Coal and nuclear lackey Abbott may have a hard time scrapping Renewable Energy Target

Abbott praises coal, gas, dog-whistles to nuclear lobby REneweconmy, By  on 11 August 2014 Prime Minister Tony Abbott has re-iterated his government’s intention to exploit the country’s coal and gas reserves as fast as it can, and has also raised nuclear as a potential significant energy source for Australia.

In a speech to the Australian Industry Group last week – delivered ahead of a report that will likely decide the fate of the renewable energy industry in Australia – Abbott said the country had plenty of coal and gas and “should make the most of them” – notwithstanding the climate change and other environmental issues

Abbott-destroys-renewables“We have massive reserves of coal, massive reserves of gas; let’s make the most of them,” he told the audience (which, ironically, is the business group that has openly supported the current renewable energy target).

Abbott was particularly effusive in his praise of Environment Minister Greg Hunt, whom he said had swept through approvals for projects worth more than $800 billion. And he couldn’t resist the temptation to raise the prospect of nuclear energy as the government’s preferred choice of fuel into the future.

The address by Abbott once again speaks to the grim determination by the Coalition governments – both at federal and state level – to extract every tonne of coal, and “every molecule of gas” before the window on the proliferation of fossil fuel closes – both as a result of climate concerns and the emergence of cheaper, clean technologies.

It also confirms that Abbott, as we have suggested on many occasions – and most recently in this article: It’s time for Abbott to dump nuclear ambitions – is guided by advisors who believe the only option for Australia is to pursue nuclear energy.

Most of his senior business advisors dislike renewables and are supporters of nuclear, most notably the man tasked with the renewable energy target review, Dick Warburton.………

It is almost certain that the government will announced significant changes to the RET, something that Abbott himself suggested in the speech was inevitable – despite the fact that the government has not yet (officially at least) received a report from the RET Review Panel.

“While energy reform also involves repealing the carbon tax and some work with the Renewable Energy Target, it doesn’t end there either,” he told the audience.

Abbott may well want all the coal, and all the gas, extracted as quick as he can, but he and others are facing a major problem – the ability to attract finance for the massive pieces of infrastructure that are required to deliver these products to market……..


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