On the weekend it emerged that Treasurer Joe Hockey and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann had drafted a letter to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, telling the $10 billion “green bank” to stop investing in wind power.
However, Vorrath gave prize for best and most impassioned Senate speech in defence of the CEFC to WA Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, who repeatedly pointed out the lack of Coalition Senate representatives to argue their side of the debate. I’ve republished here her selection of highlights in plain text rather than italics. Continue reading Saving the CEFC→
The article refers to an article (by Laura Tingle) in the AFR. Apparently my $3 per day subscription doesn’t entitle me to see the article online – the first time I’ve encountered this problem.
In the dead tree version we are told that the CEFC is making 7% on funds invested, as against their benchmark of 3%, being the five-year bond rate. Other than being a good Labor idea, I think the Government’s objection may be that the CEFC adds to gross debt. The fact that it adds nothing to net debt is apparently irrelevant.
The dividend stream more than covers the cost of administration. The Direct Action alternative is to pay public servants to hand out taxpayers’ money without a return.
Each dollar spent by the CEFC leverages $2.90 in private capital expenditure. So far over $500 has been spent leveraging $1.55 billion of private capital investment.
Apparently the CEFC operates in a niche that would not happen without it.
It has been able to do deals that are too small, too complicated, or not previously done in Australia. In other words, deals that bankers can’t get past their own credit committees which prefer easier propositions.
Perhaps the CEFC’s real crime is to offend Big Coal.
On Thursday the Abbott government took four actions on climate change. First, Greg Hunt phoned Tim Flannery, letter to follow, that the Climate Commission was to cease operation. We can take for granted that money was not the problem. Five million over four years in a $400 billion pa budget is not even small change.
“We will be a problem-solving government based on values, not ideology,” the new Prime Minister added.
So what problem were they solving? Too much information on climate change? Is information from independent scientific sources too inconvenient? We are told that the information we need will be prepared by the public service in the future, where there will no longer be a dedicated department for climate change.
Lenore Taylor thinks the sacking of senior public servants smacks of ideology, not values. She says two of them, Martin Parkinson and Blair Comley, appear to have been punished because of their roles in implementing the former government’s policy on climate change.
The other three actions require legislation – getting rid of the ‘carbon tax’, shutting down the Climate Change Authority and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. So all the Government can do now is commence preparing legislation. Continue reading Abbott’s direct action on climate→
I’m not planning to do posts on the upcoming election apart from link posts if I see anything interesting and/or important. The post on the Murdoch’s intervention started out as a link post, but then I warmed to the task. While this space is open I’d like to explore a theme that came from a comment in reaction to the LNP ‘solution’ to the asylum seeker ‘problem’. I can’t find it now, but someone asked, “What have we become?”
The task is ambitious and I’m not academically equipped for it. I’m not speaking as a philosopher or a sociologist, just “someone who is trying to sort out his ideas”, so the results may be modest. Some of the posts may not appear to be directly on the topic, but I hope all will fit together in the long run.
Meanwhile I’ll try to keep some information flowing on climate change. Both these projects may be of more use than any contribution I can make to an election here in Oz. This time CC will be free flow rather than numbered items, to save time. I’ll use bold to identify the topics.
Arctic ice is losing its reflective sheen. We all know that ice reflects more incoming radiation from the sun than does open water. Now by analysing 30 years of satellite data scientists have found that albedo of the ice itself at the end of the summer is about 15% weaker today than it was 30 years ago.
The cause of the darkening is
partly due to thinning ice and the formation of open water fissures, and partly because in the warmer air, ponds of liquid water form on the surface of the ice. The shallow ponds on the ice can dramatically reduce reflectivity and increase the amount of solar radiation that the ice absorbs.
Frustration at the nonsense purveyed on Madonna King’s program inspired me to send her an email, stating the main features of the Clean Energy Future (CEF) package in three simple points. In this post I give an expanded version so you can check and let me know if I’ve got it right. The scheme does seem to me to have an elegant simplicity about it together with a flexibility that bespeaks careful design.
First, the government is selling permits to pollute, not imposing a tax. About 500 of the biggest polluters will have to buy permits to dump their waste carbon into the atmosphere. Annabel Crabb quotes Gillard as saying:
“Around 500 big polluters will pay for every tonne of carbon pollution THEY put into OUR atmosphere.”
As Crabb says:
WE are getting those polluters to pay for what THEY do to US.