The first few weeks of the Donald Trump administration have been extraordinary, and quite frightening — not just because of the incompetence of a president who appears to be little more than a self-obsessed idiot, but also by the actions of the dangerous ideologues at the helm of the world’s biggest economy and military power.
Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison pulled out a lump of coal in parliament on February 9 and launched a rant in which he accused the opposition of “coal-o-phobia” and regurgitated PM Malcolm Turnbull's outrageous National Press Club speech urging more coal-fired power stations be built.
Morrison went wild while behind him other Liberals and Nationals joined in a pantomime by passing the lump of coal to each other.
Speculation is increasing that the federal government will lend mining giant Adani half the $2.2 billion cost of a rail line to take coal from the proposed Carmichael coalmine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin to the Abbot Point coal terminal.
The money is likely to come from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility. The $5 billion infrastructure fund has granted preliminary approval for the subsidy.
A Senate inquiry has recommended the closure of all 24 coal-fired power stations in Australia over the next 10 years and the creation of a comprehensive energy transition plan to help with the ordered closure of the plants.
The Retirement of Coal Fired power Stations Inquiry report, which was tabled in the Senate on November 28, made four recommendations:
AGL CEO Andrew Vesey likes to paint himself as a sort of “greenie” who is shifting the company in the right direction in these “carbon constrained” times.
As AGL announced a $400 million loss on August 10, anti-gas protesters assembled outside its headquarters to demand it close its Camden coal seam gas (CSG) project in south-west Sydney.
AGL, which largely invests in coal, has been producing gas in the Macarthur region since 2009, taking over from Sydney Gas Limited, which started in Camden in 2001 and expanded south east in 2004.
A year after Pope Francis called for action to protect the environment, four Australian Catholic organisations have announced they are completely divesting from coal, oil and gas in what they say is the first joint Catholic divestment in the world.
The move comes as prominent religious leaders call on the government to protect the Great Barrier Reef, stop approving coalmines and remove subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.
As a First Nations activist I’ll be joining the harbour blockade on May 8.
Newcastle’s beautiful harbour is a fitting place to take a stand against coal exports and environmental destruction.
People hunger for a different world based on cooperation and treating the land with respect, values at the heart of all First Nations cultures.
The violation of these values is illustrated by the failure of Hunter-based coal companies to sign land use agreements with the traditional owners.
As a First Nations activist I'll be joining the harbour blockade on May 8.
What do politicians do after leaving parliament to earn a few more dollars? They go and work for gas and coal companies.
• Former Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson became chair of Eastern Star Gas — the company behind the Narrabri Gas Project now owned by Santos — about 2 years after leaving politics.
• Former National's leader and Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile became a director and then chair of Whitehaven coal.
Key Liberal and National party electorates support a switch to 100% renewables by 2030 and a global moratorium on new coalmines, according to new ReachTEL polling commissioned by The Australia Institute.
A moratorium on new coalmines received between 50% and 57% support by voters in the seats of Dickson, held by Peter Dutton; New England, held by Barnaby Joyce; Warringa, held by Tony Abbott; and Page, held by Kevin Hogan.