Coal to liquids plant, an attempt to prop up unviable brown coal industry

Friends of the Earth condemn the announcement by Resources Minister Peter Batchelor that the Latrobe Valley will be the site for carbon capture project and a coal to liquids plant as another step in the wrong direction on climate change.

Friends of the Earth condemn the announcement by Resources Minister Peter Batchelor that the Latrobe Valley will be the site for carbon capture project and a coal to liquids plant as another step in the wrong direction on climate change.

“Hazelwood is one of the most polluting power stations in the industrialized world that was due to shut down in 2005, yet our government continues to provide handouts and prop it up with expensive and unproven projects such as carbon capture,” said Friends of the Earth Climate Campaigner Louise Morris.

“The Ignite Energy Resources coal to oil technology being promoted as a means to turn extremely polluting brown coal into oil, also a source of greenhouse pollution, and then so-called ‘clean coal’ - that could potentially be exported- has all the hall marks of yet another smoke and mirrors project to rescue an unviable and polluting industry.”

“What Ignite Energy Resources and the Brumby Government are not telling us is how much energy is required to undertake this process of turning brown
coal into oil, as well as drying it to the water content of black coal. Will this not put extra strain on our already struggling electricity sector and increase our escalating greenhouse emissions?”

“The question needs to be asked as to why our Government continues to support and subsidize the brown coal industry, which is a major contributor to climate change, while we are losing viable and profitable renewable energy overseas?” said Ms Morris.

“Our government and brown coal industry have a woeful track record of floating pie in the sky ideas to prop up an industry that is part of the problem and is destined to go the way of the dinosaurs. The troubled HRL proposal is one such project. After having $150 million dollars of taxpayers monies pumped into it we are none the wiser as to whether this project will get off the ground, or where it will be located.”

“We know we have to get real about climate change and move away from the sources of pollution. This announcement has shown that the Brumby government is committed to coal at the expense of a clean renewable energy sector and a just transition for those employed in the energy sector,” concluded Ms Morris.

For media comment- Louise Morris 0408906310