Energy Giants Force West Australian Carbon Tax Retreat

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Guest essay by Eric Worrall

A surprise effort by the resource rich West Australian Government to force energy giants to completely offset all their CO2 emissions has been withdrawn.

EPA scraps new carbon emissions guidelines for resources companies amid industry pressure

By Nicolas Perpitch
Updated yesterday at 7:35pm

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has withdrawn its contentious guidelines requiring major WA resources projects to completely offset their greenhouse gas emissions.

Key points:

  • The EPA’s emissions guidelines released this month had the resources industry up in arms
  • The Premier also spoke against them, saying the environmental body had gone a step too far
  • The EPA now concedes the guidelines would “benefit from further consultation”

Top executives from some of the world’s biggest resources companies met Premier Mark McGowan this morning to voice their strong opposition to the environmental watchdog’s recommendations.
Mr McGowan rang the EPA’s chairman Tom Hatton after the meeting to discuss industry’s concerns.

He said shortly afterwards, the EPA informed him it would be withdrawing the guidelines while it consulted further with industry.

Mr McGowan denied the move would create more uncertainty for industry during the consultation period, or that he pressured Dr Hatton to make the move.

We had a conversation for maybe 15 minutes, 20 minutes about it, but he obviously knew there were some very significant problems,” he said.

He’s a very good scientist and very committed to the environment, but he understood there were major issues that need to be dealt with.

Despite the major backdown by the EPA, Mr McGowan said he did not believe Dr Hatton’s position had been left untenable.

Read more:

Despite the withdrawal and denials, and the intervention of Premier McGowan, this is not necessarily the end of efforts by overzealous West Australian officials to decimate their state’s jobs and industries.

The growing risk of regulatory instability and environmental lunacy in Western countries must be a factor, when the boards of energy giants consider future investments and jobs.

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Joel O'Bryan
March 15, 2019 1:09 pm

Maybe they just wanted them to pay carbon-sin Indulgences to Church of Climate Change?
That is after-all in the broadest sense want this Climate Fuss is all about, in one form or another.

Joel O'Bryan
March 15, 2019 1:09 pm

Maybe they just wanted them to pay carbon-sin Indulgences to Church of Climate Change?
That is after-all in the broadest sense what this Climate Fuss is all about, in one form or another.

Bryan A
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
March 15, 2019 2:22 pm

For wan of a better word, this post is almost identical to your first post 😉

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Bryan A
March 15, 2019 2:38 pm

Just as I hit “post comment” my brain caught the word error. I hit X to stop it, then changed it and hit “post” again. Oh well. We need Edit back.

Reply to  Bryan A
March 15, 2019 2:47 pm

You can say that again.. 🙂

Pop Piasa
Reply to  The Old Man
March 15, 2019 8:18 pm

For now, it’s “forgive us our typos as we forgive those who confuse us”.

Bryan A
Reply to  Pop Piasa
March 15, 2019 11:10 pm

Layup, we should always forgive those who Confucius

Garland Lowe
Reply to  The Old Man
March 15, 2019 10:55 pm

that again..

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  Bryan A
March 16, 2019 6:05 am


For want of a better word you can say that again. 😉

March 15, 2019 1:16 pm

There is a tendency for the staff at various agencies to empire build on what their agency covers, which is why having a separate EPA, rather than leaving it in a larger body such as Interior in the US. What one tends to get is the “special prosecutor” effect, where there is no real sense of larger priorities.
Apparently, the same dynamic occurred in Australia, with bureaucrats moving the goalposts.

Reply to  Tom Halla
March 15, 2019 2:12 pm

I wonder how President Trump is doing at reducing federal regulations to 1960 levels. link

Regulations have benefits but also costs, and some of those costs aren’t obvious but they hurt freedom and the economy anyway.

Folks who haven’t worked for the civil service usually have no knowledge of how hard it is for civil servants to spend money. (It is disgustingly easy for politicians to waste money, but that’s not the same.) Everything has to be justified like crazy.

On the other hand, there is no process to force bureaucrats to justify regulations. Personally, I would rather see a bureaucrat able to waste a hundred thousand or two than be able to, with almost no oversight, promulgate a regulation that costs the economy billions.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  commieBob
March 15, 2019 8:47 pm

Having been an employee of the state of Illinois in the “post-Blagojevich era”, I can attest to what you wrote. I was indoctrinated with the notion of turning in a fellow civil servant for pocketing a state-bought pencil, yet the elected officials who put this on us had total immunity to the regulations they imposed.

Reply to  Pop Piasa
March 16, 2019 8:22 am

Oh you silly – Rules are for “Little People”, not for the Ruling Class! You know that!

Reply to  Tom Halla
March 16, 2019 4:22 am

more fun….in aus as every states epa has differing ideas and regs
so whats legal in one state is verboten a few miles over the border
as I found out when using old tyres for some barrier works
theyre only allowed to be used in circumstance of highest fire crash barriers are dragstrips or holding tarps down on silage in Vic
stopping erosion or as raised garden beds is too risky in Vic
but not in SA
yet one vic council approved a earthship house of tyres ?

in the article it said epa listens?
pigs a$$ they do.
they go lal al la and then fine you

March 15, 2019 1:36 pm

The “Energy Giant” said “We’ll just pass those multi-billion dollar offsetting costs along to our customers since you can see from our income tax return that we can’t cover it, plus we’ll show it as a separate amount on their monthly bills. They can think about it when they vote for you, or not, at the next election.”….. End of political virtue signalling at public expense.

Reply to  DMacKenzie
March 15, 2019 2:17 pm

“Nothing is impossible to the man who doesn’t have to do the work.” – WEILER’s LAW

“Nothing is too expensive to the man who isn’t paying the cost.”

Dave Fair
Reply to  Rocketscientist
March 15, 2019 3:13 pm

The AOC dictum: Everything is easy, there is money for anything you want.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Dave Fair
March 15, 2019 8:36 pm

Dave, the money she is talking about is public money. She appears to be very comfortable about spending it on the goals of the Sunrise Movement.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Pop Piasa
March 15, 2019 9:28 pm

Just remember that a vote for a progressive Democrat is a vote for carbon taxation, and a step closer to despotic socialist global governance.

Reply to  DMacKenzie
March 15, 2019 2:31 pm

I don’t remember which state, but some utility threatened to do that with the cost of new regulations.
The agency responded by passing a new regulation that outlawed the detailing the cost of regulations on customer bills.

Retired Engineer Dean
Reply to  MarkW
March 15, 2019 5:11 pm

Happened in Minnesota

Reply to  MarkW
March 16, 2019 5:49 pm

Would that pass the First Amendment test? Seriously doubt it. The government can not suppress espousing truthful statements, especially concerning government, itself, through any process.

Crispin in Waterloo
March 15, 2019 2:09 pm

Indulgences do not lower CO2 emissions. Got that? It is just a tax, not a reduction.

The whole idea of course is the have it “cost so much” and reductions “so attractive in comparison” that the taxes will finance some reductions, somehow.

Well, wind turbines don’t reduce net emissions; solar PV panels don’t reduce net emissions; Australia hardly has any hydro power left to harness; tidal power is a non-starter just about everywhere; nuclear power has been fragged by the Greens. So I have a renewable energy suggestion: get the kangaroos to use pogo sticks and install compressed air cylinders on them. A few flexible pipes and Bob’s your uncle: hot air to blow with the political wind.

This news from WA is the first sensible step I have heard emerge from that zone.

Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
March 16, 2019 8:27 am

Well we haven’t heard the benefit of further consultations yet and they always chuck in an ambit claim so the final gouging doesn’t seem so bad.

March 15, 2019 2:32 pm

“He’s a very good scientist”. Tom Hatton completed a Bachelor of Science (summa cum laude) and Master of Science in Natural Resources at Humboldt State University. In 1986 he completed his doctorate in the College of Natural Resources at Utah State University and post-doctoral studies in mathematics at the University of New South Wales in 1988. Dr Tom Hatton retired as CSIRO Group Executive, Energy after 25 years of service, overseeing the Energy Technology and Earth Science and Resource Engineering Divisions, as well as the Energy and Wealth from Oceans Flagships. The CSIRO is an independent Australian federal government agency responsible for scientific research.
Yet a 15 minute call from an arts and law graduate persuaded him that he was wrong? Seems to me that all members of the WA EPA should resign.

Reply to  Robber
March 15, 2019 9:34 pm

You have to understand that, as “independent” as the CSIRO is, it still takes grant money to promote the climate change fraud. That means that they are in on the conspiracy.

March 15, 2019 2:37 pm

David Keith and Michael Mann at each other’s throat… LOL
“There’s nothing that I’m telling you about solar geoengineering that gets it out of the need to cut emissions,” Keith said. “In the long run, if you want a stable climate, you have to bring emissions to zero. Full stop.”
Poor David Keith… History is not kind to this kind of dogmatic non sense.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  TomRude
March 15, 2019 3:43 pm

“In the long run, if you want a stable climate, you have to bring emissions to zero. Full stop …”.
Academia is the safest place to keep many of these characters.

Javert Chip
Reply to  Chris Hanley
March 15, 2019 7:16 pm


Lot’s of 7-11 stores are looking for night managers.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  Javert Chip
March 15, 2019 8:40 pm


James Beaver
Reply to  Chris Hanley
March 15, 2019 9:25 pm

There is substantial demand for long haul diesel truck drivers.

Reply to  James Beaver
March 16, 2019 5:59 pm

No thanks. they would be too dangerous on the road. They keep veering left.

March 15, 2019 2:56 pm

Meanwhile, the OCO-2 satellite data show that Australia’s carbon footprint is non-existent.

Reply to  Martin Clark
March 15, 2019 6:25 pm

The OCO-2 bird that is seeing CO2 where NASA models say there ain’t any and no CO2 where NASA models say there’s loads? – and the photosynthesis results….

that OCO-2 satellite ? – the one that was going to look down individual chimneys of Carbon criminals etc., etc.

They still haven’t managed to torture the observations to fit the script.

March 15, 2019 3:43 pm

These agencies should not be making New regs. They should be policing existing ones. Anyway, great news.

Geoff Sherrington
March 15, 2019 7:03 pm

Bureaucrat par excellence Sir Humphrey from “Yes Minister”, Anything is possible, but never for the first time.

March 15, 2019 7:12 pm

Tom Hatton = ex CSIRO socialist CAGW doomsdayer.
Primary interest = lining his and his colleagues’ pockets with taxpayer’s money.
Pet hate = private enterprise and every-day Australians.
Not much else to say apart from he’ll continue to undertake his socialist dirty work down under because our Govs just love it.

Javert Chip
March 15, 2019 7:23 pm

There is some value in that we’ve now progressed to the point the fake science and political crap are starting to bite Joe & Sheila Six-Pac in the wallet.

The silver lining might be people paying more attention to multiple & continued failure of goof-ball climate forecasts.

Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia
March 15, 2019 8:54 pm

The party is starting to come to an end in my county (poor fellow my country). Reality starts to bite. We need new politicians for a new age of realism.

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