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Don't sideline energy industry in emissions trading.

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Professor Garnaut is due to release his draft report on climate change this Friday and the Rudd Government is still indecisive on the fundamental policy principals forming the basis any such scheme.

Shadow Resources and Energy Minister David Johnston said the Prime Minister is at odds with his Treasurer - Mr Rudd wants the revenue from a ETS to go into general revenue as a tax, while Mr Swan is talking about

returning all of the revenue to compensate people paying higher petrol and electricity charges.

“Which is it?”

“Obviously the Government doesn’t know,” Senator Johnston said.

“Even more alarming is that this Government has held several crisis cabinet sub-committee meetings to formulate basic policy principals but without the Energy Minister being present

“What is going on here?”

“The greatest impact of an ETS will be on the price on electricity and the price of petrol yet the minister responsible for these matters is not present at Cabinet meetings?”

“What is going on here?”

Senator Johnston said that absolutely nothing the Rudd Government has done to this point had imparted any confidence that a radical and complex policy such as an ETS can be implemented without serious administrative and economic disasters.

“All the coal fired generators are telling me that this transition requires expert knowledge and a deep understanding of energy markets and production. Nothing the Rudd Government has done to this point has indicated they have any of the necessary understanding,” Senator Johnston said.

“In light of record fuel prices this Government is playing a dangerous game if they think they can ignore the energy industry when working on the details of an ETS.” 3/07/2008 Media contact: Rebecca Horton 0427 440 120.

Rebecca Horton Media Adviser Senator the Hon David Johnston Shadow Minister for Resources and Energy, Tourism

Mob: 0427 449 120