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Obama gives Rudd time to think again on emissions trading.

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Obama gives Rudd time to think again on emissions trading

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Source: Warren Truss MP

The Rudd Labor Government must withdraw and drastically rewrite its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill following the narrow passage of climate change legislation through the US House of Representatives.

The Leader of The Nationals, Warren Truss, said the passage of the US Bill completely vindicates the Coalition’s decision not to vote on Labor’s emissions trading proposals in the Australian Senate last week.

Mr Truss said the US legislation demonstrates how out of touch the Rudd legislation is with what is proposed in other parts of the world. The US House of Representatives has supported measures which are a significant improvement on the all stick, no carrot approach of the Australian Government.

“The US House of Representatives legislation tries to protect jobs, while the Rudd Labor Bill seems determined to destroy them,” Mr Truss said.

“The Coalition has long said that the Government’s approach is all about creating a giant new tax. In its first year, the Labor ETS is forecast to raise $404 per capita. The US scheme raises $57, while the European version only 80 cents.”

The US scheme auctions only about 15 percent of permits in the first decade (the rest are free) while Australia plans to auction 75 percent from the very first year.

Australia’s coal industry will be savaged with a $5 billion hit in the first five years but the US industry will face no extra cost. Agriculture will become liable for emissions under the Australian proposals, whereas the industry is exempt in the US and able to claim credits.

The US will protect its industry against imports produced in countries with no carbon taxes but Kevin Rudd will not.

“Labor’s scheme as it stands will not be supported by The Nationals. We believe that to go down this job and investment destroying path is mindless arrogance when it is clear the Copenhagen climate summit in December will take a completely different path.

“Some people seem to think that bad legislation is better than no legislation,” Mr Truss said. “The Nationals do not support such a proposition. In the US, 44 Democrat (Government) members voted against the legislation and it is likely to face further modification in their Senate. How can Australia alone lock into a harsh emissions trading scheme when no other country is planning to follow?”