Two trillion in subsidies worldwide for fossil fuel producers? If that figure’s accurate, then the free market dogma so many conservative smog-baron types usually spout in support of, say, further disenfranchising the poor because it’s not fair that rich people should pay for other peoples’ bad luck or laziness via taxation should also apply to their own industries.
To flamin’ wit: if, even in the midst of an alleged local resources boom, your hole-digging businesses need billions in government subsidies in order to survive then, by your own standards, you’ve either had the bad luck to pick a loser or you’re too lazy or stupid to change your business model – and the rest of us shouldn’t be footing the bill. Not to mention that your lobbying for subsidies (like taxpayer-funded cheap diesel) rings a little hollow when your overfed CEOs not only make as much per year as Luxembourg but also have the spare cash to retain specialist lawyers, accountants and (presumably) some kind of goblin mage to ensure they pay less tax than the bloke who cleans out the shitters.
Renewables – chiefly solar and wind – have been on the rise for two decades and you’ve all had plenty of time to get used to the idea and take a few scoops from your money bins to invest in them. There’s simply no excuse for you to restrict yourself to just digging holes like a top-hatted 19th century industrialist and then expect a round of applause, much less handout after handout – it’s not as if fossil fuel is some fledgling industry with loads of promise that deserves a little public support to get off the starting line.
There’s also absolutely no point whining about renewables and trying to have your pocket-pollies shut them down when, again, there’s been ample time for you to realise in which direction the future of domestic energy lies and invest accordingly. Good lord, some of you have made so much money in the last decade you could’ve bought a chunk of desert and built a solar station in it big enough to power the east coast or enough wind farms to power both Las and Bris Vegas, all the while chuckling to your mates at the Club over how it didn’t cost you a farthing to locate and extract the raw material and gosh would they like to have a gander at your profit margins now.
Meanwhile, as location and extraction of fossil fuels gets more expensive and less efficient (not to mention more environmentally catastrophic – but as if you’d give half a roasted black swan in rhino-foam about that) domestic energy markets are changing and governments worldwide are committing to reducing carbon output and increasing usage of renewables. In the face of such progress and by their own market-worshipping standards, any fossil-burning CEO left stranded and hapless will – by their own standards – only have themselves to blame.
This story details a recent report into government funding of mining at a state/territory level in Australia. Relevant quote:
“The Queensland Government has spent about as much money supporting its mining industry as it’s spent on building new hospitals,” [Dr Richard Denniss, ED of the Australia Institute, which produced the report] observed.
“The Western Australian Government has spent about as much money as it spent on its police force. So, these are enormous sums of money.”
Iron ore is Australia’s biggest export earner, but it doesn’t receive the bulk of mining assistance from state governments.
“There’s no doubt the coal industry is the biggest recipient of tax payer subsidies – both directly and indirectly,” Dr Denniss added.
Naturally, the hole-barons called it Greens propaganda – obviously unaware of the mote in their eye, in the form of the Institute of Public Affairs, the notorious fringe-right ultra-capitalist lobby group headed by Gina Rinehart and Murdoch and which gave a wishlist of free-market wet dreams to the Coalition government, who used it to dictate the bulk of their foreign, domestic and financial policies.