Morrison makes powerful moves
The new PM has appointed an anti-wind energy minister, and a coal lobbyist as chief of staff.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has emerged on top after the chaotic self-destruction of the Federal Government.
In his first moves since seizing power, PM Morrison’s new cabinet sees the energy and environment portfolios split apart once more.
Angus Taylor, a leading anti-wind campaigner, has been named as energy minister, while former mining industry lawyer Melissa Price has become the new environment minister.
Mr Morrison called Mr Taylor the “minister for getting energy prices down”, who would take over NEG talks to ensure the energy reforms would be “about reliability, price, keeping the lights on and getting prices down”.
Mr Taylor recently told 2GB that “the obsession with emissions at the expense of reliability and affordability has been a massive mistake.”
“I do think that we’re at a point now where we can get that balance right,” he said.
He reportedly told the 100-odd attendees of the anti-wind power rally that the technology had caused regional communities to tear “themselves to pieces, cousins versus cousins, brothers versus brothers, for massive subsidies to the wind industry, facilitated by the Federal Government.”
He has described anthropogenic climate change as “the new climate religion”, and told Parliament that “religious belief is based on faith not facts. The new climate religion, recruiting disciples every day, has little basis on fact and everything to do with blind faith.”
The new energy minister has described state-based emissions reduction targets as “insane”, and strongly opposed the ACT government’s 100 per cent renewable energy target.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also named John Kunkel, former deputy CEO of the Minerals Council of Australia, as his chief of staff.
Mr Kunkel served as deputy CEO of the Minerals Council for over 6 years before taking up a key political lobbying position for major coal producer, Rio Tinto.
Mr Kunkel has also worked with the consultancy Concept Economics, which is run by the outspokesn opponents of climate action and renewable energy schemes, Henry Ergas and Brian Fisher.
Analysts are investigating what PM Morrison, who once famously waved a large lump of coal around in Parliament to prove it was not scary, will mean for Australia’s climate and energy future.