Posts Tagged ‘Carbon tax’

Carbon credits used for “printing money”

August 25, 2015

I first realised that the “carbon credit” schemes were essentially money-making scams sheltering under the “environmental” umbrellas of the UN and the EU in the mid 1990s. The misguided and meaningless Kyoto protocol was established in 1992 and fuelled a whole raft of “environmental entrepreneurs” who soon became expert at milking the funds available. I was visiting some of the former Soviet countries to discuss their power generation needs (with a view to selling power plant equipment) and soon realised that all the discussions had nothing whatever to do with meeting energy needs, but were for bureaucrats and politicians to find ways to tap into the carbon credits available via UN and EU schemes for – ostensibly – reducing carbon emissions that didn’t exist. Sometimes the discussions were quite openly about how to show that carbon emissions were much higher than they actually were and then claiming credits for running quite normally. As an example, a district heating scheme actually using Russian gas had combustion equipment capable of burning heavy fuel oil or even coal. “Normal” emissions were then “certified” by the Ministry of Energy as being from the use of the worst possible fuel, and then carbon credits were claimed for “emissions reductions” by “switching” to gas.

The “cost of carbon” as reflected in carbon taxes and carbon credits have nothing really to do with reduction of emissions and even less to do with climate. They have all been schemes for milking very many taxpayers for the benefit of a few “environmental entrepreneurs”. Carbon credits have achieved little beyond promoting fraud.

Now, finally, 20 years after the event, the truth about carbon credits is beginning to surface:

BBC:Carbon Credits like “printing money”

The vast majority of carbon credits generated by Russia and Ukraine did not represent cuts in emissions, according to a new study. The authors say that offsets created under a UN scheme “significantly undermined” efforts to tackle climate change.

The credits may have increased emissions by 600 million tonnes. In some projects, chemicals known to warm the climate were created and then destroyed to claim cash.

As a result of political horse trading at UN negotiations on climate change, countries like Russia and the Ukraine were allowed to create carbon credits from activities like curbing coal waste fires, or restricting gas emissions from petroleum production.

Under the UN scheme, called Joint Implementation, they then were able to sell those credits to the European Union’s carbon market. Companies bought the offsets rather than making their own more expensive, emissions cuts.

But this study, from the Stockholm Environment Institute, says the vast majority of Russian and Ukrainian credits were in fact, “hot air” – no actual emissions were reduced.

They looked at a random sample of 60 projects and found that 73% of the offsets generated didn’t meet the key criteria of “additionality”. This means that these projects would have happened anyway without any carbon credit finance.

It is not just Russia and Ukraine of course.

And the fraud continues. No carbon tax or carbon credit scheme has ever been monitored for effect. No scheme has ever had any impact on climate. Every carbon credit or carbon tax scheme has only put general taxpayers’ money into the pockets of a few “environmental entrepreneurs”. And that applies to virtually every country in Europe and every former Soviet Republic.

Queensland switches back to coal

February 5, 2014

Once upon a time Australia had among the lowest electricity costs in the world but that was in the days where the market was not distorted by carbon taxes, mandatory renewable energy targets and subsidies for solar power. Coal prices are declining while gas prives are rising. This from The Australian as Queensland goes the way of Germany:

QUEENSLAND’S largest power generator will today declare that Australia is one of the world’s most expensive countries for energy and warn that the electricity market is being distorted by the carbon tax, mandatory renewables target and solar-rooftop subsidies.

After Stanwell took the extraordinary step yesterday of announcing it would mothball its biggest gas-fired power station and resurrect a coal facility built in the 1980s – sparking predictions that gas-fired power plants would be withdrawn in other states – it will today call for a scaling back of the renewable energy target.

Before the introduction of the carbon tax, the RET scheme and solar feed-in tariffs, the abundance of coal had made Australia a source of low-cost electricity, the company will say. “These policies appear to have been implemented for ideological reasons with little analysis of the impact on electricity prices and economic growth,” Stanwell chief executive officer Richard Van Breda will say.

Stanwell will issue its warnings as part of its submission to the federal government’s energy white paper, being developed by Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane.

The submission will caution that a raft of energy policies is eroding Australia’s competitiveness in manufacturing, which is a sensitive issue for the government amid internal tensions over taxpayer handouts to businesses, including SPC Ardmona.

Yesterday, Stanwell revealed it would withdraw its Swanbank E power station, near Ipswich west of Brisbane, from service for up to three years from October so it could sell the gas rather than use it in electricity generation. …….. A unit at the Tarong coal power station – in cold storage since late 2012 – will be returned to service later this year.

….. Germany is shifting back to more coal-fired electricity generation, reopening some of its dirtiest brown-coalmines that have been closed since reunification, despite having spearheaded Europe’s push into renewable energy. China has plans to add another 860 million tonnes of coal production by 2015. ………  

Stanwell’s energy white paper submission will raise concerns that the surge in rooftop solar panels has increased the capacity of the market, making cheaper coal-fired power stations run less efficiently. It says solar feed-in tariffs (state government schemes) have resulted in high ongoing costs for network infrastructure. …


Julia Gillard preparing for retirement?

June 25, 2013

The polls suggest that Julia Gillard has little chance at the September (latest November) elections and it would seem that she is preparing for the inevitable.

But Julia as a Madame Defarge like a tricoteuse at her own political “execution” is probably too fanciful.

The Guardian: Australian prime minister, Julia Gillard, has whipped up a storm after appearing in the Australian Women’s Weekly knitting a toy kangaroo for the royal baby.

The photoshoot depicts the prime minister in an armchair, surrounded by balls of wool, with her dog Reuben at her feet.

The pictures have sparked controversy in parts of the Australian media, who have called it “contrived” and “remarkable”. Commentators have pointed out that Gillard has traditionally rejected feminine presentations

Julia Gillard Women's Weekly

Julia Gillard  – Tricoteuse? – Women’s Weekly via The Guardian

It could be that she’s looking for a suitable Royal Honour once she leaves Office. Dame Julia? or maybe she’s just knitting for the coming demise of the Carbon Tax?

Walking Eagles and carbon taxes

June 6, 2013

This is a couple of years old though I only just came across it.

Seems very apt – not only for carbon taxes but also for Tony Blair.

Tony 'Walking Eagle' Blair

Tony ‘Walking Eagle’ Blair

Osho News:

On a recent trip to the United States, Tony Blair, Ex. Prime Minister of the UK, addressed a major gathering of Native American Indians.

He spoke for almost an hour on his plans for a Carbon Trading Tax for the UK and Europe

At the conclusion of his speech, the crowd presented him with a plaque inscribed with his new Indian name – Walking Eagle.

A very proud Tony then departed in his motorcade, waving to the crowds.

A news reporter later asked one of the Indians how they came to select the new name given to Tony Blair.

They explained that Walking Eagle is the name given to a bird so full of sh1t that it can no longer fly.

Long term investment: Avoid the carbon taxers (Australia) and follow the shale gas (US)

August 24, 2012

It is electricity price – rather than energy price – which is I think the more telling parameter for growth and investment. And it is electricity price which matters fundamentally. Winning “brownie points” for being virtuous and politically correct is irrelevant and often counter-productive.

Historically, a  low (unsubsidised) electricity price has nearly always given high growth, increased exports to regions with higher electricity prices and an attractive climate to invest in. This simple observation will now lead to my shifting my (small) investments away from  Australia for some time – at least as long they continue with their virtuous but meaningless carbon tax. On the other hand, the relatively low electricity prices resulting from the advent of shale gas  in the US augur well for the US economy and for US exporters – irrespective of which party the President comes from.

In my own field of power generation I expect a gas turbine combined cycle boom in the US in 2014/15 (which will also be a boom for steam turbine manufacturers). So my message for the next 5 or 6 years is to shift your investments away from Australia (and other virtuous but economically silly countries) and into countries promoting low energy prices (US and other countries where the environmental regulations and tax regimes allow  production of electricity at the lowest possible cost).

Sydney Morning Herald: 

BHP Billiton head Marius Kloppers has told European investors that Australia’s carbon and mining taxes have helped to render the nation’s coal industry unworthy of further investment at this time. ……. 

In comments that appeared to be more pointed than those given in his Australian media conference, Mr Kloppers put some of the blame on the federal government’s two controversial new taxes.

”What I am seeing on the eastern seaboard in Australia is that the coal industry has been very heavily impacted by lower prices, higher operating costs, carbon taxes and increased royalties,” he said.

Royalties were increased by the New South Wales government as it sought to exploit a loophole in the federal government’s new mining tax, and a similar tactic is now being considered by the Queensland government. ….

Financial Times:

….. Today, few realise that the US stands on the cusp of significant economic gains stimulated by low energy costs. High quality global journalism requires investment.  …..

The consensus view discounts the economic boost from natural gas, arguing that the energy sector cannot generate so many jobs. The doubters wear blinkers; they see nothing but the energy market. They commit the mistake made by forecasters in 1991. They miss the tectonic shifts in trade,  ….

(The shale gas) advantage gives manufacturing plants in the US a 60 per cent, 70 per cent or even 80 per cent cost advantage over those operating in China, Japan, South Korea or European countries.

Read more:

“Even the dead don’t escape the carbon tax”

July 9, 2012

Julia Gillard’s carbon tax in action!


AN apology has been issued to a grieving family by a cemetery which told them they were being charged a $55 carbon tax to bury a relative. ….. 

The family claimed that the cemetery slapped them with a $55 carbon tax bill for burying a relative – saying “even the dead don’t escape the carbon tax” – just days after the tax was introduced.

The outraged family complained to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, describing it as a “tax on the dying”.

Erica Maliki said the Melbourne cemetery told her and two other relatives that a $55 charge would be applied to her father-in-law’s burial due to the carbon tax. …..

Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said it would be “reprehensible” if any cemetery took advantage of grieving families by misleading them over funeral expenses.

It comes as three companies were reprimanded by the consumer watchdog for cashing in on the carbon tax.

The ACCC said that it was investigating solar panel suppliers

Polaris Solar and ACT Renewable Energy for providing false information on the cost impacts of the tax, while bakery chain Brumby’s was caught advising outlets to raise prices and blame the carbon tax.

While cemeteries are not liable entities under the carbon tax, the funeral industry has previously warned of indirect price rises for both burials as well as cremations through higher energy prices and councils passing on their carbon tax costs.

And as ACM points out:

In any event, technically, burial is carbon sequestration. If it had been a cremation, however…

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