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Mar 13, 2011

Carbon tax and gifts to crony capitalists.

Cartoon: Bill Leak.

Gillard’s on again, off again, on again carbon tax/price has been back on the agenda now for a while. After trying for a carbon price/tax for most of the last term, apart from when Rudd dropped it, the government promised there would be no carbon tax on the eve of the last election. Here are Gillard and treasurer Swan on the subject:

Immediately after the election her pet crony capitalist Marius Kloppers, the CEO of BHP Billiton called for a carbon price to give business, “certainty.” There is some speculation as to why, “no carbon tax,” is not an acceptable certainty for him, although he may have been thinking of the old adage about ‘death and taxes’ or on the other hand it could just be his knowledge of the Labor Party.

More on BHP further down.

To cut a long story short, a few days ago, Gillard, her Green master and her sycophant independents held a press conference to announce a carbon tax to an outraged public. Now we are told that we always knew it was her policy to put a price on carbon. Those who took her at her word in a close election must now be kicking themselves, which will save us the job.

The idea of a carbon price is to pick winners. Talk of encouraging a move to newer technologies with smaller carbon footprints is semantics. The government has made a decision that a small group of generating processes that are uneconomic without subsidies or competition restraint are preferable to other means.

If the government were in any way serious about low emission energy, they would allow nuclear, which can do the same job efficiently, cheaply, and without the need for subsidies or base load generation.

Initially it appeared that the scheme was a massive redistribution of wealth, with ‘the big emitters’ taxed, hence heavier costs to the rest of us, with the proviso that the po’folks would be ‘compensated for the higher prices. The idea that the poor should be ‘compensated’ for the effects of the tax is to assume that their use of energy is somehow nobler than other peoples.

The reality is that a fair amount of the power generated by ‘big polluters’ is being produced to meet the demands of poor people. I would like to see a reason why those who earn less than whatever arbitrary line in the sand the government chooses as the rich/poor people line, should be rewarded for their energy consumption.

Here’s where BHP comes back into the equation. As I said they intend to compensate the little fellers for the rise in prices. Now we find that during her US tour she has promised business leaders that those little fellers shall include Alcoa, BHP Billiton, Dow Chemicals, and other overseas companies with investments here.

The public should be outraged, not just by the broken promise but also by the slimy and slippery way Kloppers and BHP have sold us down the drain for their own ends. More on BHP shortly.

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