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Tag Archives: environment

Subrogation

I always like finding new and useful words. Subrogation is what happens when someone who has suffered harm assigns to their insurer the right to sue the person who caused the harm (or their insurer) for damages. As suggested in this Law360 article (free 1-week registration required, this will soon be happening in relation to climate change. I mentioned the possibility in this article a few weeks ago (citing Adani and AIG as possible examples), but wasn’t up on the technical...

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Not everyone likes the grand bargain

I’ve been very surprised by the extent to which some commentators on the right have been willing to entertain the idea of a carbon price in return for lifting the ban on nuclear power. I mentioned Aaron Patrick in the Fin yesterday. And today, here’s Adam Creighton at the Oz Reviving the carbon tax debate is probably anathema for many, but if one were set up correctly, with all the money being returned to taxpayers by way of an annual payment, it would make nuclear power...

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A nuclear grand bargain ?

I wasn’t expecting much of a reaction to my submission to two Parliamentary inquiries into nuclear power, in which I advocated imposing a carbon price (set to rise to $50/tonne over time) and, conditional on this, repealing the existing legislative ban on nuclear power. Over the weekend, though, I heard that Aaron Patrick of the Fin was asking a few people about it. Given my past history with Patrick, I was expecting a gotcha hatchet job, or worse. When today’s Fin came out, I...

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IPA’s weekly links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action Thanks for being patient with the intermittent links schedule over the summer, I expect to have some catch-up ones included over the next weeks. Congrats to Mauricio Romero, Justin Sandefur, and Wayne Sandholtz, on their forthcoming article in American Economic Review, (ungated) on the Partnership Schools for Liberia (PSL) program, a public-private partnership testing how a variety of private school operators compared to...

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What price nuclear power ?

As I mentioned a while ago, the Standing Committee on Environment and Energy of the Commonwealth Parliament is inquiring into the prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia. There’s a similar inquiry happening in NSW. All the evidence suggests that this isn’t serious exercise. Rather it’s something intended to appease the National Party or troll the Greens, depending on where you are coming from. Still, it’s a Parliamentary inquiry on an important issue, so I decided to take...

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Adani beware: coal is on the road to becoming completely uninsurable

That’s the headline for my latest piece in The Conversation. Although I use Adani as a convenient example, it’s about the bigger issue of whether insurers will flee from the potential litigation liability of insuring fossil fuel producers. Of these, thermal coal miners and generators are the most vulnerable because they are already marginal in economic terms. Share this:Like this:Like Loading...

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The Broken Contract

So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to...

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Are SMRs vaporware

It seems as if nuclear fans in Australia have given up on conventional Generation III/III+ reactors such as the Westinghouse AP1000 and Areva EPR: unsurprising in view of the massive cost overruns and delays experienced in attempts to construct them. They’ve also gone quiet on the prospect of more advanced “Generation IV” reactors. Again that’s unsurprising. Most of the leading research projects in this field have been abandoned or deferred past 2030, even for prototypes. The...

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Rethinking nuclear

Apparently, in order to placate Barnaby Joyce and others, there will be a Parliamentary inquiry into nuclear power. I was thinking of putting a boring submission restating all the reasons why nuclear power will never happen in Australia, but that seemed pretty pointless. Given that the entire exercise is founded in fantasy, I’m thinking it would be better to suspend disbelief and ask what we need if nuclear power is to have a chance here. The answer is in two parts: Repeal the...

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Mesmerised by Messmer

Faced with glaring evidence of delays and cost blowouts, advocates of nuclear power invariably fall back on the same argument: France did it in the 1970s, why can’t we? An obvious riposte is that France can’t do it any more, as shown by the Flamanville fiasco. A more reasonable answer, which I put forward some years ago, is that the 1970s program depended on characteristics of the French state at the time: centralised, technocratic and with complete control of the energy sector. Those...

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