertO

        Hi Glynn Palmer, All companies operating in Australia under Fed /State Gov’s laws so just because they do not pay any Tax in Australia is not a good choice to just drop them from the list (our Fed Gov needs to tighten the Tax Laws and get more from big business). There may be good reasons why they are able to not pay Tax, but it’s the law that they operate under. By Law every company must aim at making a profit (even not for profit companies whom spend lots of money to avoid tax such as charity works, our school supplied a hydraulic water pump and piping to supply water to a village in New Guinea, prior to that the women walked some 300 – 800 metres distance and about 75 – 150 metre vertical height just to get water, now it’s near the centre of the village and both height and distance are halved. We also have some students from a place called Hearts Range (Central Australia) whom we fund (education and accommodation). To work out which company to choose you will need to look at the company accounts and work out how they avoid the tax.

        • Glynn Palmer

          Michaelwest.com.au analysed Energy Australia’s accounts to the best he could with the limited amount of data available.
          https://www.michaelwest.com.au/energyaustralia-nailing-energy-customers-and-taxpayers-to-boot/

          The immediate parent of the Energy Australia Holdings Limited is China Light & Power (Australia) Limited. It is a company incorporated in the British Virgin lslands, one of the Caribbean’s most secretive tax havens. The latter entity is controlled by a Hong Kong company, CLP Holdings Limited.

          EA’s strategy to avoid tax in Australia is to load up the Australian operations with debt funded by their overseas company.
          “According to the financial statements, Energy Australia made revenue of $6.3 billion last year and a profit before tax of $465 million.
          Long term debt was $3 billion, some $426.5 million went out the door in a “repayment of related party payable”, $5.8 billion was wiped out in expenses . Related party loans bobbed in at $2.8 billion.”

          If the corporation can afford to fund the Australian operation’s debt, they can afford to contribute those funds as equity and reduce the Australian company’s interest bill.

          I reserve the right to direct the profit I contribute from my electricity account to a company that will provide me with ancillary benefits, from the tax they pay, such as government provided support and services. I don’t mind paying a little extra to another company for this extravagance to support my principles.

          • RobertO

            Hi Glynn Palmer, Your 100% correct, that is not fair play according to the ATO and our Fed Gov and they (Fed Gov and ATO) need to crack down on that type of behaviour (which they are starting too). If it’s earned in Australia they should be paying their fair share of tax and tax deductions need to in Australia or for Australian reasons, not just because we can overload the Australian operation with expensives or debt.

  • Bungarra

    Interesting when one compares this discussion with the observation that Australia has very limited reserves of petroleum fuels available to cover any interruption of supply.

    “According to the latest figures, Australia has a supply of crude oil to last just 22 days, LPG for 59 days, petrol for 20 days, and aviation fuel for 19 days and diesel for 21 days.” See SMH; Fergus Hunter -7 May 2018 — 6:07pm

    The current Government has never ever read and understood anything
    of what faced this nation during WW2 when our supply lines were severely threatened.

    Who are they working for? To lose more of our nation’s independence
    because of such stupidity, if our fuel supplies are suddenly cut off does not
    look good. No fuel, no food in the cities. Especially when one also
    considers the impact of tax avoidance by many Multinationals – Apple et al
    etc. Get the recommended 90 days reserves in place and then do as much as
    we can to reduce our dependence on them.

    • Chris Fraser

      If the days in the stockpile is measured on the national fleet, perhaps the most effective way to increase the number of days is to have more of the fleet on electric energy, as it needs no processing, or transport, and is renewable every day. Too easy for them to understand.

      • Glynn Palmer

        There was a Coles grocery delivery truck over the street the other night. It was loud so I went out to have a look. The sound it made when to started off was like a loud electric motor.

        I have also noticed that Australia Post letter box delivery has changed from small petrol bikes to smaller electric bikes.

    • Ian

      Australia consumes 1.1 million barrels a day ( indexmundi) you want to store 90 days worth that is 100 million barrels of fuel = 16 000 ML a cube 250m x 250m x 250m or a lake 10m deep x1.2×1.2km on each side. If you take a large tank 20m high and 88 m diameter this can store about 120 000 m3 of oil we would need 800 of these tanks. That is Crude oil. You would need refineries to produce the required fuels. A refinery costs about 15billion dollars for a capacity of 500000barrels a day we would need two to process our emergency supply of crude. 30 billion dollars to get the 90 days fuel security. That money can buy an awful lot of electric cars, buses, trucks etc.;)

      • Hettie

        And charging points.

      • Bungarra

        Thanks Ian for the details. Yet I would still suggest that the policies of out current Govt are not designed to place the interests of the bulk of the Australian nation first, is it just looking after their mates.

        We are spending how much (?) on a yet to be operational fighter jet to defend ourselves, French submarines yet do not maintain our own industrial infrastructure. This includes the manufacture of essentials such as pharmaceuticals and pesticides. Health and food.

        We are siting on about 1/6 of the unique organisms of the Earth, and not having the infrastructure to develop useful compounds from them which then can be sold at a fairly good return. We just support the Bayer’s of the world etc and leave the profits to go O/S. Having a highly educated and innovating workforce will also ensure good jobs for my yet to be born Great Grand Kids.

        I know I sound paranoid. As a small boy Dad took me to see the Red Army march into Shanghai during the revolution after the hyperinflation and general disruption during the collapse of the Kuomintang and the paranoia induced by the imposition of Mao’s rule. That city was still messy from WW2.

        John.

      • Greg Hudson

        Did anyone notice the Vic Govt now allowing offshore exploration for Gas and Oil near Warrnambool ? Talk about two faced !

    • RobertO

      Hi Bungarra, I sent an e-mail to Andrew Broad MP 9 May 2017 about the lack of Diesel reserves and suggest a change in overall policy, if you cannot get Diesel reserves increased the find sites that you can reduce Diesel usage such as King Island (I sent the link http://www.kingislandrenewableenergy.com.au/)
      Fed Gov response “allow further loss of storage in Australia”

      • Bungarra

        On the farm my Grandfather cleared in the early 1900’s there are the remains of several charcoal Gasification units used for trucks in WW2. The Dept of Ag in WA did some work using charcoal and stubble’s etc in the late 1970’s as well. Likewise it has been estimated that a cereal farm can be basically independent using bio diesel if they are growing canola using the same % of the farm as sued for horse feed during the days of Horse power.

        However the issue is still the short term adjustments if our O/S fuel supplies are cut off until we can change. However looking at the fuel price rise this morning, that may be a bit of a wake up call.

        • Joe

          We need petrol at around $2.00 litre to get people’s minds fully focused. At the moment petrol is what $1.55 – $1.60 litre ( I’m in Dee Why, NSW ) and the punters merrily keep on driving their ICE without a second thought. And then we have over 1 million new cars ( nearly all ICE ) sold in Australia each year. Me thinks petrol pricing or fuel security hardly comes in the equation when buying a new Motor, let alone a new ICE Motor.

  • Gary Rowbottom

    What should be happening is cracking on with putting in place sufficient capacity of appropriate types of renewables and storage so the old girl won’t be missed when the life support is switched off in 5 years – and some of the people that work there can transition properly too. After all if we need to get to that goal described by Malcolm Turnbull so well where almost all our energy is produced from zero or very near zero emission sources, we aren’t going to get there by keeping coal stations operating beyond 50 years. And for crying out loud the political and media “lights will go out” BS is absolute mischief making – the task is to build the right sort of replacement emission free technologies to make these retirements relatively bumpless – that is where the focus should be – the technology needed to put those alternatives in place is there, and thankfully the commercial comparison is getting ever easier. Yallourn West looks to be the next in the NEM to reach 50 so best start planning for its phase out next.

  • John Mitchell

    Joyce was right for a change, they are a bunch of FOOLad!

  • Lloyd Ganzerla

    Stop renewables stop subsidies for solar and wind
    Coal power will help industry.
    If people want green then they can pay for it.
    The average person cant afford the crap.
    There is no argument coal is sent over seas th give other country’s cheap power.
    The greens, and get up, get out of our pockets get a real job. Unfortunately by the time people wake up, and we have mainly you people to thank for this current mess. Well have to pay some sort of compensation to revert to coal.
    AGL should be excluded from any tenders any new work

    • Chris Fraser

      Barnaby ! …. is that you ?

    • Phil NSW

      Maybe Tony?

      • Chris Fraser

        I asked both of them to get off the Fool-Aid and Shut Up hours ago. Just can’t cut through sometimes …

        • Phil NSW

          I would like to take note that 48% of Australian’s may think like Lloyd. There is a challenge for us to get them to see sense.

          • Hettie

            Is it that they think like Lloyd, or that they don’t think at all, just swallow whatever Rupert tells them?

          • Coley

            Mmm, difficult, do people think, or do they follow the path of ‘least resistance’?
            Blank out the future, live for today, leave the future for others to endure?
            We are essentialy a very ‘self centred species’
            More than worthy of extinction-;)

          • Hettie

            And yet most people will go in to bat for their children and grandchildren.
            I think it is just that they are ill informed. Brainwashed by the mind numbing crap they are fed by Murdoch and commercial TV. And now even the ABC.

      • Hettie

        Tim of Altona, perhaps.

        • Joe

          Oh Christ another Trolli has lobbed…..Lloydie the Loonie

        • Joe

          Or ‘C Wilkins’ or ‘Dee Vee’ maybe

    • ShadeNox

      Signed up to Disqus to make one comment demanding we go backwards.

      The longer we spend relying solely on coal the further behind our renewable technologies are going to get. Factor in that coal is a finite resource that we should be preparing alternatives to it while we still have it not scrambling for solutions once it runs out.

      We’re going to need this infrastructure eventually better we build it up piece by piece and improve its efficiency over time then to leave it all to your grand children last minute.

      You’re also asking us to put all our eggs in one basket. By any measure regardless of political position that is an objectively a bad idea. I’m happy to pay a bit more now for a better tomorrow for everyone. But we all have to chip in, you don’t get an exemption for being short sighted.

    • Rod

      Reading the Murdoch press really does rot your brain.

      Time to widen your horizons. But before you go just answer this simple question.
      According to Fried n Burnt, average wholesale spot prices are down 30% on the previous year.
      Why do you think the prices dropped?

    • riley222

      I’m an average person and I’ve bought a solar system. Without batteries I have reduced my leccy bill by75%. Get stuffed with your BS.

      • Hettie

        Don’t feed trolls, Ripley.

    • RobertO

      Hi Lloyd Ganzerla, remember the poor people overseas, our coal is so cheap at “$100 Free on board you Ship” so I am not sure the poor can afford our coal. Also as the world warms up, so the ice will melt and the poor will all need swimming lessons as the sea level rises (about 1 metre is about 500 million people will need to move and their mostly very poor that will be effected. The sooner we stop coal the sooner we stop sea level rising.

    • Coley

      Shss, nurse will be with you shortly,
      General question!? Is it PC to refer to these people as ‘trolls’ or trollopes?

      • RobertO

        Hi Coley Both are PC acceptable!

    • Nick Kemp

      You can’t use grammar properly yet expect to be taken seriously

  • Conservatives will bow down to renewable energy. They will kneel in dejection and beg for forgiveness. They will be dismissed and rejected, written off and discarded.

    • riley222

      I reckon they should cop a nasty whipping too, while we’re at it.

      • Hettie

        That wouldn’t be a problem.
        Bring in some camp guards from Manus Island and Nauru.

        • Nick Kemp

          Or just send them there for an indefinite period

          • Hettie

            Indeed.

      • Coley

        Nice thought, but once their ‘Brown envelopes’ from the FF industry dries up they will ‘resurface’ as renewable energy advocates.

        • Joe

          ….and maybe go work for ‘Adani Renewables’.

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  • Miles Harding

    “We need to grab AGL, cart them back in and say: ‘This is BS, you’re taking us for a ride, you think we’re fools’,” Joyce told reporters in Canberra.

    Baranaby doesn’t get it.
    We KNOW you’re a fool!

  • Lloyd Ganzerla

    Well riley222 did you get the first scheme. Because thats the only one that works.
    Except living like a hermit. As of NOW there is no cost effectiveness to install it . I just pissed the last sales men off for solar rebates. 1 the pricks lie. 2 probably your scheme and definately new schemes every body is paying for it in their electricity bill im paying to subsidise the shit. 3 people like you and your persistant BS mislead the average person to get the solar crap on, which has No benifits except financial hardship which i am commonly seeing now. Thousands regularly get their power switched off tosser, look outside the square.
    Your not helping the average aussie.
    You want to save the world, try india, USA, CHINA.
    They have cheaper power than us, why because people like you dont look beyond your nose.
    You’ll wake up one day maby ?
    friends got solar to their house, I suggested dont do it mate, the sceme just diddnt add up 6 months later, Unfortunately they regret it, their stuck on a higher rate,
    Again riley you misleading people by spriting what you cant get anymore leaves room for salesman to rip peaple.
    Every body up to date NOW says the same thing. Waste of money

    • RobertO

      Hi Lloyd Ganzerla, Remember this “The solution to polution is dilution!”
      Your 1 in 50 or so commenting on this article and you message is being diluted!
      My work is added 76 kW (testing yesterday of all system) and work are a bunch of Climate Change denigers, so why are they adding Solar. Simple maths is the reason, they will save money!
      As for coal coming back simple maths again, it never will, it is going (in some parts of the world it is already gone!).

    • Hettie

      In fact, Lloyd, the people who pay for the subsidy on rooftop solar are the people who choose to pay a bit extra for “Green Power.” The retailers are required to buy a certain amount of power from renewable sources, and although that power now costs LESS than buying from the coalers, the retailers continue to charge premium prices for it.
      By choosing not to invest in a solar system, you are cutting off your nose to spite your face.
      Typical payback period for a 5 kW system is now less than 4 years. That’s a 25% return on investment.
      Go back and do your sums again.

      • RobertO

        Hi Hettie, Lioyd Ganzeria is a coal troll, and he start his statement off with “Stop renewables stop subsidies for solar and wind Coal power will help industry”?

        One minor problem is the FIT payment is not part of subsidies for solar. It’s a state government payment for excess electricity that solar makes, and Vic has the best, while NSW has decided that they would prefer less Solar, so let’s reduce the payment.

        Solar and Wind are price takers and Coal, Gas Hydro and Batteries are price setters so over the last few years they have all been gaming the wholesale markets for pure profit. Coal will save industry is a load of cow stuff (out in the paddock).

        The ACCC looked at our power costs last year and came to the conclusion that 48% of our bills were due to the Transmissions costs. Stuff all at 16% for the renewables costs.

        Where is the subsidies for coal, try looking at the Diesel Fuel Rebate! Most coal trolls forget the $1 billion paid to mining in Australia!

        Try the ERM saga of Retailers buying the LGC,
        1 Do all you can to stop RE
        2 Pay the fine for not buying the LGC (about $150 million)
        3 Wait nearly 3 years buy the LGC for $0.00 each
        4 Pay the CEC the LGC’s and reclaim your fine (get $150 Million back)
        5 Estimated Profit from this saga $45 million

        • Hettie

          Well aware of all that, Roberto.
          Just couldn’t help myself.
          Had to try to educate the poor deluded twit.

          • RobertO

            Hi Hettie, Sorry Hettie, but I was making sure the coal troll new how stupid he was.

          • Hettie

            All good.

      • Lloyd Ganzerla

        The sums are often sent to me by salesman. And i have had the jack of the lying pricks, Now the whole renewable deal, I have elec licence, i can put the crap in and the rest of the shit not mentioned ie vac tubed solar heating. Dosnt pay. I see seven to a dozen new people every day. once a fortnight on average people ask me if their appliance i work on is drawing excessive power. NO most often power consumption is same as last quarter their being screwed by the supplier. Its heart wrenching to see families children struggling, Heart wrenching is an understatement. Are you and other readers crowing its all good. which is what salesmen use to sell the renewable shit. How many people have you influenced and unknowingly helped fool. You need to think about your own actions. You probably honestly dont care i suspect. I do put my hand in my pocket for people every week. Becareful about answering that one sunshine because i have the cards and texts and gifts to at least prove it. Open your eyes to reality we sell our coal overseas to people that burn it and get cheaper power. Dont try to save the planet at other peoples expence, were subsidising renewable shit to the tune of billions. While the coal is still sent elsewhere and they get cheaper power. Dont write Excuses or crap or just Shut your mouth if your going to help con people. its TOO expensive. We need cheap power for manufacturing and jobs. And if you dont want jobs or manufacturing shut your mouth, because other aussies do. The average Aussie cant afford this. You need to. no doubt re acess your own actions 7 to 9cents back into grid is whats available locally. Where the hell is that going to get people. Except more dept. Are you on some sort of different planet with a few buddies. What you have written indicates to me your field of view is very narrow.
        If your a retired worker or office jockey with 80 thousand plus wage piss off dont answer.
        Because the average aussie dosnt get that.
        Yes there is great alternative power solutions. HEAPS of choices.
        but slamming australian families with ongoing extra power problems.
        Ps the wanker that has a problem with my spelling, tough your still a wanker and i doubt many people take you seriously at all, if you take that in its a step forward.
        The minimum about myself
        We are trades people
        Hundreds of people thank my partner and myself every year.
        We dont advertise.
        We dont have a lot of money, we have enough.
        We dont charge as much as we should,
        We take account of individual circumstances,
        We dont necessarily charge at all.
        But we sleep at night.

    • Rod

      There are people in this World who are self reliant and there are people who are leaners and expect everything handed to them on a plate and spend their life blaming others. It is pretty obvious in which cohort you fit.
      As for solar not being cost effective. I haven’t had a bill for 10 Years and get over a grand cash credit every year from a piddling 2.5kW array.
      I don’t live like a hermit but I do use my intelligence to minimise my need for energy. See point one.

    • Glynn Palmer

      Thanks for your non-informed rant. “You want to save the world, try india, USA, CHINA. They have cheaper power than us”

      Maybe, but Adani’s 4.6Gw super critical Mundra coal power station in India commissioned in 2012/13 closed in February because it is financially unviable.
      “The Mundra power plant, which operates on imported coal, was the planned destination for the spoils from the Carmichael project. After Mundra fell into financial trouble, Adani attempted unsuccessfully to sell the plant. It has not operated since February.”
      “Renewables are gathering pace in India. The Gujarat government announced last week it would build the world’s largest solar project, a 5000MW solar park that would be sufficient to replace the state’s lost power from Mundra.”
      So new build coal is being shut down and replaced by renewables in India.
      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/07/adani-coal-losses-prompt-mining-company-to-shift-from-imported-coal

      The same could be happening in the US and China but I’m not going to search for references.

      BNEF New Energy Outlook 2017 forecasts Consumer-driven PV becomes a significant part of the power sector. By 2040, rooftop PV will account for as much as 24% of electricity generation in Australia, 20% in Brazil, 15%
      in Germany, 12% in Japan, and 5% in the U.S. and India.

      So if you haven’t got PV yet there is a very high probability that you will have it by 2040.

      Lloyd, please now go and look for references to support your argument that coal will continue to electrify the world.

    • Nick Kemp

      This comment seems a little off topic. Did you read the article or just suddenly have a brain fart and feel the need to urgently inform us of your ignorance

  • Coley

    Just how much of Australia do the ‘Monash lot’ want to flog to China?
    Whatever passes for ‘parliamentary oversight’ in Australia needs to take a cold hard look at who is financing Abbot & Co, and the Monash group.

    • RobertO

      Hi Coley I am not sure that any one is financing Babbott (RWNJ’s or Coal Ash Group). I suspect that it’s about destabilising the current Fed Gov so I can be opposition leader after the next election (my party will chose me to lead after 2toungs loses the next election and I will be working with pauline to make sure we get her votes to wreck anything that the other party want to do (it’s more important to be destructive than constructive) in Australia. God will make it so! Look at Trump whom I worship (babbott is a massive supporter) he has ordered Coal to be revitalised (and stuff the costs because he a leader I worship).

      • Glynn Palmer

        Tony Abbott is an accomplished opposition leader. He even performed as a good opposition leader when he was Prime Minister. He was hopeless at governing, but he did an excellent job of demolishing the progressive climate legislation that Labor had installed.

        • RobertO

          Hi Glynn Palmer, Australians lost when babbott became leader of the COALition. Up till then both major parties had an agreement that if it was good for Australia then it would be passed into law. They may not have like it but it was not stopped, until babbott made the decision that he was against anything (Petre Credlin was claiming she was responsable for this change in babbott when she point out that it was his job to stop anything that Labour wanted). Wrecking is more important to babbott that good governence is!

        • fehowarth

          What did Abbott stop Gillard or Rudd from doing, except with help of Greens prevented an appropriated refugee policy in place leading to many deaths. It was Rudd that brought Gillard down, not Abbott. Gillard supplied good governance for full term. 20 million slush fund of the mining mob did hinder bringing MRRT when needed. Boom was over before she succeeded.

          Abbott had to work hard & long to undo all she achieved. Sadly not to the benefit of Australian people.

  • Nick Kemp

    And these people call the sovereign risk card on ALP for Suggesting they may not allow a coal mine then try to convince us big business needs a tax cut to invest here then say if they do the government may snatch their assets if they don’t dance to the right tune.

    So they don’t understand the true meaning of sovereign risk OR how real business measures risk.

    • Hettie

      Yep. Playing the people for fools.
      Some indeed are fools, but a great many are not. 78% in a recent poll want serious action on climate change. Most everyone wants lower power prices.
      A concentrated public education program showing that renewables does both is sorely needed.
      And also one about sovereign risk.
      Most people are quite smart enough to understand when things are spelled out clearly.

  • Ken Dyer

    The discussion paper, ‘Timing is everything: Liddell Power Station’s record of breaking down when it is needed most’ accessible through the following link just shows how ill informed and egregious the Monash Forum members actually are, and how hanging onto Liddell just embeds old, dirty coal at the expense of new, clean and cheap renewable energy.

    http://apo.org.au/node/172631

    • fehowarth

      Even the workers want it closed. They like the deal AGL is giving them.

  • Phil NSW

    The attached article from the ABC cast the Liddell power station and other coal fired power stations in NSW in a poor light. Why should we as a community want an ageing dirty clunker like Liddell kept open when just for environmental reasons let alone economic reasons it should be shut as soon as possible. Bring these people like Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce to bear for their reckless behaviour and wanting to inflict un-neccesary harm on the people of Australia.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-22/liddell-toxic-gas-emissions/9785688?section=business

  • Chris Jones

    It strikes me that the Coal Ash forum are nuttier than ever. Whoever would have thought those clowns were socialist as well.

    At least they are consistent on one policy: Privatize the profits and socialize the losses (a.k.a. “Lemon socialism”)

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  • RobertO

    Hi All It looks like Qld has lost out as the number one place we need a new coal power station, I suspect that the Liddell site will become the target for the new High Emission Low Energy coal power station need by the coal ash group (RWNJ’s or babbott and co-conspirators), and it must be tax payers money spent on so we can give it away (preferably with a long term coal contract) so that us taxpayer can keep profitable for the new private owners (Vales Point rings a bell). The NEG will ensure profitability also.

  • Lloyd Ganzerla

    Hi rod
    Im guessing you dont have kids, your self centred its all good for me attitude makes that apparent.
    Good on ya. Your ok rod. Ill leave it at that, just put yourself in that list you mentioned and you might learn something. Also try to show some humanity towards Aussie families its not so hard.
    i can install renewables, unless you have a electrical trade lisence, which i have and exceptionally good at it, which i am, your a know all know nothing.
    Your reply implies all aussies are dumb i certainly dont think so. We have beautiful families in Australia, I meet and help many new families every week.
    The subsidised renewable BS has to stop the average Aussie family can do without the extra financial burden.

  • William Smidt

    Kakistocracy
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Kakistocracy
    is derived from the Greek kakistos, the superlative of kakos (κακός)
    meaning bad. The word literally means “government by the worst elements
    of society.” It can refer to any system of management controlled by the
    least competent, least qualified, most unreliable, or the most evil
    members of a society.
    Kakistocracy is not used to describe
    governments run by persons whose primary motivation is graft—the word
    for that is kleptocracy. However, the two are not entirely mutually
    exclusive, as it is possible to be both bad and greedy.

    • Hettie

      Difficult to be one without also being the other, I would have said.
      Bad certainly encompasses greedy, and greed, one of the seven deadly sins, is by definition bad.