Alan Kohler is one of Australia’s most experienced business commentators. Alan has been a trusted source of investment advice to Australians for many years, and in 2005 he founded Eureka Report - Australia’s #1 online investment report. Along with Robert Gottliebsen and Stephen Bartholomeusz, Alan also founded Business Spectator, the popular business news and commentary website. Alan is the regular finance presenter on the ABC News and producer of the popular nightly graph (or two).
The contradictions in the government’s approach to climate change are being flushed out via a diplomatic dispute with the US. But it’s not just Obama making things difficult, with the International Energy Agency changing its tune on coal demand.
The head of a major utility who accused his customers of being ‘greedy & selfish’ to use batteries plus solar to go off-grid reflects the monopoly entitlement mentality of a sector that lacks competitive discipline.
In fending off calls to ban new coal mines, the PM has suggested we should focus on ends rather than means. He's right, but how can you possibly trust a politician's pledge to reduce emissions in 10 to 15 years' time?
Some assume mining and emission reduction regulations are in conflict, but analysis from BHP Billiton shows it's more complex and suggests relatively little impact on their earnings. But there's some weaknesses in their assumptions.
A single chart from Goldman Sachs illustrates not even rapid growth in Indian coal demand can rescue the coal market from decline. So why is our new energy minister considering spending billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money on rail for new coal mines?