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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Carbon Tax goes DOWN Under. Major Set Back For Australia

This is a very interesting story we carried on our main site today...

We think a carbon tax can be an effective tool for government to use.  It can be a bridge to capture new revenue and pump those dollars into sustainable improvements.  It can be a new exchange for private buyers and sellers of credits.  It can force grid operators, transportation companies and others to invest more quickly in clean tech...leveraging a higher pain level for such organizations trying to maintain the status quo.

We are sorry to see the tax "go down under" in Australia.  Could it be tweaked or implemented over a longer period if it was dampening economic growth?  Yes, of course.  We see that as a better solution than repealing the legislation.

Also, here in the US we are expecting higher energy costs as well.  If that is the only factor in evaluating the value of the carbon tax, then there might be much disappointment in Australia as energy costs rises anyway, and there's no carbon reduction to at least compensate society.

See what you think:


"Some Australians are calling this a "perfect storm of stupidity," while others, like Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry head Kate Carnel are saying, "The carbon tax was a dead weight on the Australian economy and abolishing it is a win for consumers, a win for energy users and a win for business."

Well, for Australians the carbon tax may be dead; but they don't expect to see a major difference in power bills - or for too long.

It doesn't matter that many households were compensated for any impact of the scheme under the Household Assistance Package, or that the carbon tax prevented 11 to 17 million tonnes of carbon emissions.

Nor does it matter higher it resulted in some filthy brown-coal fired power stations being mothballed.

Like it or loathe it, it's kaput. Spin bettered substance and Thursday's passing of the repeal turned Australia from a leader to laggard.

"The repeal of Australia’s carbon price is a tragedy, not a triumph,"said Michael Raupach, Director, Climate Change Institute, Australian National University.

"It flies in the face of three giant realities: human-induced climate change, the proper role of government as a defender of the common good, and the emerging quiet energy-carbon revolution".

According to the ABC, consumers can expect to save between 20 and 50 cents each day on their electricity bills now the carbon tax has been repealed.

However, any financial benefit relating to power bills could quickly be eaten up by increases in other charges.

For example, in New South Wales, Ausgrid wants increases of around 2 per cent a year over the next five years and TransGrid wants to raise prices by almost 4 per cent - this is just in relation to network charges.

Other states including South Australia have just implemented more electricity price rises. The average South Australian household will pay around $85 a year more.

In Queensland, households were recently hit with a 13.6 per cent increase, expected to cost the average household an extra $190 a year.

Depending what end of the scale of carbon tax savings are to be had, any relief may have already been gobbled up before many will receive their post-carbon tax bill.

Anyone planning to do something other than pay power bills with the perceived windfall may need to re-evaluate those plans."

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