Al Gore Helps Australia Repeal Carbon Tax
[Coal mining magnate] Clive Palmer, flanked by former US vice president Al Gore, announced on Wednesday he would help the government achieve its key election promise by backing the repeal of the carbon tax.
But in return the Palmer United Party leader wants a legal guarantee that electricity savings will be passed onto consumers and an emissions trading scheme ready to go if needed.
It’s a tough list of demands for the Abbott government to swallow, but for now it’s claiming victory.
“What we have seen today is vindication,” Environment Minister Greg Hunt told reporters in Canberra.
“The announcement this evening means that the Senate will be following the coalition’s plan.”
But things won’t go to plan when it comes to their “direct action” climate change plan, which passed the House of Representatives on Wednesday but now looks set for defeat in the upper house.
Mr Palmer blasted the $2.55 billion alternative scheme as a waste of money and said his three PUP senators – plus the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party’s Ricky Muir – won’t back it.
It’s hard to imagine how the government could support Mr Palmer’s demands for an ETS, which they’ve repeatedly labelled a carbon tax with another name.
Under Mr Palmer’s plan, an ETS would only become effective when Australia’s main trading partners like China, the US and Japan implement similar schemes.