Oct 3, 2016

Wonder why the Coalition dislikes renewables so much?

Malcolm Turnbull says he has lots of solar panels. But the Coalition's hatred of renewable energy isn't so much about personal views as about the cash.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

Stock image of solar panels
The lights were still out in South Australia while Coalition politicians, right up to and including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, were either directly blaming renewable energy for the blackout or attacking "aggressive" renewable energy targets for the infrastructure that collapsed. Turnbull was quick to point out he's a personal fan of renewable energy given he has solar panels on the roof of his luxury Point Piper mansion. But as Michael says in The Godfather, "it's not personal, Sonny, it's strictly business". This is where donations from energy and coal companies have gone in the last five years to the federal branches of the major parties.


Donors include such well-regarded firms as Linc Energy, now failed, bankrupt US coal miner Peabody, and Santos, currently trading at less than a quarter of its share price of two years ago when prime minister Tony Abbott and his senior minister attacked Australian National University for divesting in it. Where did fossil fuel company donations in the lead-up to the federal election go? We won't know until February due to our appalling, anti-democratic donation disclosure laws.

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20 thoughts on “Wonder why the Coalition dislikes renewables so much?

  1. Lord Muck

    These clowns would not be nearly so irksome if they didn’t bang on about innovation in the same breath.

    1. John Newton

      Gee you mean Fizza is lying to himself, lying to us and lying to his party?

  2. Roger Clifton

    “Energy and coal”? Of course, you mean, “Coal, oil and gas”. After all, our energy consumption is necessary, but we do want it to be coming from everywhere else than fossil carbon.

    Considering The Greens’ selective silence when they condemn coal alone, it does raise the question of whether they too, are accepting money from oil-and-gas, perhaps under a greenwashed label of “Energy”.

    1. John Newton

      Roger the Greens do not accept corporate donations. Never have, never will.

    2. shea mcduff

      Read the answer from John Newton below to your question.
      Check out if it is accurate [hint: it is].
      Then ask yourself – “Why did I ‘raise the question” – when a little bit of research and/or knowledge about the subject would have made me realize it was a stupid and ignorant question?
      And tell us your answer.

    3. Marian Smedley

      Greens are the biggest campaigners against gas – or haven’t you been listening? Ditto moves away from oil. As for donations -Greens do not accept donations from fossil fuel companies – ever. Don’t imply they do. Easily disproven so your agenda must be political.

  3. Roger Clifton

    John Newton — thank you for that info (that Greens don’t accept corporate donations), it is an important contrast to the bigger parties. Do you have a confirming link to share with us?

    1. Lord Muck

      Oh, p-uh-lease Roger! Are you after an audited statement? During the next election, look at what the major parties spend on the huge billboards (roadside and mobile), the people who are paid to wave at traffic, the television advertisements, the obscene kilometres of plastic bunting at election booths. And then, join the dots. Did you really think that party memberships pay for all that paraphernalia?

    2. Lord Muck

      Oh, and the plethora of full-page newspaper ads; let’s not forget them.

    3. shea mcduff

      That is not how the game is played.
      The person who makes the claim provides the substantiation for that claim and you made the claim above -“, it does raise the question of whether they [the Greens] too, are accepting money from oil-and-gas, ” so it is up to you to provide a link that substantiates such a ‘question’ being raised by you.
      You’ve used the Fox News trick of ‘just asking questions /just putting it out there” in an attempt to smear the Greens and then you’ve tried to evade such by shifting the burden of proof onto John newton.
      Its interesting that you ignored my response to you over an hour previous which pointed out that not only is John correct but that you could easily verify that, something you should have done before you made the baseless accusation and if you had done it then you could not, in honesty, have written your smear.

  4. klewso

    “The hand that holds the carrot.”
    …. Someone has to try to keep them afloat – why not the government they sponsor.

  5. Marilyn J Shepherd

    The biggest hypocrite of all was Xylophone who was partly instrumental in SA being privatised in the first place.

  6. Roger Clifton

    In support of John Newton’s assertion above that Greens don’t accept corporate donations, their webpage “greens org disclosure” says that “names … and amounts donated … are disclosed … if … $1,500 or more”. That is reassuring.

    The Greens’ declared position on eliminating coal makes it clear that they are not influenced by Big Coal, neither by donations or common interest. After all, a party nominally protecting the environment should be promising to eliminate all use of fossil carbon by 2100. So their contrasting silence on eliminating natural gas does need them to answer, why the difference?

    1. shea mcduff

      So you have now, after 2 prompts, done what you should have done originally.
      Checked and thus found that the Greens “are not influenced by Big Coal, neither by donations or common interest …”
      Well done – wouldn’t it have been better to do that first before your baseless question?
      But, sadly, you then went and doubled down with this – ‘ contrasting silence ….etc”.
      Now off you go and prepare an apology for
      [a] The Greens really are ‘silent’ about … whatever
      [b] And explain what is wrong, if anything, about this second baseless assertion.
      [c] What on earth any of this stuff you assert has to do with Bernard’s article above where he shows that COALition policy is directly in line with the millions of dollars the COALition receives from fossil fuel companies.

      You really want to create a red herring and paint the Greens in a poor light don’t you?

  7. old greybearded one

    Pity about the snarking. I suspect there may be problems waiting in the uncoordinated approach to renewables. However, the blame lies squarely on the LNP who have put every obstacle they can think of in the way. The need is for some cushioning, surely what we want at the moment is to be as renewable as we can and mix the energy sources carefully. What we have is a government owned, just like Abbott’s and Howard’s, by the fossil fuel industry.

  8. Roger Clifton

    It is better that “common interest” binds a party to its voters, than donations influencing policy. For example, a party might be kind to an industry that employs many of its voters. However there is also a common interest between Big Gas and the wind industry that is popular among many Greens voters. It is a sad fact that wind turbines require gas turbines to generate most of the energy they sell. If the Greens were to obstruct the expansion of gas on the principle of protecting the greenhouse, they risk losing voters who are besotted with the myths of wind energy.

    (My argument is about gas, gas, gas, the stuff the Greens fail to condemn. And judging by the virulence of Shea Mcduff’s comments, the Greens don’t want it questioned.)

    1. shea mcduff

      “If the Greens were to obstruct the expansion of gas on the principle of protecting the greenhouse, they risk losing voters who are besotted with the myths of wind energy.’

      They do “obstruct the expansion of gas .”
      You claiming they do not is another baseless assertion.
      Off you go and check their policy page.

      Old Greybearded One
      Presuming I’m included in your comment re snarking allow me to explain such.
      I get pissed of at Green smearing without justification, particularly when it is used to misdirect attention, away from the COALition and onto others undeserving of snark, in this case, the Greens..

  9. AR

    Poor old Dodger – his “look over there” concern trolling about gas is his last attempt to do the switcheroo for his beloved nukes.

  10. brian crooks

    its pretty cleat that Australia has the best coalition government money can buy, clearly they have learnt a lot from the Jo Bjeke Pererson era, barnaby is the new jo, and truffles is the new Billy McMahon of the liberal party,

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