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Friday, 28 December 2012

What a great achievement for everyone, every box ticked, every post a winner.

Seriously.

There are people who revel in this round robin stuff.   Build careers on it, travel a lot and teach others how to do it.  

Wouldn't it be a brighter future if Alcoa made cheaper, higher quality aluminium and aluminium products than its competitors?   Who really benefits when Alcoa management get into the business of horse-trading carbon derivatives and the government indulgences that go with them?

It is madness to think of all the paper shuffling and carbon (dioxide) emission permit trading that now accompanies the actual business of making aluminium stuff in Australia.

It's crazy - and at the end of the chain somewhere is a General in some African nation who has received huge sums of cash that represent the "value" he has put into the system by absorbing the carbon dioxide from Alcoa's plant in Victoria into his trees in Upper Kombuktastan.

I reckon we could do with a Thinker in Residence to think our way out of the situation where the business of making aluminium cans is more concerned with money going from Australia (successful, developed, carbon-emissions-bad, must pay money) to Tin-Pot-Dictatorship-Stan (unsuccessful, undeveloped, aid-dependent, its carbon-emissions-not-bad-or-harmful, must receive more money under the scheme).

The Anthropogenic Global Warming Scam has it all for the control freak greenie types.   For the rest of us, at some point actually doing things will just get too hard.

This snippet is from Melbourne's The Age newspaper.

Secret deal claws back carbon tax

Date
December 28,  2012
Tom Arup and Josh Gordon
THE state  government and Alcoa have stitched up a secret  deal to trigger  more federal compensation to pay for Victoria's increased costs under the carbon  tax,  generated by subsidising the aluminum giant's electricity use.

The deal could also deliver tens of  of millions of dollars in extra  government benefits to Alcoa at the expense of Victorian taxpayers.

Details of the deal are shrouded in secrecy, with the two parties signing  a  confidentiality agreement. The value of financial dealings over electricity  between the government and Alcoa have long been undisclosed.

Alcoa spokeswoman Nichola Holgate said  a ''mutually beneficial agreement''  had been reached earlier this year, but would not provide details,  citing   confidentiality.

The deal  follows a federal-state $44 million bailout of Alcoa's Port Henry  smelter at Geelong earlier this year. Alcoa has  also received just under 6  million free carbon permits as federal compensation for the carbon tax.

Alcoa's two smelters in Victoria - at Point Henry and Portland - employ  almost  1200 people. The industry uses around  a fifth of the state's  electricity.

Under arrangements signed in the 1980s, the State Electricity Commission  - a  corporate shell used by the state government to manage contracts supplying  electricity to Alcoa - subsidises power for the two smelters based on the global  aluminum price.

As the carbon tax pushes up power prices, the state government's bill under  the Alcoa  power arrangements increases, potentially by hundreds of millions of  dollars, but it is not eligible for federal compensation.

Alcoa, however, is. It is understood negotiations on  the  deal  centred   on  moving some of the electricity onto Alcoa's books, triggering federal carbon  compensation because it is deemed an ''emissions-intensive, trade-exposed''  company.

The deal means  the state government will cover some of the higher  electricity costs on the subsidised Alcoa power contracts, which  end in 2014  and 2016.

While much of the extra compensation would be passed back to the state  to  cover its increased costs, during the negotiations Alcoa made it clear it wanted  to retain some of the compensation.

A senior source told Fairfax Media in June that Alcoa was arguing it should  be allowed to keep a proportion of the extra federal compensation because the  carbon price would reduce the working lives of its smelters.

''There is a negotiation about how much we can pass through to Alcoa. That is  significant,'' the source said at the time. ''They only want to give 80 to 90  per cent back.''

Last week, neither party would say what compensation Alcoa had been allowed  to retain, if any.

Treasurer Kim Wells refused to say how much the agreement would cost  taxpayers.

His spokeswoman, Stephanie Ryan, said the commission was party to an  agreement that may have exposed the Victorian taxpayers to a significant carbon  tax liability. ''The state negotiated amendments to the electricity supply  agreements in relation to the Portland and Point Henry smelters in July. The  government is limited in what it can say given the commercial nature of these  arrangements,'' she said.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/secret-deal-claws-back-carbon-tax-20121227-2bxvt.html#ixzz2GJ66IHWL

Thanks to reader Jim.



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