We could be
energy superpower: Howard
The Australian tells us today:

Australia has a “massive opportunity” to become an
energy superpower, John Howard declared yesterday as he outlined plans for
uranium, oil, coal and solar technology export and development.

In another signal that he intends to contest the next
election, the Prime Minister challenged Kim Beazley on nuclear power and
climate change and called on the premiers to “think big” to solve
Australia’s water shortages…

His Environment Minister, Ian Campbell, has been telling us in The SMH how Australia leads the world on climate change. Can we be both? Can Australia
be both an energy superpower and lead the world on climate change?

Campbell points to “solar, wind, geothermal, clean coal, carbon sequestration
and nuclear”. His boss is more circumspect. John Howard tells us:

The cost of delivering low-emission
electricity from renewables remains very high with difficulties surrounding
base load power demands. Coal, oil and gas will continue to meet the bulk of Australia’s
energy needs.

If we look globally, the same picture emerges…

The answer’s yes – if we’re planning to
restrict our energy exports to uranium.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey