Tony Abbott, in his talk at the Australian Industry Group, made it clear how he considers the energy future of the country. “I would like us to be one of the world’s affordable energy capitals,” he said.
“We have an abundance of coal; we have an abundance of gas. Let’s make the most of this natural advantage. He concluded his speech by saying: “But right now, we have massive reserves of coal, massive reserves of gas. Let’s make the most of them.”
Tony Abbott’s Energy Policies
This is a clear indication that Prime Minister Tony Abbott is now focusing his administration’s efforts in exploiting Australia’s coal and gas reserves as soon as possible. In his talk, Abbot also raised nuclear power as a considerable energy source for the country.
His speech at the Australian Industry Group pre-empted a report that can potentially decide the fate of renewable energy in Australia. His speech which encouraged the use of coal and gas seems to ignore the issues related to climate change and other environmental concerns.
Ironically, the people that he spoke to last week were the same people who have openly lent their support to the current renewable energy target. No wonder some have observed that the Prime Minister seem to have an absurd understanding of the situation. They are questioning his priorities and the people with vested interests like the nuclear lobby influencing him to say these things.
Abbott’s comments in his speech exposed his understanding and plan for Australia’s energy future. His speech showed the serious resolve of the coalition government and the nuclear lobby to extricate every molecule of gas and every tonne of coal before they are totally banned by future environmental legislations and the development and wider acceptance of greener and cheaper energy sources.
Adamant in using coal and gas as he may be, Abbott faces another challenge. There is considerable difficulty in raising enough money to finance the massive infrastructure that is needed to deliver coal and gas to the market.
Still, some observers believe that the present administration will announce dramatic changes to the Renewable Energy Target. Abbott alluded in his speech that these changes are inevitable. This is very telling since Abbott’s government has not even officially received a report from the RET review team.
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These recent comments from the Prime Minister suggest that he is being influenced by a nuclear lobby who believe that Australia’s only option is nuclear energy. Keen observers have stated that most of Abbott’s senior business advisers prefer nuclear energy over green and renewable sources of energy.
To further give support for coal, gas and nuclear energy, Abbott gave unreserved praises to Greg Hunt, his Environment Minister. He stated that Hunt had given quick approvals for related projects worth more than $800 billion.
Abbott then added his comments about nuclear energy as the government’s preferred choice of fuel in the future. All the elements of his speech demonstrated his administration’s direction towards coal, gas, and nuclear energy as the country’s future energy sources and not the green and renewable ones.