It was wonderful to receive such a flood of delighted responses to the news about HRL losing its Federal grant, and the enormous implications WE THOUGHT this decision had for our energy system from here on.
As we’re pretty good at deservedly slamming our members of parliament for their poor decisions, we think it’s basic decency to graciously acknowledge their good ones. And of course it’s important to now keep the pressure on.
Well, that was our thinking when we sent our first message (see below the email with Subject: Thank you for saving our taxes from HRL ).
Then, within hours, this joint press release from the offices of the ALP Federal and Liberal Party Victorian state government Energy Ministers appeared. Isn’t it interesting that the ALP and the Libs are getting together to hand out $90 million of our taxes in attempts to hoodwink folks into thinking soggy (like burning wet socks to stay warm), dirty brown coal has a clean energy future? According to every legitimate science agency in the world, that’s a dirty lie!
So, forget sending a message acknowledging their decision to pull HRL’s funding because they’re not! Unless I was born yesterday, this is almost the same money repackaged in attempts to give it to the same mob (wonder if they’ll bother changing the name?). Already it appears that $30 million (of a $50 million grant for HRL) of Victorian taxes have disappeared forever down a brown coal hole.
We know it’s tiresome but these politicians still don’t understand that, because mainstream science says that burning it’s deadly, we will not accept any new coal. Please send a quick message to that effect.
The key people and email addresses are all in my message below this one (with Subject: Latest coal funding announcement – sinking $90 million of our taxes), and you are welcome to forward with an endorsement or use what you like from it. Note that copies of both emails were also pasted into Gillard’s contact form via http://www.pm.gov.au/contact-your-pm/. It’s all good for the record.
If you’d rather phone the offices:
Martin Ferguson, Federal Minister for Resources and Energy – (02) 6277 7930
Tony Burke, Environment Minister – (02) 6277 7640
Kelvin Thompson Member for Wills – (03) 9350 5777
Adam Bandt, Member for Melbourne – (03) 9642 0922
Ted Baillieu, Premier of Victoria – (03) 9882 4088
Michael O’Brien, Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources – (03) 9938 5963
We’re specifically chasing advisors from the offices of Ferguson and O’Brien. We deserve answers.
With thanks and best wishes,
Deborah, on behalf of LIVE
From: Deborah Hart
Date: Friday, 3 August 2012 6:34 PM
Cc: email@example.com, Kelvin.Thomson.MP@aph.gov.au, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, michael.o’firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Latest coal funding announcement – sinking $90 million of our taxes
It was with sincere appreciation that I sent the below appreciative message early this morning, roughly 12 hours ago now.
But, alas by midday, your office had released the attached announcement that between you and O’Brien, you plan to toss $90 million of our taxes into more dirty, controversial coal projects. I wonder how much of this will end up with the HRL mob after all?
Surely, Minister you don’t expect that taxpayers will be pleased to hear this nonsensical news.
There seems little point in repeating myself from this morning (see below), except to drive home to you that Australians will not accept any new coal projects. If you are still not clear why this is so, I suggest you refer to a fact sheet – from any legitimate science agency you choose – for the facts about the grave dangers we face from burning fossil fuels. Meanwhile I’ll leave you with this recent quote from Faith Birol, Chief Economist from the conservative leaning International Energy Agency:
The door is closing. I am very worried – if we don’t change direction now on how we use energy, we will end up beyond what scientists tell us is the minimum [for safety]. The door will be closed forever.[i]
Minister, have you not seen the IPCC’s special report for policymakers, demonstrating that by 2050 nearly 80 per cent of the world’s energy supplies could be met using renewable energy.[ii]?
Where will Australia – the lucky sunburnt country with roaring forties wind patterns – be if we keep sinking our taxes and compromising our future with Grenn House Gas polluting energies? As Australia’s Energy Minister, why are you not supporting 100 per cent clean, safe energy alternatives?
Fossil fuels must stay in the ground where they belong.
[i] http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/nov/09/fossil-fuel-infrastructure-climate-change ‘World headed for irreversible climate change in five years, IEA warns’ by Fiona Harvey, The Guardian, 9 November 2011
[ii] http://www.ipcc-wg3.de/news/ipcc-wgiii-releases-special-report-on-renewable-energy-sources-and-climate-change-mitigation ‘Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation’, IPCC, 9 May 2011
From: Deborah Hart
Date: Friday, 3 August 2012 6:53 AM
Subject: Thank you for saving our taxes from HRL
On behalf of LIVE, (representing 3,000+ concerned citizens), it is with sincere appreciation that I write to acknowledge the wisdom in your decision to withdraw the Federal funding from the deeply controversial HRL dual gas power station project.
As we all well know, continuing to burn fossil fuels is dangerous and irresponsible in the extreme. According to all mainstream science agencies, we should have been transitioning to efficient, 100 per cent renewable energy electricity systems decades ago, certainly not adding any further polluting sources to the mix now!
As the International Energy Agency has declared, there is no alternative but to implement now the policies that will most quickly deliver the 100 per cent clean and safe energy alternatives that the world needs. As for fossil fuel and uranium mining, clearly these highly destructive activities have no place in a clean and safe energy scenario. The information about the true social, economic and environmental costs of hosting these industries is fast moving through the community now, as they lose their social licence.
As independent reports demonstrate, by creating the space for renewable energy and energy efficiency industries, we’ll generate new, more sustainable jobs in local economies. And won’t it be a relief not to have those greedy mining magnates lording over our democratically elected representatives.
On a personal note, I wish to express my appreciation for the situation you are in. I know that it would be incredibly difficult and exhausting to be pushing ahead with the right and responsible energy policies for Australia at this time.
The challenge of reversing catastrophic climate change is immense enough without having to fight a viciously hostile opposition and large pockets of polluter friendly commentators in the mainstream media every step of the way. Please Minister, don’t confuse the views of real Australians with the nonsense propaganda being disseminated by the astroturfer foot soldiers of industry funded denier think tanks. Words fail to express the gross injustice that they are doing by turning the critical climate debate into such a confusing and nasty one. They are losing face but we all risk losing everything.
On behalf of all taxpayers, thank you again for withdrawing the funding for HRL’s deeply unpopular project.
On behalf of LIVE