Huffington Post: Lessons from Australia’s Carbon Tax


A Carbon Tax That Can Rise from Australia’s Ashes

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As the post-mortems arrive to determine the cause of death for Australia’s carbon tax, a couple of questions emerge:
Why did this happen?What lessons can we learn?The answer to the first question is fairly simple: A politician – Julia Gillard – promised she wouldn’t tax carbon, and then she broke that promise. This happened because her Labor Party needed to form a coalition government with the Green Party. The price the Greens demanded for that alliance was a carbon tax, and so she acquiesced.

Extenuating circumstances? Certainly. Do voters give a rip about extenuating circumstances? Usually not. Just ask George Bush Sr., famous for his “Read my lips: No new taxes” statement that came back to bite him in the 1992 election against Bill Clinton.

Add to this toxic backdrop the bitter rivalry within the Labor Party between Gillard and Kevin Rudd – who replaced Gillard as Prime Minister in June of 2013 – and the carbon tax didn’t stand a chance of surviving the next election.

Australia’s carbon tax, though, was a victim of inept politics, not bad policy. After only 9 months of implementation, the tax was doing what it was supposed to do. Greenhouse gas emissions from electrical generation fell by 5.4 percent and electricity from clean sources jumped 28 percent.

Read the full article from the Huffington Post