Today Clive Palmer surprised most of the country, especially progressives, by appearing with Al-Gore to announce his position on repealing the ‘Carbon Tax’.
When the announcement came it was bitter-sweet. Clive Palmer essentially agreed to follow the position the ALP under Kevin Rudd took to the election last year. He will only support dissolving the carbon tax on the condition it is replaced with an Emissions Trading Scheme.
Not at all what Tony Abbott had hoped to hear from his coal-mining friend. Not at all what most people would have expected to hear from a man who makes millions each year on digging up coal.
Not what I expected when Palmer and his soon-to-be Senator’s were elected last year.
The move comes after a string of controversial decisions by the EPA and criticism that it was “more focused on protecting polluting industries than looking after the community and human health”. I’d agree with that assessment and would say it also applies to the EPA here in Western Australia too.
This gave the Abbott Government it’s first potential ‘trigger’ for a Double Dissolution election, which it had been threatening to force since failing to win a majority in both houses at the election last year.
The CEFC provides a critically important function in enabling Renewable Energy projects to get off the ground in Australia, investing $536M in 2013 and enabling projects worth more than $2bn to go ahead. These projects will generate abatements in excess of 3.8M tonnes of carbon emissions per year. Additionally the CEFC is profitable business in it’s own right, with a 7% profit achieved in its first 3 reporting quarters.
There are no ‘savings’ to be made by abandoning the CEFC.