Labor betrays workers AGAIN to team up with the inner-city Greens and vote against coal and gas industries
- Senate has voted against government funding of clean oil and coal technology
- Australian Renewable Energy Agency founded in 2012 to boost renewable power
- Energy Minister Angus Taylor wanted to expand agency beyond solar and wind
- Critics argued move would water-down Australia’s green energy commitments
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency won’t be allowed to invest in clean technology for the coal and gas industries after Labor and the Greens teamed up to defeat the changes in the Senate.
Energy Minister Angus Taylor wanted to permit the agency to explore a broader range of environmentally friendly projects beyond solar and wind such as ‘clean’ hydrogen power, low-emissions cars, and carbon capture and storage.
The LNP government had expected to block the challenge against expanding ARENA’s responsibilities with two One Nation votes but leader Pauline Hanson abstained, which some have put down to her dislike of gas companies.
A plan to for the Australian government to invest in green technology for the coal and gas industries has been knocked back in the Senate on Tuesday (file image)
Energy Minister Angus Taylor (pictured) said the move would reduce carbon pollution and support jobs
‘Labor have shown their true colours – opposing investment in new clean technologies which will create jobs and economic opportunities,’ Mr Taylor tweeted after the vote on Tuesday.
However, Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen responded saying the changes would have weakened the purpose of the agency.
‘We’ve opposed and defeated your efforts to waterdown ARENA’s commitment to renewables and give yourself the power to determine what a ‘low emissions technology’ is,’ he tweeted.
Mr Taylor had argued the the agency investing in clean tech for the coal and gas industries would reduced emissions while keeping the jobs and revenue they generated.
However, critics of the changes said the agency was establish to help shift away from fossil fuels, not support the industry.
‘There is no such thing as clean coal, and gas is not a low-emissions technology,’ Clean Energy Council CEO Kane Thornton said.
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson abstained from the vote which some crossbench Senators attributed to her issues with gas companies.
‘Pauline Hanson was not accidentally not there,’ said one Liberal.
In December 2020, Ms Hanson released a statement saying that while Australia is the biggest exporter of natural gas in the world we see very little revenue because of weak laws.
‘Clever corporate lawyers have locked up our reserves for the likes of Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, and ConocoPhillips,’ Ms Hanson said.
The government thought they has the support of One Nation leader Pauline Hanson (pictured) but she abstained from voting which some said was because of her dislike for multi-national gas companies
‘Gas sourced from our own natural reserves is now sold more cheaply overseas than we can buy. Australian gas provides China with 10% of its total energy.’
According to the ATO, oil and gas giants have racked up $324billion in tax credits from the government.
ARENA was established in 2012 with the support of the LNP, Greens and the then governing Labor Party to increase Australia’s renewable energy projects.
The changes would have been implemented as regulations put forward by the Energy Minister rather than changes to ARENA’s founding law.
Senate committee chair, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells wrote to Mr Taylor before the vote questioning whether the agency legally could be used to fund anything but strictly renewable industries.
‘The committee therefore requests your advice as to why it is considered necessary and appropriate to use delegated legislation, rather than primary legislation, to expand the remit of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency to include non-renewable energy technologies,’ she wrote.
The changes would have allowed the government to fund projects to capture and store carbon produced in coal mining power stations (file image)
The Minerals Council of Australia said the amendment being voted down was a blow to the Australian economy.
‘All technologies should be considered to meet the twin challenges of lowering greenhouse gas emissions while meeting increasing demand for Australian resources,’ they said.
The group said resources were key for Australia’s recovery after 2020 lockdowns.
‘Australia’s resources exports – including minerals, metals and energy commodities – last year generated $270 billion in export revenue for the economy and accounted for 62 per cent of total export revenue’.