Here is what I received in my inbox from GetUp!
“Yesterday, Energy Minister Martin Ferguson announced that the Government has abandoned its commitment to shut down some of Australia’s dirtiest power plants.
The scheme, called Contract for Closure (CFC), was designed to close stations like the infamous Hazelwood brown coal plant, by paying out the commercial operators. Instead, the program’s been scrapped because coal-fired generators remain so profitable that they think their assets are worth more than what the government was willing to pay.
What’s particularly hard to swallow about the breakdown in negotiations is now the most emissions-intensive generators are free to continue polluting – and be paid for it, to the tune of $5.5 billion in taxpayer compensation. Hazelwood alone has already received $266 million to continue polluting.
Now, it’s being estimated that due to that compensation some of Australia’s biggest polluters are actually expected to profit from the carbon price; the exact opposite of what should have been an incentive to either transition to cleaner technologies, or close down. 
It means that owners of Australia’s most polluting generators are being propped up, at our expense, while they continue business as usual.”
Not being one to stand back and whinge about this turn of events without doing something about it, I sent some of our MPs a personal email. I sent it to our Federal MPs Combet, Ferguson, and Swann being Ministers for Climate Change, Energy, and the Treasurer.
Please reconsider your decision to back away from the negotiations with some of Australia’s biggest polluting energy companies.
Failing to close these coal fired power stations will send a message to the world that Australians are not serious about mitigating climate change, and that we are not willing to replace dirty coal with clean, green renewable energy.
Instead of propping up a 19th century electricity generation technology, lets embrace the 21st century and make our energy from the sun and wind. We have the means, and the know how, we just need the political will, because Australians all over the country are asking for these solutions.
Please do the right thing and re-enter negotiations to close the deal and some of the dirtiest power plants in our great country. Lets think of the legacy that we are leaving behind for our children and grandchildren.
I know I am only but one voice, but I believe that if we do not each take an active part in voicing our dissatisfaction then nothing will change.
You can find the tool to send these three MPs your email at the GetUp! campaign site. Please take the time to let them know your views on the matter.
Isn’t interesting Gavin that at the same time they announce the abandonment of closing down Hazelwood that they also announce the reduction of the feed in tariff for rooftop solar to a miserable 8 cents/Kwh. More than just a coincidence I think as it shows that governments of both sides of politics are caving in to the big coal lobby. We should be outraged at the reduction in the feed in tariff, I wonder if the big power generators would like to sell 100% of their power production to the grid for 8 cents/ Kwh – no way I would say. They have been complaining recently about how the drop in demand that we have experienced in recent times has depressed the price they can charge during peak periods and how this has been affecting their profits. Make no mistake this change to the tariff is all about protecting the profits of big coal rather than fairness for all consumers.
Couldn’t agree more. Hazelwood has to be made redundant. The only way to do that is to put more solar on roof tops. That won’t happen if solar industry is killed off like the wind power industry was. Feed in tariffs need to be at a level that makes it worthwhile for people to make the investment in the technology. No one wants to be subsidising the power producers. Another thing, if the Feds won’t buy Hazelwood out, they could use the money they had allocated to closure to put solar on the roofs of low in-come people.
The government did mess up with the compensation and pricing and so it makes sense to back away from buying out the now more coal plants at inflated prices.
But surely it would it be better to take the billions they are not handing over to a foreign company (for some of the plants) and instead spend it on developing renewable technology that will render the coal plants worthless?