9 February 2015
Greens Party confirms its status as energy policy fringe-dweller
The Greens Party has again confirmed its determination to occupy the outer fringes of the national economic and energy debate.
Yesterday, the NSW Greens launched a new policy position, calling for coal exports to end in five years and existing mines to be phased out.
In effect, the Greens Party supports the destruction of Australia’s second largest export industry, apparently blissfully ignorant of the economic and social consequences.
Its policy to phase out the mining and export of coal within five years, if applied nationally, would cost hundreds of thousands of jobs, slash national economic growth and reduce living standards including by sending electricity prices soaring.
It would also wreck Australia’s reputation as a reliable supplier of goods and services to our international customers. For example, Australia provides 60 per cent of Japan’s thermal coal needs, providing reliable, affordable energy for millions of Japanese households and industry. The collateral damage to other Australia’s export industries is incalculable.
The Greens position also seems to overlook the fact that coking coal is an essential ingredient in the manufacture of steel. It is not possible to manufacture a wind turbine without coal. In fact every wind turbine contains 250 tonnes of coking coal.
The national Greens Party should immediately disassociate itself from the NSW branch policy stance or surrender whatever skerrick of economic credibility it retains.