Companies

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.

energy-and-coal-donations-image

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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