Australia makes history by axing carbon tax


Australia has become the first developed nation to repeal its carbon tax, which Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said was "useless and destructive [and] damaged jobs -- which hurt families' cost of living and which didn't actually help the environment." The Australian government has estimated that the repeal would save families $550 per year.

Australia elected a new government last year with a mandate to repeal the carbon tax, which has caused an estimated $15 billion in economic impact in its first two years of implementation, according to government estimates.

"The Australia government's reversal of the carbon tax is a lesson in leadership for the modern world," said Peabody Energy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gregory H. Boyce. "We encourage U.S. policymakers to take the same path and reject the administration's costly proposed rules on power plants. Technology, not caps and taxes, is the key to long-term improvement in carbon emissions."

Boyce believes U.S. leaders can learn valuable lessons in rejecting "de facto carbon taxes and onerous renewable standards." The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that the administration's proposed U.S. carbon regulations would cost the economy $50 billion per year.

Although the coal industry may rejoice, environmentalists and others are not happy with Prime Minister Abbott and this latest development. Abbott may even go down in history, although perhaps not in the best way.

Penny Wong, leader of the Opposition in the Senate and former climate change minister, provided Chris Uhlmann of Australia's AM current affairs program, a snapshot of Abbott's time in office.

"The consistent theme over the last five years has been Tony Abbott's destructive approach to politics when it comes to climate," she said. "We need, as a nation, a serious and credible response to climate. That is where the world is moving and you know, if you look at conservative governments and conservative politicians around the world, even they are saying we need to respond to climate change. Tony Abbott's out on his own on this."

For more:
- see this article
- see the carbon tax repeal draft

Related Articles:
Report: Proposed EPA regs threaten electric grid
EPA's Clean Energy plan: The devil is in the details
Energy sector role driven by climate change