Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

Say 'yes' to clean coal, but say 'no' to General Electric

By Jonathan J. Ariel - posted Tuesday, 12 August 2008

What do Australian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan have in common with a proposed $3 billion "clean coal" power plant in New South Wales or Queensland?

A whole lot more than you think.

US multinational, General Electric proposes to build a “clean” 700-800MW power plant, which will turn coal into gas and then remove the CO2 before storing it underground. And they want you to foot the tab. At least in part.


So said GE’s Global Clean Coal Power chief, Mr Keith White in Melbourne on July 29.

Mr White claimed that carbon prices of $40-$50 a tonne would make the GE plants viable. While this price was likely in the future, indications that initial carbon prices of $20 a tonne would imply that GE would need “assistance” at the start. This is corporate code for taxpayer subsidies.

The Australian noted that the “company was in talks with state governments”.

GE’s conversations revolve around its Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle designed for black coal, found in Queensland and NSW. This explains why no talks are underway with the Victorian government. IGCC involves pulverising coal, extracting gas, feeding the gas into a power plant and jettisoning the carbon.

Sounds great. But two questions arise.

First, is GE the right partner for state governments? Second, just how much money does GE expect the taxpayer to fork over? We’ll leave the second question to another column.


On Friday, January 11, 2008, Fox News Channel aired the reactions to its investigation into General Electric’s dealings with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Most of GE’s dealings, interestingly, have focused on power generation.

Interviewed on the O’Reilly Factor were the vice president of the Center for Security Policy, Mr Christopher Holton and the co-founder of 9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America, Ms Debra Burlingame. Muslim terrorists killed Ms Burlingame’s brother on 9-11.

Ms Burlingame mentioned that GE’s stance is that “they're only fulfilling old contracts”. As opposed to drumming up new business. GE through its subsidiaries, she claimed, was also doing business with another terror state, Syria.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

7 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Jonathan J. Ariel is an economist and financial analyst. He holds a MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management. He can be contacted at

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Jonathan J. Ariel

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Photo of Jonathan J. Ariel
Article Tools
Comment 7 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy