Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Govt To Amend RET Bill

Kevin Rudd has agreed to amend the Renewable Energy Target (RET) Bill, after making an agreement with the Opposition. The Bill will force electricity suppliers to source 20% of the ir energy from "renewable" energy sources. Users will pay a higher price for electricity, but it will help reduce the amount, or the exponential growth in the amount, of greenhouse gases by us Australians.

Some of the changes include:
  • the Bill will be introduced on its own. It was initially coupled with the Emissions Trading Scheme Bill (ETS), which was voted down by the Opposition, and small-party/independent climate-change 'sceptics'.
  • the use of 'waste' methane from coal mines to generate electricity will be counted as 'renewable'! While the term is debatable, it is better to use the methane this way (and generate CO2 ) than allow the methane to simply escape into the atmosphere. Methane is much worse as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
  • more compensation for large energy polluters, such as the aluminium industry. Householders will pay more to offset the higher compensation.
Opposition spokesman on the Environment, Greg Hunt, called the described the changes (including the need for householders to pay more) "a victory for common sense". That fits with the Coalition's manifesto that business, particularly big businesses, come before householders.

Not included, but on Barnaby Joyce's (National Party leader in the Senate) wish list are nuclear power stations. Presumably he knows they need lots of cooling water, and will be happy to have them 'liberally' located along Queensland's coast. Queensland is his home state and the state whose constitutional interests he is supposed to represent. I just wonder if his National Party voters want them in their backyard. I wonder if any Queenslanders want nuclear power stations in their backyard.