WEDNESDAY 20 JULY, 2011 |
Coal Cries Poor - Making $1 Million Per Employee
The coal industry has moaned about Australia's carbon tax increasing the cost of
a tonne of coal by less than $2; while reportedly making a million dollars
profit per employee.
Speaking to workers at Centennial Coal in the Hunter Valley, Prime Minister
Julia Gillard assured workers their jobs were safe.
"This is an industry where businesses are making profits in the order of $1 million per worker. There's a lot of money to be made in
Prime Minister Gillard also mentioned the high prices the coal industry is
currently enjoying at the moment for its polluting product. Coal prices have
doubled in recent years, from around $150 a tonne, to $300 a tonne. It hasn't
This is all certainly reassuring to the coal industry; not so to Australian
solar power installation companies focused on empowering Australian households
to generate their own clean electricity that have had to close their doors
recently due to current unfavourable government policy in some states.
Coal's profits have come at a horrendous price to Australia and the world - the
destruction of landscapes, loss of habitats, contamination of waterways, the
plundering of resources and in how those resources have been consumed.
Unlike the energy that beats down upon Australia every day in the form of solar
and that blows across the continent as wind
, once that coal is gone, it's gone forever.
It's damage that keeps on keeping on when the coal is burned; in the form of
carbon dioxide emissions, particulates, atmospheric mercury and pollutants in
Given such an incredible profit margin, maybe it's not such a big ask that these
companies lose a little more fat in order to help repair and compensate for the
damage that has been done over decades.
The fossil fuel industry has grown morbidly obese through massive subsidisation,
which has been at the expense
of the renewable energy revolution
. Many have wondered where Australia would
be now in terms of energy if more money had been funnelled towards renewables.
A low carb (carbon) diet is just what the doctor ordered. Compared to the cost
of some other diets, $2 a tonne might seem incredibly cheap. Some would say it
is perhaps too cheap to lose the toxic weight that is necessary given the state
of the patient's (our planet's) health.
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