Keywords: energy security, Australian trade policy, Australia, foreign policy, luck, oil prices, Japan, coal trade, energy superpower, free market
Factoring energy security into Australian foreign and trade policy: Has luck run out?
When energy prices rose dramatically in the 1970s, the impact on Australia was cushioned by two developments: the timely discovery of domestic oil in Bass Strait; and of the Japanese conversion to thermal coal. With falling oil imports and expanding coal exports, Australia emerged as a net energy exporter. But both these forms of good luck are now running out ? and at a time when free market views about energy security hold the policy court. Since, however, market failure is characteristic of the new age of expensive energy, the scope for considered Australian choices has narrowed considerably.