Green light to dirty coal plant threatens to undermine Gillard’s climate credibility

Press release - 28 March, 2012

Thursday, March 29:

In response to the decision by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to approve the proposed HRL dirty coal-fired power station at full-scale, Greenpeace Climate and Energy Campaigner Julien Vincent said:
“This is a bizarre decision laid down today from VCAT and flies in the face of the fact that the last six months have shown HRL’s project for what it really is: dirty, unpopular, unnecessary and expensive."
“Prime Minister Gillard should be alarmed. This decision effectively means that despite all the political pain of bringing in a carbon price, the first step towards her Clean Energy Future could turn out to be a new, dirty coal-fired power station."
“In a week which saw the United States EPA introduce the first limits to carbon emissions to new dirty coal-fired power stations, this decision, coupled with the shredding of Victoria’s climate policy and slashing of solar programs in Queensland shows just how at risk Australian climate policy is."
“The Prime Minister must now intervene to protect both the environment and her climate credibility. HRL has been kept afloat for five years by a $100 million grant, paid for by the Australian taxpayer. She must now cancel this unpopular waste of taxpayer’s money and stop this dirty coal fired power station in its tracks.”
Note:
In September 2011, a survey conducted by Newspoll for Greenpeace found that 67% of Victorians supported the withdrawal of HRL’s $100 million taxpayer-funded grant and for it to be redirected to renewable energy. In February 2012, a petition of nearly 12,000 Australians called on Parliament to withdraw HRL’s grant and reinvest this money in renewable energy.
Details of the survey available at
http://www.greenpeace.org/australia/en/news/climate/PM-given-green-light-to-cancel-coal-funding/
For further info or comment, contact:
Julien Vincent, Greenpeace energy campaigner, 0419 179 529