Keep it clean: Pollies telling climate crackers

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A wrap of the week’s political debate on climate and clean energy, featuring John Madigan, Joe Hockey, Angus Taylor, and a gratuitous Titanic gag.

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It’s been a windy old week in clean energy and climate politics, typified by the unsuccessful bid of Senators John Madigan (DLP) and Nick Xenophon (Ind.) to reprise their parliamentary bill aimed at restricting Australian wind farm development until someone, somewhere, can find someone to scientifically substantiate claims that infrasonic noise from turbines is making people sick. Meanwhile, the Coalition continued to present itself as being all over the park on its own climate and clean energy policy, and Greg Combet continued to make the most of the Coalition’s intra-party contradictions. And then there was Clive Palmer…

Wind turbine syndrome

“All I want is for there to be independent, eminent …research done in Australia …to see how we reach a conclusion (on wind farm noise and its impact on peoples’ health). But even when we do reach a conclusion, (to ensure) that we haven’t closed our minds to new research that may be introduced.” – DLP Senator John Madigan during Thursday’s Upper House debate on his and Nick Xenaphon’s private member’s bill on excessive wind farm noise

“I find it ironic …that we have an industry in this country …that is not subject to the same requirements that any other industry in this country are subject to.  …Many wind farms are operating without having been given a certificate of compliance. …The checks and balances seem to have been pushed aside to start the lucrative flow of RECs.” – Senator Madigan

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– a Tweet, on Thursday, from Australian Greens Senator Richard di Natale

“I’m open minded. I have seen nothing that indicates to me that (wind turbines) cause a health impact but at the same time the level of complaints and the style of the complaints …says to me that we need to have a look at it.” – Opposition energy spokesman Ian Macfarlane

Carbon pricing and compensation

“We have allocated funds under our Direct Action to deal with (carbon pricing) initiatives that have been under way. If there are individual businesses that will be affected we will deal with them on a case by case basis.” – Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey in Tasmania on Monday, addressing a question about the affect of repealing the carbon price on companies like Hydro Tasmania, who have benefited from the policy

“There are numerous companies, investors and shareholders that would be worse off under the Coalition’s policy, including renewable energy companies and their financiers. Compensation claims would be massive.” – Federal climate minister Greg Combet in Adelaide on Monday

“For Joe Hockey to suggest the Coalition would compensate companies for lost income and stranded assets resulting from a repeal of carbon pricing is laughable. It shows he has little comprehension of the way market-based policies actually work.” – Australian Greens leader Christine Milne

”The Coalition will not be paying compensation for repeal of the carbon tax.” – Shadow Treasurer Hockey clarifying his party’s carbon policy position

“How is it that when in Tasmania, where the Hydro earns $70 million a year thanks to the clean energy package, Joe Hockey is keen on compensation, but once he leaves the state the backflip comes into play?” – Christine Milne

“Money flowing to Hydro Tasmania from the price on carbon is a significant boost to Tasmania’s budget which helps pay for hospitals, schools and police.” – Tasmanian deputy Premier, Bryan Green

“There are some businesses that are taking advantage of the carbon tax and there’s nothing wrong with that. …But instead of a carbon tax, we’re going to have some incentives available for our emissions reduction fund and businesses that are contributing to reducing emissions can certainly apply to the emissions reduction fund to benefit from that.” – Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott

“The Liberal Party’s policy on climate change is a joke, it’s a farce, it’s a subsidies-for-polluters proposition.” – Greg Combet

The Renewable Energy Target

“If we want to have a manufacturing sector in Australia, we have to dump the carbon tax and abolish the RET. The whole of the National Party agrees with me, although we haven’t got a formal policy on it yet, and I suspect many Liberals do also,” – Senator Ron Boswell, talking to SMH.

“We can be committed to keeping the RET and also committed to restructuring the RET. The RET is an expensive way of reducing emissions, and a restructuring of the RET that takes some of that tension away will save money and achieve exactly the same emissions reductions.” – Angus Taylor, a Liberal candidate for the seat of Hume in NSW, in an interview with the AFR on Tuesday

“We support the RET. I am not sure Angus does.” – Ian Macfarlane

“I respect the work and its intentions. We will be abolishing the carbon tax… we are committed to the next review of the RET  …. we will want to see where energy consumption is heading in 2014,” – Opposition climate spokesman Greg Hunt

“The idea that Australia offers the cheapest sources of abatement is bizarre. There are many cheaper sources of abatement in other countries. We would be mad not to be looking at that as part of a restructure of the RET.” – Angus Taylor possibly recommending a large hydro project in PNG.

Tony Abbott’s Green Army

“The (Coalition’s) proposed green army project for Lime Kiln Bay will improve water quality and pollutant traps alongside the bay. Under the scheme, we will have a team of 10 young Australians taking part in practical environmental jobs such as cleaning up the area, revegetation and general maintenance.” – The Liberal candidate for Banks, David Coleman, in the St George and Sutherland Shire Leader

And then Clive Palmer said…

“One of the benefits of global warming has been there isn’t so many icebergs in the north Atlantic these days.” – The mining magnate talking this week about Titanic II, the near-exact replica of the original, ill-fated, “unsinkable” cruise liner that he is building in a Chinese shipyard. Perhaps he hasn’t heard of the increase in ice calving.

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1 Comment
  1. Chris Fraser 7 years ago

    Senator Boswell you absolutely make me Laugh …

    “If we want to have a manufacturing sector in Australia, we have to dump the carbon tax and abolish the RET. The whole of the National Party agrees with me, although we haven’t got a formal policy on it yet, and I suspect many Liberals do also,” (attributed to Boswell)

    I’m just so relieved you consulted with all the necessary stakeholders. Cheers.

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