July 6, 2017 Read More →

‘Gas Cartel’ Driving Gas Prices Up; Gouging Australian Public

Charis Chang for news.com.au:

A cartel has gained control of Australia’s gas and is killing the economy, pushing prices up and sending businesses broke, one expert says.

Australians are grappling with huge increases in electricity and gas bills, with one recycling business saying his electricity bill had increased from about $80,000 to $180,000 a month.

Plastic Granulating Services was forced to close its doors last month, leaving 35 employees out of work, and there are fears more could follow as further increases are expected.

Part of the reason why power prices are shooting up is due to the closure of cheap coal-fired power stations but also because of rising gas prices.

Power companies have already warned of increases of up to 8 per cent for residential customers this year and the Turnbull Government has announced measures to try and get more gas into the Australian market.

But energy analyst Bruce Robertson of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, says a gas cartel on the east coast of Australia is also making things worse.

“The Australian gas cartel is restricting supply to the domestic market in order to force up the price,” he said.

“It’s surprising how relaxed the Australian public is about this price gouge. In many other countries, they’d be rioting on the streets.”

Companies were being helped by the secrecy around prices, gas reserves and production costs, which has allowed producers and the owners of pipelines transporting the gas to control the price.

“Prices are too high in Australia because we have given away the ability to control the price — it’s killing the Australian domestic economy,” Mr Robertson said

Full story:  ‘Gas Cartel’ is Pushing Gas Prices Up in Australia

 

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