ENERGY SAFETY IS PRICELESS
Liquidation as well as chaotic privatization of mining plants are a suicide path for our country
Who are those who, knowing that our energy safety depends on extraction of coal, want to liquidate or sell mines? Who are those who chose the biggest German advisory company – Roland Berger Strategy Consultants for analysis (audit) of the Polish industry, which recommended the Polish government limitation of coal extraction by 10 million tons and closing down unprofitable mines? The questions are rhetorical because answer are evasive. After all, nobody will admit to working for a harm of our country. It would also be difficult to accuse the government of some anti-Polish plans.
So, what is it all about, why do we speak about a crisis in the mining branch, if income from mining to the budget were: in 2013 – 7 mld 152 mln zl, in 2012 – 7 mld 825 mln zl, and in 2011 – even 8 mld 949 mln zl. In addition to it, we should include money from taxes for communes, the VAT tax ‘for coal’, etc.
As usually, when it is not known what it is all about, it concerns big money. Is it accidental that after an audit done by the mentioned German company, there appeared purchasers for liquidated Polish companies and investors from Germany who want to build new mining plants in our country?
Dealing with liquidating mines we should remember about economic fluctuations for coal, price decrease, that is, about the situation we are experiencing now. Surely we should not maintain these companies in which coal is being depleted. However, we should not act in haste, for example, as there was liquidation of mining schools in the 90s of XX century, which, after a few years had to be reopened. Also too quick liquidation of mines during the cadency of the prime minister Jerzy Buzek turned out to be a mistake. Under and on the ground there appeared an enormous property in the form of mining machines, decaying property. Because of the decrease in the coal extraction, we lost foreign markets, qualified staff, and the reason was treating mining industry as a profitable company. Today we speak again about transformation in mining industry, new liquidation of allegedly unprofitable mines. In fact nobody thought about which elements of activity are the most expensive and whether it is possible to decrease these costs. It is proved by the hastily passed Act which states and even orders liquidation of mining plants (this is a condition of applying for public help by the established Company of Mines Restructure).
What is more important: both the mining Act and the agreement of the government with miners, do not include a strategy of development of mining and energy. The question is: is this government able to elaborate such a strategy? Is there a person in it who knows that in difficult times possessing one’s own sources of energy becomes a condition to survive?
In the situation of the lack of a strategy for mining industry, there is a basic question: what did the government of Donald Tusk promise the European Union in the sphere of energy? Are there any obligations besides the involvement in the climate packet about which we do not know? There is also another question: will the managements of companies decide on changes in the sphere of financial economy? - there have been many talks about prodigality and enrichment of elites connected with coal industry.
One thing is certain: liquidation as well as chaotic privatization of mining plants is a suicide for our country. For, it means the end of energy safety. Let this strategy be not similar to the one in relation to the shipyard or the Tatra mountains – it is said that the Ministry of Interior Affairs agreed to giving the areas of extremely attractive part of the Tatra mountains into the hands of a foreign company.
Finally, there is also another question: is the government only testing our patience or are we dealing with politicians who do not care about what is Polish, people who are deprived of thinking about future generations and tomorrow?