Wednesday, 2 March 2011

SMH – Gives a voice to Special Interests

Hell-bent on maintaining the status quo. Shame!

Note the contributor is affiliated with the Institute of Public Affairs. Per their website, they are: an independent, non-profit public policy think tank, dedicated to preserving and strengthening the foundations of economic and political freedom. Our author, Alan Moran is Director of the IPA's Deregulation Unit, is an economist who has made a specialty of regulatory matters, in particular covering energy, global warming, housing, transport, and competition issues. I don’t know about you, but in my universe, global warming and deregulation are unacceptable bedfellows.

Just to pick a bit of the low hanging fruit…

If the tax were to be applied to all the 550 million tonnes a year of carbon dioxide emitted by Australia, at $25 it would raise a cool $13.8 billion, equivalent to a quarter of the sum raised by the GST.

Divided into equal shares for all Australian adults (with half shares for up to 2 kids per household) as recommended by Prof. James Hansen—means that single Australians receive about $675 per year, couples $1,350 and families with two or more children would receive $2,025. This would more than cover the costs to households as forecast by the author. With cash in their pockets (and a cash incentive in their minds) people just might alter their habits for the sake of extra cash even the future.

Now imagine how much would flow into our pockets if all the fossil fuels mined in Australia for export were also taxed at this level…. Solar hot water and rainwater retention systems for all???

Sure, some of that export business may go elsewhere, but not all. Australia is not unique in its need to cut atmospheric CO2 concentrations. If we dare to lead, others will follow. And I predict it will happen a LOT faster than the naysayers at The Institute of Public Affairs would have us believe.

Immense storms have been known to change the course of mighty rivers in a day. If fossil fuel's profit potential is moved to other energy technologies, the money—very similar to water—will quickly change course to flow in the path of least resistance.

Big changes can happen fast. A carbon tax can make that happen. A carbon tax with dividend makes it fair.

1 comment:

  1. If we carbon taxed coal and LNG exports that could raise another $20 bn. The importing country would be exempt if they had a strong carbon abatement program at home or they could ask for a tax refund paid directly into green programs. If they seek coal and LNG elsewhere other measures like tariffs could apply.

    These are not small amounts; for example spot thermal coal could jump from $140 to $200 a tonne after carbon tax is added. Remember the importing country has options to neutralise the tax.