Energy Idiocracy: How Australia’s Power ‘Policy’ Was Hijacked and Destroyed by Idiots

It’s said you shouldn’t assume conspiracy, until you’ve ruled out incompetence. Australia’s energy debacle is, however, a mixture of both.

In Mike Judge’s off-the-wall, futuristic comedy, ‘Idiocracy’, lunatics not only take over the asylum, they end up running the United States – into the ground.

Starting on the premise that morons began out-breeding the vaguely intelligent sometime after 2005, by the year 2,505, the American president – Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho – is a former bodybuilder/smack-down wrestling champion and his cabinet, a group of brain-dead simpletons.

In 2005, a botched military experiment sends the most average soldier in the US Army, Private Joe Bauers, 500 years into the future, where he emerges to meet them. Chaos reigns, and even the simplest of societal functions (such as rubbish removal and bodily hygiene) has gone to the dogs. Despite his underwhelming intellectual prowess, the time-travelling Private turns out to be the smartest man in the future America, and he’s duly enlisted to bring the country back from the brink.

The farcical plot-line is not that dissimilar from what’s led to Australia’s renewable energy debacle: engineers have been replaced by bureaucrats and public servants; logic and reason have been replaced by infantile ideology; fantasy becomes fact, as fact becomes fiction.

In short, this country has been hijacked by idiots. The very point made by The Australian’s, Terry McCrann.

Turnbull hits dead end with company tax cuts, energy policy
The Australian
Terry McCrann
4 August 2018

The two signature policy proposals of the federal government are now the “big company” tax cuts — or, more pejoratively, the “multi-billion- dollar handout to big banks” — and the so-called National Energy Guarantee.

The first is a necessary change — indeed the absolute minimum change — to the corporate tax ratein a world of falling or much lower competitive tax rates; and in the wake especially of the “Super Saturday” by-election outcomes has virtually no prospect of happening.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison might be able to persuade Coalition senators to ride into that valley of (political) death, but there is now no prospect of Pauline Hanson, Nick Xenophon, now by proxy, and any other assorted odds and sods in the Senate following.

In exact contrast, the second — Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg’s pride and joy — is a total abomination. It is utterly ineffective politics and actively destructive policy. But, perhaps precisely because of those two characteristics, actually has a chance of, if you’ll pardon the word, success.

We will find out this coming week when the states consider signing off on or against it. If the Labor states had any political nous and policy rationality — that is to say, rationality in terms of achieving the utterly irrational energy outcomes they purport to seek — they would sign off on it.

The so-called Energy Security Board, in releasing the typical GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out) modelling that purported to show power prices falling like the leaves in autumn, or eagles and other birds across a land of sweeping plains and proliferating turbines, went the full nudge-nudge, wink-wink to those states.

Yes, we have a 26-28 per cent target for cutting emissions of carbon dioxide, but not only is there nothing in the NEG which would prevent an increase in that target, the locked-in 2024 review could actively increase it.

Simply, the Labor states would be made (in their madness) not to endorse the NEG. Any suggestion this would give the embattled government a potent political weapon is beyond laughable.

Not only is the promise of manana cuts to power prices — sometime in the 2020s — utterly worthless in political terms, “success” with the NEG would actively lock the government out of a range of policy changes that could not only promise credible power price cuts but actually deliver them. These range from a “big picture” replay of Tony Abbott’s 2013 “axe the tax” — simply and obviously, following President Trump’s US in walking away from the fake Paris Climate Accord — to more direct intervention in both the gas and electricity markets to force immediate increases in supply.

None of this is rocket science — except perhaps the NEG itself, which to me looks like very early North Korean rocket science; the sort that sends rockets straight into the sea or blowing up on launch.

It’s laughable to hear business and commentators rail against any suggestion of “intervention in the market”. The market for energy is totally and utterly shaped and driven by intervention.

What do these idiots — and really, that’s not pejorative, just a statement of fact — think the 26-28 per cent emissions target is? The forced use of wind power and the $80-or-so MWh subsidy that accompanies it?

What do they think state government bans on shale and even conventional gas exploration and development are? Differential tax rates? Development and export approvals? And the interventions go on and on and on.

The government has two policies that not only could win it the next election but arguably without which it cannot win; and which should have been made blindingly clear by the outcome most prominently in Longman but also, if it cared to look, in Mayo.

They are most definitely not the “big company” tax cut and the NEG. They are plain and simple: a big cut in both migration and power prices — both of which are eminently and indeed urgently deliverable.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has engaged in the “big lie” over the tax cut. That he has been able to get away with it is a depressing but telling commentary on especially the PM.

Shorten claims at the same time that the tax cut would only go to (wicked) foreign companies because of dividend imputation offsetting it for Australian-owned companies; and at the same it is multi-billion-dollar handout to the, largely Australian-owned, big banks.

The truth is that it is precisely because it would have its biggest impact on foreign investors that it is so necessary. Simply, they don’t have to invest in Australia; so why would they when we want to confiscate 30 per cent of their profits while the US would only take 21 per cent.

The most depressing feature of it is all is the sheer uncompromising ineptitude of the PM. This was captured in a repetition of an extended and seemingly endless eight-week campaign — for Super Saturday, just like the 2016 general election — where the PM had essentially nothing to say.

More telling was the way he got his reaction to the election of President Trump exactly wrong on both counts. First, he quite deliberately chose that moment to formally sign Australia up to the Fake Paris Accord, when Trump’s election had given Australia at least a deferral option or, more sensibly, a similar exit.

Then he chose not to use Trump’s aggressive personal and corporate tax cut proposals to at least argue a similar mix — sticking most obviously to the pathetic company cut from 30 to 25 per cent and only after 10 years in contrast to the US’s immediate cut from 35 to 21 per cent.

At what point do the lemmings otherwise known collectively as the Liberal — and indeed the broader Coalition — party room wake up to the fact they have a dud leader?

Presumably, only as they enter the cold, cold water of political defeat and oblivion.
The Australian

Bigger than Texas, with an ageing and shrinking population (currently about 1.6 million), South Australia fast became an international laughingstock, as a result of its obsession with sunshine and breezes.

Already paying the highest power prices in the world, when the whole State went black in September 2016 (much of it for days), the price paid for allowing idiots anywhere near the energy controls became self-evident.

At the time it was run by the vapid Jay Weatherill – who presided over a cabinet with IQs not much higher than President Comacho’s crack team of advisers (see above).

Some of the SA Labor government’s dealings in the energy domain were not just dimwitted, they were insane.

In the lead up to the March 2018 election (which Weatherill convincingly lost), the panicked Premier and his witless cabinet threw $550 million of taxpayer’s money at a last-minute effort to keep the lights and air conditioners on over the summer: $400 million to purchase 276MW worth of diesel-fuelled jet engines (that chew up 80,000 litres of diesel an hour) and $150 million on Elon Musk’s 100 MW ‘mega-battery’ that ‘powers’ SA for all of 4 minutes, when the wind stops blowing.

Well before that, the owner of the 580 MW coal-fired Northern power station at Port Augusta (rendered unprofitable due to the massive subsidies paid to wind and solar) offered to remain running for a paltry $25 million, to be used to refurbish part of the plant.

Instead, that offer was rejected; the plant shutdown and later dynamited with glee by Weatherill & Co.

Weatherill and his brains trust – not content with destroying a reliable, baseload power plant – doubled down (as fanatics tend to do) and signed up to spend $650 million of taxpayer’s money on a solar/thermal plant, that would have delivered a trivial 150 MW, around 52% of the time, on average.

The ultimate cost was estimated to be more like $1.2 billion, but that didn’t deter Jay Weatherill and his bully-boy sidekick, Tom Koutsantonis: South Australia: Sublime One Day, Ridiculous the Next – Premier Set to Squander $1.2bn on Solar-Thermal Boondoggle

The much-hyped project has gone nowhere, despite plenty of begging on the part of the rent-seekers involved, for hundreds of $millions in subsidies, grants and soft ‘loans’ from both State and Federal governments. However, notwithstanding the fact that the plant will remain a pipe dream, South Australian taxpayers have been left to pick up a very substantial tab on behalf of the idiots that once governed them.

‘Rushed’ energy deal to cost taxpayers $106m
The Australian
Michael Owen
3 August 2018

A “rushed and incompetent” deal with power companies struck by the former Labor government in South Australia will see taxpayers fork out up to $106 million extra this year, the state’s Treasurer says.

Rob Lucas revealed an extraordinary 73 per cent hike in the whole-of-government cost of electricity yesterday, a month before he is due to deliver the Marshall government’s first budget on September 4.

Mr Lucas said some department price hikes for power supply were “beyond comprehension”, including a 150 per cent increase for the Department for Child Protection this year and a 500 per cent jump in power costs for the Country Fire Service next year.

The former Labor government’s pursuit of renewable energy has left South Australians paying among the highest prices for power in the world.

Labor frontbencher Tom Koutsantonis, the former treasurer and energy minister, said last night that the deal was “the best result … given the market conditions”.

An independent consultant would review the contract arrangements, Mr Lucas said.

The revelations come a week out from a meeting between federal and state energy ministers to secure agreement for the Turnbull government’s national energy guarantee.

The final detailed design forecasts savings of up to $550 a year, although this has been questioned by some in the Coalition’s ranks, including Tony Abbott.

Mr Lucas, in a statement to the SA parliament, said electricity costs for the state government were expected to rise by between $45m and $106m under a rushed deal orchestrated by the former Labor government months before the March state election.

In a short-term deal that locked in massive electricity price rises across government this year, the former administration began negotiations only six months before an existing contract to supply power to government sites was due to expire last December.

The hurried arrangements were forced by the former government’s agreement with Californian company Solar Reserve to build the world’s largest solar thermal plant near Port Augusta.

Construction of the $650m plant has been repeatedly delayed as the US company struggles to finalise its proposal and secure finance, despite Labor last year entering into a contract with the company to power state assets for 20 years from 2020.

Bridging contracts were required because of the deal and one-year contracts entered into with incumbent suppliers Origin Energy and Simply Energy.

“Astonishingly, Labor left the procurement process for such a critical contract until six months before it was due to expire,” Mr Lucas said yesterday.

An agreement for energy retail services and supply was struck with Zen Energy for electricity supply and retail services across government from January 1 next year to October 31, 2020.

Mr Lucas said his government had been denied access to an independent report by Frontier Economics used by Labor to determine the cost basis and merits of the individual deals because the advice went to cabinet.
The Australian

The grinning Idiot who put his State on the map, for all the wrong reasons.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. If Australia had an outcome like ” Idiocracy ” it probably would be a positive after hearing what a lot of Australians think. After watching Q&A last night where an old woman wanted to save the planet by installing more renewables shows that the battle for any sanity in Australia has been lost.It would be much better to go through the pain of having no electricity or jobs for ten years until the 1970’s electricity generation system could be rebuilt. Whats happening in Australia as noted at the beginning of this article shows that there is no simple way to fix or even understand the problem by most Australians who have no knowledge or idea how an efficient, cheap electricity generation system works. Australia probably has the most expensive education system in the world but it seems to be unable to teach it’s university graduates any commonsense or even what keeps them fed and employed. It’s time organisations like STT close their doors and let nature take it’s course. In the 1960’s Universities produced engineers to build the modern Australia then along came the 1990’s when Universities produced engineers who thought their future in life was to prove you could put square pegs in round holes and round pegs in square holes and reinvent the wheel. Now their aim in life is to save the Great Barrier Reef and the world. There is no hope or future for Australia the people are too stupid..

  2. Peter Pronczak says:

    Anyone who doesn’t think there’s a conspiracy is either an idiot or part of it; things don’t just happen on an international scale over centuries without planning on a preconceived template. Such is the oligarchic empire of monetarism; it don’t just happen from incompetence; they are the foot soldiers; the ordinary befuddled citizens; those who are bleetingly led by the nose and see the Emperor’s new clothes. It has been thus since (dis)Augustus Caesar to think otherwise is ‘Idiocracy’ and its rise to reality.

    If STT wants an each way bet, then its purpose is defeated, such is the nature of the beast. Either the City of London Corporation is defeated or it continues its domination of the financial system and the continuation to tilt at windmills.

    The choice is to submit or fight; that is individual within the realms of what is acceptable within your own social network; outcast, or go along to get along.

  3. Sarcastic Cynic says:

    STT’s comparison with Idiocracy is apt. The waste of taxpayer funds battling this imaginary goblin of global warming across the globe is enormous. The comparisons with The Emperor’s New Clothes and The Boy Who Cried Wolf are more than appropriate. The mindless waste and group-think of those involved is difficult for me to fathom. While many of the readers to this site are struggling and striving to make the home accounts balance at the end of each month, the ease at which these political fanatics can just toss around money like confetti escapes my understanding.
    It has been a major source of funding for political parties in the US: legislate taxpayer funds to wind and solar companies and part of it gets returned in political donations in a legal money laundering fashion. I suspect the same goes on in Australia.
    If, or when the shoe finally drops on the politicians that the scam is up, it’s going to take decades to unravel all the little government departments dedicated to prolonging the scam. We just see the public face of a couple of the major players, but every federal department has its division and allocation of resources devoted to the “environment” and upholding the belief in the need for wind and solar energy. State and local governments have resources and departments devoted to renewable energy promotion. The mindset is throughout all levels of government. The employees whose career advancements depend on successful compliance with preset goals promoting global warming remediation are not going to just go away quietly.
    It would be comforting to have a few very public trials of complicit politicians so that this episode can be put well behind, but that’s unlikely to occur.

    • Agreed. It will take a revolution.

    • Your are right on the money. I worked in the middle management of a large Australian government transmission corporation that was taken over by its WHS section. It was amazing how a pure engineering organisation became a farcical joke run by the head transmission engineer being told what to do by the WHS nurse and her girlfriends. The head engineer was quite happy to see the place descend into a circus after he was overlooked for the Electricity commissioners position and on occasion went out of his way to stir up trouble for a laugh. I am afraid this corporation would have made ” Idiocracy” look quite normal and sane in comparison. I finally couldn’t stand the sore stomach muscles from so much laughing at the comedy so I left and went to work for another government corporation which wasn’t much better ROFL..I think stupidity is so ingrained into the Australian psychic now that as some of the saner people I have worked with commented that it would take a major world war to fix the madness that is descending on Australia.

  4. singletonengineer says:

    I’m not convinced that Australia’s corporate sector is more heavily taxed than comparisons with OECD generally or USA. Those prepared to wade through a 400+ page report prepared for the Commonwealth Treasury will find a copy by Googling “Australian Treasury + Warburton”. It’s dated 2006 but isn’t significantly out of date because there hasn’t been much movement in this field. Australian companies are not significantly disadvantaged with respect to those overseas and in many cases face lower taxes.

  5. Terry Conn says:

    ‘Insane’! – doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: