Australian news, and some related international items

‘Clean Coal’ – ridiculed by experts, as just a marketing scam

‘Clean coal’ is nothing but a marketing scam: Energy experts,   New Daily,  Cait Kelly, Reporter 17 Feb 21,   The Nationals’ pitch for taxpayers to invest in ‘clean coal’ is nothing but a marketing scam designed to make Australians feel better about burning carbon emissions, leading energy experts say.

It comes as the Morrison government pushes key changes to Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation that would allow the green bank to invest in fossil fuel projects, and give Energy Minister Angus Taylor the power to control which investments receive funding.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation was set up in 2013 to finance more clean energy investments and help lower Australia’s emissions.

Mr Taylor’s proposed bill would undo laws that stop the corporation from investing in fossil fuels and loss-making projects.

But outspoken backbencher Barnaby Joyce served up an amendment to allow for investment in clean coal, blindsiding the government and derailing the passage of the bill through Parliament on Wednesday.

Debate on the legislation started in the House of Representatives on Monday and the push was on to get ‘clean coal’ a spot at the investment table.…….

On Wednesday, Nationals Senate leader Bridget McKenzie backed Mr Joyce’s amendment intended to allow for new investment in “high efficiency, low emissions” coal-fired power.

Doctors also joined the chorus of voices warning the changes would negatively affect environment targets, saying our love of fossil fuels is already killing 5700 Australians each year, and will continue to do so until we phase it out.

Clean coal ‘doesn’t exist’

Richie Merzian, the climate and energy program director with the Australia Institute, said ‘clean coal’ was nothing more than spin.

“Clean coal doesn’t exist. That’s the first thing,” Mr Merzian told The New Daily.

“Over the last 15 years, Australian governments have invested $1.3 billion into making clean coal work.

“There isn’t a single commercial clean coal, carbon capture storage power plant in Australia. And there are hardly any overseas – you can count them on one hand.”

Australia has only one carbon capture and storage gas plant. It’s currently leaking emissions into the atmosphere, because it doesn’t work.

The Gorgon gas project in WA received $60 million in federal funding but did not start storing emissions until 2019, three years after productions started.

Recently, it has been leaking high levels of emissions out into the atmosphere because its pressure management system is broken.

“It’s still not fully operational,” Mr Merzian said.

“The level of the emissions released in the atmosphere are about the same as Australia’s annual domestic emissions of flights.

“It’s been a massive failure.”

All it boiled down to was a marketing tool, he said………

February 18, 2021 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics

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