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Oil Price

Report Card 2008: Has the Federal Government prepared for oil decline and CO2 reduction?

Despite a lot of rhetoric on the dangers of human made climate change and maybe some good intentions on how to reduce CO2 emissions, the Wiggins coal terminal approval by Environment Minister Peter Garrett and $580 million of Federal funds for coal trains to service the 3rd coal loader in Newcastle previously approved by the then NSW Planning Minister Frank Sartor, have wiped out 30 times any planned savings of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme by 2020. reportcard2008

The failure to amend the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act with a CO2 trigger has allowed the States to continue with their coal addiction. Therefore, no real change has happened. Apparently the Government listens to the coal industry until some abrupt climate change event – very likely the disappearance of the Arctic summer sea ice by 2013 – will force us physically to write off all those investments now under way, gigantic black elephants.

On peak oil, neither the Summit 2020, nor important papers and policy initiatives like the Garnaut Review, Treasury’s modeling and the Aviation Green paper have discovered that peak oil – which statistics clearly show had started in 2005 at around 74 million barrels/day of crude oil – will completely change their assessments and recommendations. In the Senate, ABARE – like under Howard – was unable to provide proper peak oil analysis and as a result most Senators – except for the Greens – assume a doubling of all traffic in x years, whether by land, air or sea. And although the Prime Minister himself acknowledged in an interview with ABC TV’s Kerry O’Brien that “we have the greatest global oil shock in 30 years” no proper plan B has been submitted until the end of 2008. One precious year has been lost. Apparently the Government listens to the promises of the oil industry until physical oil shortages will tell them otherwise.

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