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Carbon Pricing Prime Minister Tony Abbott Finally Scraps Carbon Tax.

Published on July 18th, 2014 | by Joshua S Hill

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Australian Prime Minister Abbott Finally Scraps Carbon Tax

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July 18th, 2014 by  

Abbott Finally Scraps Carbon Tax

Seriously, would you trust this face? Prime Minister Tony Abbott Finally Scraps Carbon Tax.

Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, has finally managed to fulfill one of his election promises — to scrap the Australian carbon tax. The action has been long in the making, with numerous obstacles — including a last-minute interruption from Clive Palmer — and has once again reminded Australia and the world that Tony Abbott is fighting well out of his weight-class — a juvenile and unintelligent egotistical politician trying to force through a personal agenda devoid of any common sense.

The Liberal Party — the majority party in Australia’s two-party parliament — believed that the carbon tax caused “real economic damage to our economy”, when in reality the carbon tax was affecting the bottom-line of utilities, utilities behind many of the alternative proposals to the now-dead carbon tax.

Economic Effects

A report conducted by Bloomberg New Energy Finance in May found that scrapping the carbon tax “could have catastrophic ramifications for the renewable energy industry in the country”. The report found that the Renewable Energy Target was expected to drive $35 billion (AUD) in investment in clean energy, employ 25,000 workers each year in construction and operations, reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power generation by 5%, and prevent future surges in power prices by supplying electricity for 20-25 years without ongoing fuel costs.

In a press conference following the repeal, Abbott told reporters that the repeal would remove a “useless, destructive tax” and stressed that he would “never do anything that damages the economy.”

Seems someone forgot to read the relevant material before he started making policy.

In May, Tony Abbott’s treasurer, Joe Hockey, made similarly absurd remarks, claiming that the wind turbines he drove past on his way to work were “utterly offensive” but that he was powerless to close them down. As I wrote at the time, “hopefully there are few — if any — budget decisions based on whether or not Joe Hockey’s view is obstructed.”

Environment vs. Tony Abbot & Coal

Tony Abbott has promised environmental progress — the Liberal environmental plan stating that “we will take direct action to reduce carbon emissions.” However, at a meeting of business leaders at the Asia Society Texas Centre in Houston in June, Tony Abbott said that coal would fuel human progress for many decades to come, adding that this view was partly responsible for the decision to axe the carbon tax.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott Finally Scraps Carbon Tax.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott speaking to the Asia Society Texas Centre about the necessity for coal.
Image Credit: Tony Abbott via Flickr

“Discussion about developing our natural resources often goes hand in hand with conversation about climate change and impacts on the environment,” Mr Abbott told the audience.

“It is prudent to do what we reasonably can to reduce carbon emissions. But we don’t believe in ostracising any particular fuel and we don’t believe in harming economic growth.

“For many decades at least, coal will continue to fuel human progress as an affordable energy source for wealthy and developing countries alike.”

Thank heavens the Liberal Party are going to “establish a 15,000-strong Green Army charged with the clean-up and conservation of our environment.”

Responses in Opposition

Opposition leader Bill Shorten told reporters that Abbott was guilty of “sleepwalking Australia towards an environmental and economic disaster,” while former Climate Change Minister Penny Wong and now current leader of the opposition in the Senate said that the repeal meant for Australia has “walked away from a credible and efficient response to climate change.”

Given that Tony Abbott’s plan seems to have a healthy place for the coal industry, one can only assume that Shorten and Wong are right on the money.

“I think future generations will look back on these bills and they will be appalled… at the short-sighted, opportunistic selfish politics of those opposite and Mr Abbott will go down as one of the most short-sighted, selfish and small people ever to occupy the office of prime minister,” Ms Wong added.

Whereas Greens leader senator Christine Milne said that Tony Abbott wants to “cost-shift the burden of climate change onto the community and away from the people who are causing it” — a fact we can see in evidence with the decision to focus on environmental policies favourable to existing and entrenched traditional energy institutions.

One cannot help but wonder just what it is Tony Abbott is thinking — and whether he actually believes he’ll manage to get away with it. With the Labor Party managing to coalesce into an un-fractious political entity again — after the horror of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd disaster — the Liberal Government are only paving their way to a one-year term in office, and setting Tony Abbott up to be one of the most out-of-touch Prime Minister’s Australia has ever had.

Australia is now the first country in the world to have abolished a tax on carbon — a flimsy award, to be sure, and one that is sure to confirm international beliefs about our possibility of being a forward-thinking environmentally-friendly country. Any outside investment we might have hoped for to continue building our fledgling renewable energy industry is now seriously at risk as Tony Abbott and his self-proclaimed “conservationist government” do all they can to prove they are anything but a government focused on sensible conservation.

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About the Author

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (.co.uk), and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at about.me for more.



  • Ronald Brakels

    I received my electricity bill yesterday. All up I paid 45.4 cents (42.7 US) per kilowatt-hour for electricity. Less than one cent of that was the carbon price. So all else equal I am looking at less than a 2% decrease in my electricity bills. Of course all else is not equal as the price of natural gas is surging in Australia and so our cost of grid electricity will continue to rise, not fall. Also note that even if I got a 2% decrease in my electricity bills it would not be an acutal saving for me, as it just represents lost government revenue that will have to be made up somewhere else such as Abbotts’ “Emergency Debt Levy” where they take extra money from your paycheck each week but it’s apparently not a tax, or it will come from reduced services. As Prime Minister Abbott is not a magic wizard those are the only two options.

    • A Real Libertarian

      As Prime Minister Abbott is not a magic wizard those are the only two options.

      His voters are in for a rude awakening
      https://i.imgur.com/WizMgx1.jpg

    • What can i say!

      I quote : Tony Abbott

      10. REDUCE CARBON EMISSIONS

      We will take direct action to reduce carbon emissions inside Australia, not overseas – and also establish a 15,000-strong Green Army to clean up the environment.

      https://www.liberal.org.au/our-plan/environment

      • Ronald Brakels

        As we’re all well aware the most effective posible response to increasing global warming resulting from anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions is to have people pick up litter. I’ve already submitted a tender to train the green army in the skills required to pick up CO2 molecules.

        • What can i say!

          I pose it would be too late by then sea level rising, but give him a chance, he does have a bicycle which is transported around the world, offsetting greenhouse gas emissions for Australia, the most effective response to climate change.

          • Ronald Brakels

            Tony Abbott is without doubt one of the fittest men in the universe, capable of defeating ravenous drop bears bare handed and turning the tables on their predatory carnivory. He swims, cycles, runs, fights bushfires, and is ruthless to his political enemies. Perhaps he seeks a dystopian end to climate stability for on some level he realizes that were civilization to fall he is one of the few men who has what it takes to challenge Putin in a fight to the death for the title of Barbarian Leader of the World.

  • A Real Libertarian

    In a press conference following the repeal, Abbott told reporters that the repeal would remove a “useless, destructive tax” and stressed that he would “never do anything that damages the economy.”

    Well done Crocodile Dummee…

    Well done.

  • sault

    Even though this is a WTF moment to those of us in the “reality-based community” that take the conclusions of scientists seriously, just think how history is going to judge Abbott’s actions! He has to be a science-denying true believer to think he isn’t making a horrible legacy for himself, or he just doesn’t care and wants the money NOW while the gettin’s good.

  • mk1313

    A Harper clone that has no understanding of the importance of what the world faces acting at the behest of corporate masters. Bloody stupid!

  • DGW

    More proof Americans aren’t the only owners of stupid.

  • Bob_Wallace

    Something interesting may be happening in the coal market that could burn Tony’s shorts. The price of coal is dropping. If that holds then his plans to strengthen Australia’s economy with increased coal sales is going to fall on its ass.

    http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/coal-price-crashes-abbott-relies-fossils-plan-b

    Tony is busy pissing off solar owners and if the coal industry starts collapsing he’ll likely get the blame for that. He better get busy and start a war somewhere to distract folks….

    • spec9

      The growth of their coal economy is probably going to take a serious hit. China is tired of their cities looking like England during the industrial revolution.

  • http://www.michaeljberndtson.com/ Michael Berndtson

    Britain, US, Canada, and US, all cousins in terms of the old British empire. Controlling politicians within each seem to have an appetite for fossil fuel and cooking the planet. All these politicians seem to look alike and seem somehow related. Blame the Queen? Scotch-Irish (Ulster Irish), maybe? Inbreeding? Criminality bred in the bone? Multiple generational fetal alcohol syndrome?

    • Bob_Wallace

      Money.

      The same fossil fuel interest problems are happening in Germany. And we’ll likely see them in other countries when renewables start threatening fossil fuel industry profits.

    • spec9

      Canada and Australia have huge deposits of fossil fuels (tar sands and coal, respectively) such that they are having fights between greedy cashing in and trying to be responsible.

    • Ronald Brakels

      Money is certainly involved, but Australian economist John Quiggin explains a little on what appears to be going on here:

      http://johnquiggin.com/2014/07/17/condemned-by-history/#comments

      I quote: “For a minority of the do-nothing group, it is simply a matter of
      financial self-interest associated with the fossil fuel industry. For
      the majority, however, it is the pursuit of a tribal and ideological
      vendetta. Their position is driven by Culture War animosity towards
      greens, scientists, do-gooders and so on, or by ideological commitment
      to a conservative/libertarian position that would be undermined by the
      recognition of a global problem that can only be fixed by changes to
      existing structures of property rights.”

      • http://www.michaeljberndtson.com/ Michael Berndtson

        Yikes. I’ve been worried that that is the case. Thanks.

  • Zer0Sum

    Australians deserve a pat on the back for finally replacing dubuwah with Phony Tony. It’s a remarkable achievement to make it into the club of countries that the rest of the world is laughing at with tears. Phony Tony is apparently trying to one up Dubuwah so we can expect more comical entertainment over the coming years.

    http://sydneyecohouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/emissions_accomplished.png

    On ya m8!

    It’s ironic that the coal mining industry could be contributing to the solution by producing fertiliser to green the deserts and lightweight super strength carbon steel for the transportation industries but instead they want to keep burning it all up for electricity. Even more so when Australia has abundant supplies of renewable energy resources that any rational nation would consider a perpetual goldmine.

    • ChristineDMcKinnis

      Start working at<- home with Google! It's by-far the best job I've had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail

      ———————————————–

      Here ­­­­­­­­­is ­­­­­­­­­I ­­­­­­­­­started——– http://WWW.HugoWorks.COM

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    • Ronald Brakels

      Why are there sperm trying to get inside Tony Abbott’s head in that picture? It’s not fertile territory.

      • S.Nkm

        You owe me a new keyboard.

  • JamesWimberley

    Abbott has dropped climate change, the greatest problem facing the international community, from the agenda of the G20 summit in Brisbane in November. The EU and US are annoyed. I wouldn’t rule out a stronger response: the leaders threatening not to show up and send deputies instead (Biden not Obama, Gabriel not Merkel), Or they could show up and organize side discussions and press conferences on a topic they want to discuss, excluding Abbott because he’s publicly not interested. Nobody else owes Abbott anything and they must have drawn the conclusion he’s an imbecile. Humiliating him will be a gratifying small plus.

  • John Kemp

    “a juvenile and unintelligent egotistical politician trying to force through a personal agenda devoid of any common sense.” Couldn’t have put it better myself! I doubt that this pledge was the main reason he got elected, and it worries me that if this can happen in Australia, a supposedly well educated and mature democracy, then the UK, USA, or anywhere else could end up with a government with a similar baggage of ignorant and irresponsible policies too.

    • Randall Mathews

      As I sometimes tell my mates here in Oz: don’t knock the Yanks, they’re more like us than you know; this conversation could well be happening among millions of outvoted people over there too.

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