Yet another exploration licence for coal? It feels like betrayal

daniel-lily-howcanyoudothis


 Update on 7 September 2015:    Response from Lily D’Ambrosio MP 



22 June 2015

Dear Daniel Andrews, Premier, and Lily D’Ambrosio, Minister for Energy and Resources,

I am vigorously supporting a recent letter to you from Mik Aidt (Geelong) reproduced and slightly edited below – with some additional points following.

Mik Aidt wrote:

“What can we do to make you to realise that you need to turn this decision to encourage coal exploration in Victoria around?

Many environment groups and climate change activists supported you during the election because they thought you would actually have the guts to stand up to the challenge and make a difference by taking concrete action against carbon emissions and the multiple threats of global warming and species loss – including finding new funds to invest in research and schemes to transform Victoria to a society based entirely on clean, renewable energy.

What you have done instead feels like betrayal. Do you really think digging up more dirty brown coal is a good idea for Victoria? I think there are a lot of people who will be feeling betrayed by you.

You have to STOP looking for more coal, digging up more coal and burning more coal. It is so disappointing that this still isn’t pretty much clear to everyone by now – and in particular to two otherwise responsible and intelligent politicians.

Fossil fuel profits are short-sighted profits which we steal from future generations. What more is needed to make you understand that money isn’t everything – and in particular not when it puts our food production, water, farmland, environment and community health at risk?

I suppose you read – or at least heard about – the Pope’s recent encyclical. Whether we are Catholics or not doesn’t matter. What the Pope is saying is the truth, and I think in your hearts you know it is too.

Forget about those royalties created on the morally wrong and destructive coal business, and start putting everything you have into creating a clean and ecologically balanced society which is sustainable and prosperous.”


We are fortunate to now have three surrounding governments in Australia which are fully committed to fully transitioning to renewable energy by 2050, and which are already an impressive way down that track – viz South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.There is also a ballooning list of towns / LGAs around Australia (and in the USA) that have made similar commitments.

Victoria is brilliantly placed to join an ‘RE for SE’ consortium of all the south east Australian States – particularly given the disgraceful lack of national leadership from the Abbott Government as we get closer to the Paris ‘Commitments’ Conference in December 2015.

Victoria is lucky to have an abundance of natural / renewable energy sources, and a technically capable but under-utilised workforce (especially in Geelong, where Mik Aidt and I live, with our families). Investment in coal (presumably with taxpayer-funded subsidies, if the past is any guide) will almost certainly leave investors and governments with stranded assets and an infamous legacy, as we struggle to cope with imposed trade sanctions in a carbon-constrained world.

Finally and critically, my wife and I have become very anxious about the perilous future that our generation looks like leaving to our grandchildren if we fail to act NOW. I don’t want to hear their question while I am dying – “Why didn’t you do something?’

Very sincerely,

Alan Barlee
East Geelong



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Response from the Minister for Energy

On 7 September 2015, we received an email containing a letter from the Minister for Energy and Resources, Lily D’Ambrosio MP, with the headline ‘COAL EXPLORATION LICENCES’. The email is enclosed below.

As much as we appreciate to get a response from the Minister for Energy and Resources, the explanation does not remove that feeling of betrayal and fossil foolishness that we are holding the Premier and the Minister for Energy and Resources responsible for.

The real risk of granting an exploration licence is that it indicates an implicit understanding that the government would be sympathetic to a subsequent mine development proposal, subject to a ‘satisfactory’ environmental impact study – which does not consider the greenhouse gas emissions and the impact of those on future generations. If it did, there would be no point in issuing an exploration licence in the first place.



———- Forwarded message ———-
From:
Date: 2015-09-07 8:33 GMT+10:00
Subject: Response from the Minister for Energy and Resources
To: mikaidt@climatesafety.info

Please find attached a response from the Minister for Energy and Resources.

(See attached file: Mr Mik Aidt.pdf)

(See attached file: CODE OF PRACTICE FOR MINERAL EXPLORATION Final Printed Copy April 2015.PDF)

The document can also be found online here.

Cabinet and Ministerial Services
Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources

*DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL*
Please note: this email address is not monitored.

********************************************************************************
Department of State Development, Business and Innovation, Government of Victoria,
Victoria, Australia.

This email, and any attachments, may contain privileged and confidential
information. If you are not the intended recipient, you may not distribute or
reproduce this e-mail or the attachments. If you have received this message in
error, please notify us by return email.

********************************************************************************



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victorian-no-to-coal560

» Sign this petition





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Reducing greenhouse gases requires honesty, courage and responsibility. #LaudatoSi

5:00 AM – 19 Jun 2015
Pope Francis ✔ /nbsp; @Pontifex
www.twitter.com/Pontifex/status/611730132571590656



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Victorian government grants new coal exploration licences

The letter above was sent to the premier and energy minister of Victoria. If you agree, you should maybe do the same?
The letter was written in response to these two articles:

» www.stockandland.com.au

» www.theage.com.au




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Clean jobs or dirty subsidy?

Alcoa’s push for new fossil fuel subsidy would keep brown-coal generators open at expense of investment in renewable energy, writes David Spratt:

» Climate Code Red – 27 January 2016:
Climate and renewables strategy In Victoria will not work without a plan to retire coal

“Aluminium giant Alcoa, which has cost Victorian taxpayers billions of dollars over four decades, is expected to press in the new year for a new package of government support. If Labor agrees, it could mean hundreds of millions more in taxpayer money going to a massive global company — this despite Brumby government assurances five years ago that subsidies would end in 2016.”


» The Age – 15 December 2015:
Big polluter to plead for taxpayer cash



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Victorian solar electricity feed-in-tariff set to be cut for 2016

Victorian households with rooftop solar could get as little as five cents a kilowatt-hour for the power they pump back into the grid next year, under a proposed decision by the state’s Essential Services Commission.

Regulator wants to slash Victoria solar tariff by 20 per cent

Victorian energy regulator the Essential Services Commission has recommended that the minimum feed-in-tariff paid for surplus rooftop solar output fed back into the grid be cut to 5c/kWh from the current level of 6.2c/kWh in 2016.

» Source: www.wattelectricalnews.com





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no-new-coal-min560

 PETITION: 

No new coal mines

If Australia succeeds in its plans to double its coal exports, the world’s plans to tackle global warming will fail.

“President Hollande–
We, the undersigned, urge you to put coal exports on the agenda at the 2015 Paris talks.
 
While world leaders discuss emission reduction targets, countries with large coal reserves are planning to massively expand their coal exports. If they succeed, the world will fail in its efforts to stop global warming.
 
Please help the world’s governments negotiate a global moratorium on new coal mines.”

» You can sign this letter on www.nonewcoalmines.org.au
 




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If you've ever wondered what happens when our politicians say yes to dirty energy, here's your answer.

Posted by 38 Degrees on www.facebook.com/peoplepowerchange on Friday, 19 June 2015



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any-new-coalmine

The State Government announced three new coal mining licences for Mantle Mining around the Mirboo North area, where 96.7% of residents have declared the area coal and gasfield free.

Mantle Mining has a history of backing out of projects due to community pressure. Read Quit Coal’s new blog post looking at past victories, and be ready to stand with the Mirboo North community:

» www.quitcoal.org.au



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 POLICY 

Australian government tells states to open the gates

This is how the Australian government, in this case Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane, sees it: “Activism is strangling the gas supply in the east coast gas market. Emotive ill-informed comment seems to be winning the argument over science,” he said at a recent ‘Australia’s Energy Future’ roundtable.

“Similar to the climate change debate, it seems the noisiest voices and not necessarily the most informed are being heard,” according to the minister.

» Read more on www.afr.com



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In favour of wind AND coal?

Daniel Andrews MP gives his 66,000 followers on Facebook the impression that he is supportive of renewable energy and climate change action. For instance, on 16 June 2015 he wrote this note on Facebook:

While the Prime Minister is obsessed with how wind turbines look, local communities are getting behind our efforts to…

Posted by Daniel Andrews on Tuesday, 16 June 2015



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Climate betrayal

» More on the topic of how politicians betray their voters



2 comments for “Yet another exploration licence for coal? It feels like betrayal

  1. 7 September 2015 at 14:47

    I guess the real risk of granting an exploration licence is that it indicates an implicit understanding that the government would be sympathetic to a subsequent mine development proposal, subject to a ‘satisfactory’ environmental impact study – which I strongly suspect does not consider GHG emissions. If it did, there would be no point in issuing an exploration licence in the first place.

    Alan Barlee

  2. Heinz L Dahl
    3 July 2015 at 04:56

    This ​is both very disturbing and totally disappointing. Many groups dedicated many hours and dollars in ensuring the election of a State Labor Government during 2014, The Labor party committed to re-establishing the renewable energy industry in Victoria after the deconstruction during the Coalition’s term.

    During the past month we have seen new coal mining exploration licenses issued in Victoria.

    Reluctance to establish a VRET and now we are seeing the FIT being slashed by 20%.

    This is totally against the promises and commitments made during the lead-up to the State elections in 2014.

    A disturbing trend that will hopefully reverse immediately.

    Heinz L Dahl

Comments