Thoughts on carbon price talking points
February 27, 2011
The climate denialists in the Coalition has a simple message about the carbon price:
It’s a tax.
Taxes raise prices.
Prices on electricity, fuel and other things therefore will go up.
What about the alternative? The problem for progressives is that our arguments are nuanced. We don’t necessarily see the world in Manichean absolutes, black and white, good and evil.
Electricity prices without a carbon price will continue to rise. Doesn’t really make intuitive sense, but that’s without knowing that degrading energy infrastructure pushes up prices. We haven’t had a carbon price in the last three years (or really, at all) yet elecricity prices have continued to go up – because of the old power lines, substations and other infrastructure.
Energy produced from non-renewable sources cost more than renewables because you need to continually mine coal (or gas or uranium).
Once you build the wind farm or soal plant, you don’t need to pay for the fuel.
The wind and sun are free, so there are almost no ongoing cost.
A carbon price will lead to lower energy prices… because it will mean we use more wind, solar and geothermal energy that don’t have expensive fuel costs.
Whatever our message, we on the progressive side of politics need to significantly simplify our key message about the carbon price and renewables.