NSW (and a lot of Australia) is a closeted corner of the world where electronic news can take decades to arrive. The electrons themselves make it downunder in 150 milliseconds or so, but the message may never make it past the ABC-Fairfax filter. Apparently the highest office in NSW wants to emulate California. It’s like it’s 1994.
“When it comes to clean energy, we can be Australia’s answer to California.”
— Rob Stokes, NSW Environment Minister.*
Maurice Newman sets him straight in The Australian.
In short — companies are fleeing from a green California to Texas where electricity is half the price. For some reason jobs, profits, products and opportunities are following the energy. California’s unemployment rate is 7.4%. Texas’ is 5.1%.
California dreaming is nuts in NSW
“The NSW government must also be oblivious to the steady exodus of Californian businesses and jobs. Companies like Toyota, which after 60 years has moved its US headquarters to Texas, or Occidental Petroleum, which after 50 years has left for Houston. Chevron is next. Other stalwarts like ARCO, Getty Oil, Union Oil, Fluor, Calpine and Intel have all moved in search of a more business friendly environment and lower energy costs. Texas has been the main beneficiary. It has added 200,000 jobs in the energy sector in the past decade while California has barely managed 20,000. Texas leads California in the export of hi-tech.”
“Meanwhile, in the real world, California’s unemployment rate is 7.4 per cent (fourth highest in the country). It compares to 5.1 per cent for Texas and the national rate of 6.1 per cent. California’s relative joblessness lends weight to the UK Versa Economics study, which found that for every job created in the wind industry 3.7 jobs are lost elsewhere.”
“Yet, with electricity prices already 40 per cent above the national average and twice as high as Texas, its aggressive policies are set to push up prices 47 per cent in real terms over the next 16 years. Is this really what the Baird government wants?”
*Welcome to Australian politics — the NSW Baird government is conservative by Australian standards. It’s hard to believe how effective our media-filter is.