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Lang Hancock, “‘Phony crisis’ seen as ‘child of politics’,” The Canberra Times, in the supplement titled “Review of the Nation 1979: Energy and Resources,” July 23, 1979, p. 9.

Are we short of energy resources? The answer is a resounding “no”.

Despite incredible political hurdles in most countries of the world, oil reserves, stimulated by rising prices, have kept pace with rising consumption.

And when you consider the low density of exploration in most countries, especially Australia, it is clear that there are enormous resources of oil waiting to be discovered.

Each new discovery makes a fool of some expert, but the supply of new experts is inexhaustible.

Government planners all over the world seem determined to write history, without ever having read any.

The energy crisis is not one of resources. It is a child of politics.

It was conceived by the environmental movement, nourished by the bureaucrats, delivered by the politicians, indoctrinated by the left-wing academics and armed by the militant unions.

Now it has run amok causing shortages, unemployment, inflation and depression all over the world.

Most politicians seem to think that more taxes, more bureaucrats, more regulations, more inquiries and more restrictions will produce more energy. The current crisis is the logical consequence of their irresponsible actions.

They have wasted oil and gas resources by imposing artificially low prices. They have also delayed exploration and such projects as the Alaska pipeline construction with never-ending inquiries, restricted production with excessive environmental and safety regulations and wasted motor spirit with counter-productive pollution restrictions.

Their harsh, erratic and discriminatory tax laws and trade regulations have deterred small explorers and independent refiners, leaving the field totally to the big oil companies.

We are being led into the new dark age by environmental fools with so many tears in their eyes that they can’t see where they are going.

Interfering politicians kowtowing to environmentalists caused our energy crisis. Now the solution being proposed is a megabuck energy program controlled by the same people.

This is like trying to cure a sick man by giving him a more powerful dose of the same poison that made him sick in the first place.

The Americans are showing us the way not to go. They have created a monstrous new Department of Energy.

It has 19,000 employees and a 1979 budget of $12,000 million. This is $2,000 million greater than the combined net income of the top 20 US oil companies (whose profits, by the way, are described in the Press and Congress as obscene).

We are all concerned by the energy crisis, but the above attempted solution should leave us panic stricken.

Above all, we must resist the temptation to create an Australian energy Czar with dictatorial powers and a Gestapo of officials to enforce them.

We have got to start treating causes instead of trying to hide symptoms.

Politics in industry is the cause of our problem.

Therefore we must get politics out of industry as soon as possible.

We need to take a broad axe to Canberra by abolishing price control, wage control, currency control and export controls as well as the bureaucracies administering them.

The discriminatory levies on energy minerals should be dropped and retrospective taxation made unconstitutional.

The Government must bite the bullet and stop the idiocy of Aboriginal land rights so that everyone can start exploration and production, including Aboriginals if they wish to do so on equal footing with every other Australian.

The pampered militants in the union movement and the environmental lobbies must be told that without energy, man himself is an endangered species.

The present ludicrous position in Australia is this:

  1. Eighty per cent of the Australian continent if young enough to contain oil.
  2. There are only 15 drilling rigs working in Australia compared with 2,500 working in America, a country of about equal area.
  3. The few Australian firms who are interested in looking for oil are doing so in countries other than Australia.
  4. Australia possesses some 27 per cent of the world’s known uranium reserves yet it is lying uselessly in the ground.
  5. We have sufficient tidal power lying unharnessed in the Kimberleys alone, to supply six times the total amount of power at present being generated in Australia by all means.
  6. Australia is supplying 44 per cent of Japan’s coal needs (the world’s third largest steelmaker) and yet we are needlessly suffering the effects of energy shortages.

Surely it must rank as the greatest single indictment of any administration in the history of modern civilisation that all that we can come up with is Mr Hayden’s suggestion that we should have a national oil company — shades of Pertamina which bankrupted Indonesia (which sophisticated world oil traders would soon rob of their socks), and Mr Fraser having his car converted to LPG (which is derived from oil anyhow).

In short, there is less justification for Australia being subject to petrol rationing, oil shortages or energy crises than any nation on this earth.

Instead of pussyfooting around with red herrings such as solar power (which would take an investment of $40,000 for the average householder to run a domestic two-slice toaster), and with costly, inefficient shale oil conversion schemes and so on, all that is needed is the for the Government to get out of the road and make conditions so attractive that Australia is the most attractive place in which to drill for oil in the world.

We have an example which Canberra should learn from and follow very smartly, and that is that the State of Alaska has illustrated that it could fuel USA for 200 years but for Federal control of much of the land preventing development of its resources.

If the USA de-controlled Alaska, the US could again become an exporter of oil, thus removing power from OPEC to raise prices and throw the world into depression.

Despite the lowness of the present polls, the way is open to Mr Anthony, as head of the Department of Minerals and Energy, to rescue his coalition Government from almost certain defeat, and Australia from depression, by taking advantage of the present artificial energy crisis and initiating action in a positive manner to save Australia, by removing these restrictive Government controls.

(in order of appearance on Economics.org.au)
  1. Ron Manners’ Heroic Misadventures
  2. Hancock's Australia
  3. Hancock on Government Help
  4. Wake Up Australia: Excerpts Part 1
  5. Wake Up Australia: Excerpts Part 2
  6. Lang Hancock's Five Point Plan to Cripple Australia
  7. Governments Consume Wealth — They Don't Create It
  8. Up the Workers! Bob Howard's 1979 Workers Party Reflection in Playboy
  9. Jump on the Joh bandwagon
  10. John Singleton and Bob Howard 1975 Monday Conference TV Interview on the Workers Party
  11. Governments — like a red rag to a Rogue Bull
  12. Lang Hancock's Pilbara-Queensland Railway Proposal
  13. Singo, Howard and Hancock Want to Secede
  14. Lang Hancock's Foreword to Rip Van Australia
  15. New party will not tolerate bludgers: Radical party against welfare state
  16. Small and Big Business Should Oppose Government, says Lang Hancock
  17. A Condensed Case for Secession
  18. Hancock gets tough over uranium mining
  19. Hancock's threat to secede and faith in Whitlam
  20. PM's sky-high promise to Lang
  21. Govt "villain" in eyes of new party
  22. The spread of Canberra-ism
  23. Govt should sell the ABC, says Lang Hancock
  24. 1971 Monday Conference transcript featuring Lang Hancock
  25. Aborigines, Bjelke and the freedom of the press
  26. The code of Lang Hancock
  27. Why not starve the taxation monster?
  28. Lang Hancock 1978 George Negus Interview
  29. Party Promises to Abolish Tax
  30. Right-wing plot
  31. "The best way to help the poor is not to become one of them." - Lang Hancock
  32. WA's NCP commits suicide
  33. "You can't live off a sacred site"
  34. Hancock: King of the Pilbara
  35. Bludgers need not apply
  36. New party formed "to slash controls"
  37. Workers Party Reunion Intro
  38. Workers Party is born as foe of government
  39. Government seen by new party as evil
  40. Ron Manners on Lang Hancock
  41. Does Canberra leave us any alternative to secession?
  42. Bury Hancock Week
  43. Ron Manners on the Workers Party
  44. Lang Hancock on Australia Today
  45. Hancock and Wright
  46. Lang Hancock on Environmentalists
  47. Friends of free enterprise treated to financial tete-a-tete: Lang does the talking but Gina pulls the strings
  48. Lang Hancock, Stump Jumper
  49. Lang Hancock: giant of the western iron age
  50. The Treasury needs a hatchet man
  51. We Mine to Live
  52. Get the "econuts" off our backs
  53. 1971 Lang Hancock-Jonathan Aitken interview for Land of Fortune (short)
  54. Gina Rinehart, Secessionist
  55. 1982 NYT Lang Hancock profile
  56. Enter Rio Tinto
  57. Hamersley and Tom Price
  58. News in the West
  59. Positive review of Hancock speech
  60. Lang Hancock International Press Institute General Assembly speech, Canberra, 1978
  61. Australia's slide to socialism
  62. The Great Claim Robbery
  63. Why WA must go it alone
  64. Lang Hancock in 1976 on Public Picnics and Human Blights
  65. MILLIONAIRE PUTS MONEY BEHIND SECESSIONISTS
  66. Resource Management in Australia: Is it possible?
  67. The gospel of WA secession according to Lang Hancock
  68. Crystal Balls Need Polishing
  69. Minerals - politicians' playthings?
  70. John Singleton-Ita Buttrose interview (1977)
  71. Boston Tea Party 1986 style, hosted by Lang Hancock and Bob Ansett
  72. Singo says Lang Hancock violated Australia's 11th commandment: Thou Shalt Not Succeed
  73. Singleton: the White Knight of Ockerdom
  74. Tactics change by Hancock
  75. Lang Hancock complains to Margaret Thatcher about Malcolm Fraser
  76. 'Phony crisis' seen as 'child of politics'
  77. Lang Hancock on nuclear energy
  78. Lang Hancock beats the left at their own game on civil liberties
  79. Lang Hancock's Favourite Books
  80. 1977 Lang Hancock Canberoo poem
  81. Hancock's playing very hard to get
  82. Hancock proposes a free-trade zone
  83. An Open Letter to Sir Charles Court
  84. John Singleton 1976 ocker Monday Conference Max Harris debate
  85. Lang Hancock in 1984 solves Australian politics
  86. Lang Hancock on the Workers Party, secession and States Rights
  87. Lang Hancock asks what happened to Australia's rugged individualism?
  88. Precis of Ludwig Plan for North-West
  89. Announcement that Lang Hancock will be guest of honour at the Workers Party launch
  90. Lang Hancock's March 1983 attempt to enlist "former presidents of nations and heads of giant companies" to save Australia
  91. Lang Hancock asks us to think how easily environmentalists are manipulated for political purposes
  92. Invest in free enterprise
  93. Democracy is dead in Australia and Lang Hancock's education
  94. Lang Hancock Incites Civil Disobedience
  95. Hancock sounds call to battle Canberra
  96. Mining policy a threat
  97. Over Whitlam's head
  98. Lang Hancock suggests that newspapers don't give space to politicians unconditionally
  99. Lang Hancock on saving Australia from socialism
  100. Secede or sink
  101. Australia can learn from Thatcher
  102. John Singleton. Horseracing. Why?
  103. How Lang Hancock would fix the economy
  104. Lang Hancock: victim of retrospective legislation
  105. Lang Hancock supports Joh for PM
  106. Hancock seeks miners' tax haven in the north
  107. The Ord River Dam
  108. Why Lang Hancock invested in Australia's film industry
  109. Lang Hancock's 1983 letters to The Australian: Lang's precedent for Steve Jobs, renaming the Lucky Country to the Constipated Country, and more
  110. Australia's biggest newspaper insider on manipulating the media
  111. 1980 Lang Hancock-Australian Penthouse Interview
  112. Canberra: bastion of bureaucracy
  113. Pilbara can be the Ruhr for South-East Asia
  114. 1982 Lang Hancock-John Harper Nelson Interview
  115. Australian elections are one of the greatest con games in history
  116. Our leaders are powerless
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