17/03/2011 - 00:00

Power to the people ... by the people

17/03/2011 - 00:00


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The energy sector is not included among the federal government’s constitutional responsibilities; so why is it interfering?

FIRST, Julia Gillard wilfully embraced a policy of ruthless dishonesty to impose a tax on carbon dioxide gas, which she insists on calling a “price on carbon”.

A week later, the Barnett government released its long-stalled energy review, which its spin-doctors have long-windedly titled, ‘Energy 2031. Strategic Energy Initiative, Directions Paper. A Smarter Energy Future for Western Australians’.

A feature of such costly exercises, with their lovely big colour pictures, sparse wording, a map here and table there, among projections for 30 years down the track is that it’s unlikely those releasing them will be around when their highly suspect contentions can be verified.

Hands up anyone who’s recently read the state government’s 1981 WA Energy Report?

An energy analyst contact emailed State Scene a March 2 2011 article from London’s The Daily Telegraph.

Headlined ‘Era of constant electricity at home is ending, says power chief’, it says: “The days of permanently available electricity may be coming to an end, the head of the power network said yesterday.

“Families would have to get used to only using power when it was available, rather than constantly, said Steve Holliday, chief executive of National Grid.

“Mr Holliday was challenged over how the country would ‘keep the lights on’ when it relied more on wind turbines as supplies of gas dwindled.

“Electricity provided by wind farms will increase six-fold by 2020 but critics complain they only generate on windy days.

“Mr Holliday told Radio 4’s Today program that people would have to ‘change their behaviour’.

“The grid is going to be a very different system in 2020, 2030,” he said.

“We keep thinking that we want it to be there and provide power when we need it. It is going to be much smarter than that.

“We are going to change our own behaviour and consume it when it is available and available cheaply.

“Mr Holliday was speaking ahead of a speech last night to the Royal Academy of Engineering, in which he warned that the government was ‘looking more to communities and individuals to take power into their hands’.

“He also warned that pylons would still be used to carry power cables across the countryside because it was 10 times more expensive to bury them.”

“As a society, we all need to be clear about what we can and cannot afford’, he said.”

On reading this mindboggling story, I called the contact and asked whether it was a spoof.

“No, it’s kosher,” he said.

He’d confirmed it on The Daily Telegraph’s website after citing it on the world’s most popular blog for monitoring the global heating hoax – Californian Anthony Watts’ ‘Watts Up With That?’

Incidentally, Watts visited Perth last year and outlined how the world’s SIF (aka, single issue fanatics and/or Greens) had scared people, including countless politicians, into believing carbon dioxide gas, an essential sustaining nutrient for plant life, which is at near-starvation levels in the atmosphere, is allegedly leading to humanity being cooked.

This hoax has been successfully promoted by tens of thousands of United Nations and other bureaucrats, academics, and cohorts of propagandists, including SIF-style politicians worldwide, who are making a comfortable living from spreading this preposterous fiction.

Please note, most of them have jobs qualifying them for indexed taxpayer-funded pensions, meaning that as the cost of future intermittently generated electricity skyrockets their power costs are covered by their indexed parliamentary or public sector pensions.

I then logged on to ‘Watts Up With That?’ to scan readers’ comments.

By then, 320 readers worldwide had posted responses.

Here are some.

• “What an opportunity for a boom in sales for small one-to-10kw generators. I’m buying stock in Onan (DJ) (NYSE: CMI currently around $102).”

• “The amazing part is the politicians and civil service folks aren’t being tarred, feathered and ridden out on rails. A very artificial shortage (Bob).”

• “So I guess the human race has just given up. The scramble for dry caves will begin soon. Get yours while you can (DRE).”

• “Welcome to Great Britain-stan! Those in power will not be satisfied until humanity has returned to serfdom (Jason Calley).”

• “Oh, I forgot. Isn’t deconstructing the industrialised world one of the goals of the environmentalists and the warmists? They’re actually doing it (Charlie Higley).”

• “So the Brits would rather sit in the dark than build nuclear plants? You’re still a democracy over there, right? Some political party is going to get a rude surprise over that, and some other one is going to get a windfall (Geo).”

I next logged back onto Energy 2031, since Mr Holliday referred to future British electricity consumers’ predicament of limited access to electricity between 2020 and 2030.

With fingers tightly crossed, I was hoping and praying Energy 2031 would reassure me Western Australians won’t be in for the same horrific future.

Wish again.

Its pages carry all sorts of suspect and ominous bureaucratic-speak, like “reduce demand” that’s reminiscent of “changing behaviour”, and “large scale integrated carbon [they, of course, mean carbon dioxide] capture and storage network”.

Incidentally, you’d never guess, but “capture and storage” means forcing compressed carbon dioxide gas below ground to probably cocktail underground waters beneath thousands of square kilometres in the Collie area, including, probably, springs. In other words, madness.

The cost would be prohibitive, and halve the life of Collie’s coalfields – a major WA asset.

For reasons I’ve never fathomed, Canberra somehow gained control over WA’s electricity usage.

The last time I read Section 51 of our federal Constitution, which sets out Canberra’s legislative powers, none of its 39 sub-sections said charging for electricity was Canberra’s business.

Sub-section (vi) gives Canberra responsibility for Australia’s defence.

Not doing much of a job there.

Sub-section (xvii) gives it power over “immigration and emigration”. Performing deplorably on that.

Immigration and defence were the main reasons Australia’s colonies federated in 1901. There was never any suggestion Canberra could become an electricity usage regulator, with powers to ration it, which the Greens so desperately want.

State Scene therefore asks: why is Canberra snooping into areas not its constitutional responsibility and not instead properly administering what it was established to do, like defence and immigration?

And there’s nothing in Energy 2031 to make one confident that we may not be in for what Mr Holliday so candidly warned British electricity users to expect after 2020.

The only advice State Scene can thus offer is what “DJ” offered above.

Consider buying a one-to-10kw generator and rewiring your home if required so you could provide your own electricity for those desperate times if our grid also stops supplying.

But ensure the generator you buy operates very silently because Canberra’s carbon cops checking emissions may pay you a visit.

That’s not a silly suggestion.

In 2007 the Howard government passed the draconian National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act, which compels companies of a certain size to annually undertake costly audits of their emissions.

Failure to comply means CEOs risk fines exceeding $200,000.

Sydney to a brick that, if Aussies rush the compact generator market, one-to-10kw units will promptly be included for policing, with hefty fines, no doubt, instituted, since SIF are so powerful.



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