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Issue #1903      February 17, 2020

SA’s Liberal Government: An Embarrassment to the Morrison Government

It will go down in history as one of the biggest backflips by the Liberal party in South Australia. In opposition, when Labor was closing the only coal-fired power station at Port Augusta, the Liberals were advocating the state government throw taxpayer’s money into keeping it open for at least another year or two.

The Liberal Backflip

The South Australian government has kept its ear to the ground and knows how to be opportunists when it comes to bums on seats in state parliament. The government has set an ambitious target to reduce greenhouse carbon emissions following the devastating bushfires, their target has almost doubled the Morrison government’s 26-28 per cent and have set a target of fifty per cent of 2005 levels. It’s the highest ten-year target of any state.

The plan to halve emissions by 2030 will involve a strategy to get more electric vehicles on SA roads which will turbocharge its plans for net zero emissions by 2050. The state environment minister Speirs said this will force a range of strategies and tactics to ensure the goal is met. Among these will be hydrogen and electric vehicles. There also will be the vital challenges of ensuring stability and security of the electricity grid.

South Australia has a large amount of renewable energy in solar and wind generation. This latest backflip will put further pressure onto the Morrison government which is dominated by the ultra-right competing with One Nation for votes.

Clean coal: A Political Myth

Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) also called carbon capture and storage, is the process of trapping carbon dioxide from power plant during or after burning of hydrocarbons like coal and then storing it permanently, usually underground.

It’s a technically challenging and expensive process – especially problematic in an era of cheap renewable energy. The coal industry has touted “clean coal” as a long-term saviour of the industry in a carbon-constrained world. CCS is neither “practical nor economical” and coal has no future.

Morrison’s coalition government’s allocation of $4 million on a feasibility study into a new coal fired power station is wasted capital on coal-fired power stations and would be better spent on sustainable carbon-free sources from the start. This is precisely what more and more countries have started to do including China.

Next article – Grill’d Unhealthy Wages

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