IPART wrong on the future of coal mining

MEDIA RELEASE – 16 July 2014 

The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining, Jeremy Buckingham today said the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) have got it wrong on the future of coal mining.  In a decision this week regarding public rail access prices for coal miners, IPART has assumed that coal mining will continue at current rates until 2044, but the Greens have questioned whether this is realistic given the transition occurring in the energy market and the impact of burning coal on climate change.

“The idea that we will still be mining coal at the current rate in 2044 is just not realistic, and the effect of this decision is to drop the return rate from 8% to 5.9% p.a. and give significant discounts in favour of the coal industry for using a public rail line,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“Coal mining is facing a serious structural decline as broad community opposition to its destructive impacts on the environment, farmland and communities combines with the growth of renewable energy and a falling world price to impact the industry’s long term viability.

“This decision means that NSW taxpayers will be left paying for stranded rail assets, as the economic assumptions of IPART will not play out in the real world.

“Coal mining is increasingly being seen by the public, investors and regulators in the same light as tobacco, gambling and fast food, as the world moves to protect clean water, clean air and our climate” he said.

Contact: Jack Gough – 9230 2202 or 0427 713 101

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