Below is our first edition of Keep it Clean – a weekly look at the political chatter around and about renewable energy and climate change, in the lead up to the election. This week: Barnaby vents some wind energy angst; Malcolm tweets; Hunt toes the party line; and Windsor looks beyond the fray.
“What is this insane lemming-like desire to go to renewables going to do to our economy? …I am looking forward to the campaign where we say wherever you put in a Labor, Green or Independent candidate, there you will get wind farms. …You get wind farms in your backyard. This is the party of wind farms. There is a wind farm coming next to you because people just love wind farms…
“They want renewables. Why don’t they talk about hydro? No, they do not like dams. Dams are evil, wind farms are good. What about solar? …These things are just not going to happen… Christine Milne has said that she wants us to go to 100 per cent renewables – 100 per cent. This is absolute lunacy but this is the policy of the government. It goes hand in glove with the carbon tax.”
“I had an examination of the climate over Christmas because the carbon tax is in now. Everything should be better. But the climate is around about where we left it… so what is the purpose of us all being ripped off by this basically gross encumbrance on the cost of living of every Australian family? What has happened? Isn’t it all supposed to be better now, because you have your carbon tax?” – Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce in Parliament on Wednesday.
“I do not know what Australians must think when they hear people from the conservative side of politics continuing to ridicule the science of global warming. …The people who are suffering as a result of Cyclone Yasi and from the previous floods and those this year must be wondering when it is going to actually dawn on the coalition in Australia that not only are they jeopardising this generation and all future generations because of their determined ignorance on climate change but also they are denying Australia competitiveness in renewable energy.” – Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne in response to Barnaby Joyce’s above comments.
– Shadow communications minister Malcolm Turnbull tweeting about the Bloomberg New Energy Finance report stating that renewable energy is now cheaper than new-build coal and gas in Australia.
”We believe that it is literally shovelling billions out the door and we believe that the government should stop trawling for dodgy programs behind the scenes to shovel taxpayers’ money out the door in a last ditch roll of taxpayer money.” – Opposition climate spokesman Greg Hunt, on his party’s opinion of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
“This is an example of how dangerous the coalition would be in government.” – Milne on the Coalition’s bid to stop the CEFC investing funds ahead of the election.
“We support good policies on this side of the chamber that can deliver for Australia’s growth and the uptake of renewable energy. That is why we oppose the carbon tax. …The carbon tax just taxes things and hopes that the market will respond, and in many ways it would have to be far, far higher than it already is to see the closing down of major coal-fired power stations.” – Simon Birmingham (SA, Liberal Party, shadow parliamentary secretary for the Murray Darling Basin), in Parliament on Wednesday.
“That is how you get better than baseload solar plants that can run around the clock. It changes absolutely everything. It certainly should change …the determined, unhinged, pig ignorance of people like Senator Barnaby Joyce… That a senior policymaker in 2013 can still hold and express views like that is dangerous. And, it is a leadership example set by his leader, Tony Abbott. …Crossing the road with a blindfold on is dangerous.” – WA Greens senator Scott Ludlam in Parliament on Wednesday, in repsonse to Joyce’s above comments.
“I think it’s regrettable that some of the language that was used in relation to the climate change issues, and the fear that was put out there in the electorate about the world was going to collapse and that the price of this was going to go through the roof…
“Tony Abbott may wind (the carbon tax) back… Whatever happens happens, but what IS happening on the ground is that significant business cases are developing on the back of clean energy, irrespective of whether there’s a carbon tax or not, because you’ve got electricity prices rising outside of any impact from the carbon tax.” – Independent MP Tony Windsor speaking on ABC Radio National, after 2013 the election date was announced.