Media Release: Greens respond to Eraring speculation

As Greens' Treasury and Energy Spokesperson, Abigail today condemned NSW Labor for their failure to close down coal and invest in renewables, ahead of decisions to keep Eraring open. 

Quotes attributable to Abigail Boyd, Greens NSW MP and spokesperson for Energy and Treasury:

“Labor can’t hide behind this report. It doesn’t say we have to keep Eraring open, it says we need to rapidly get more renewables online to avoid any need to keep Eraring open. We have two paths ahead of us - either we choose to keep pandering to the fossil fuel industry by keeping coal-fired power stations open longer than they need to be, or we urgently invest in publicly-owned renewables.

“We can’t leave the energy transition of our state to the whims of big business. Labor needs to fill the decades-long leadership void and actually start calling the shots, and spending the money, when it comes to energy policy in NSW.

“Not a single dollar of taxpayer money should be paid to underwrite the profitability of a private coal power generator. If Eraring is to stay open a single day past its scheduled closure date, then it should be as a publicly-owned generator. The people of NSW are sick and tired of being the underwriters of fossil fuel capital.

“What is crystal clear to the Greens is that we should never have privatised these energy assets.

“What we need is a clear transition plan for closing down our coal-fired power stations, taking into account not just energy reliability, but also the quickest way to bring down our greenhouse gas emissions while still supporting workers and communities. When we look at these issues from a broader perspective, there may well be merit, for example, in bringing forward the closure date of Vales Point to before Eraring.

“We look forward to viewing the modelling undertaken in regards to this situation, and coming to terms with what assumptions the NSW Labor government have deemed appropriate for an issue of such urgency. Doing this will help us determine the right path forward together - it will help give confidence that it is the Government leading this transition, and not big business.

“This ‘will they, won’t they’ speculation is terribly distressing and frustrating for the dedicated workers operating these power stations, who still have no transition plan for when these plants do close.

“I look forward to asking Energy Co about this report tomorrow at our consultants inquiry,” Abigail Boyd said.

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