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Liberal's double talk on emissions trading? « Previous | |Next »
June 26, 2008

Can anyone make any sense of the Liberal's position on the proposed emissions trading scheme?

They are against it and they are for it. They are fully for emissions trading it, but they oppose the inclusion of petrol in the scheme. I've listened to Greg Hunt resolve the contradiction and what he says makes no sense. He says that he is fully in favour of the scheme but he spends most of his time talking about protecting families from petrol increases:

windpopwer.jpg Leunig

The ALP appears to be standing firm on including the transport issue despite the mantra from Penny Wong, the Climate Change Minister, that is designed to skirt the petrol issue. At least there is no double talk from Wong as there is from the Liberals

All I can see is the Liberals adopting a short-term strategy of political pandering. They are thinking in terms a short-term problem with energy , climate change and the oil market. They have turned away from seeing this as a fundamental and permanent change in our energy economy, are refusing to see it that way, and unwilling to come up with policies on the scale of the problem. Is that a fair judgment?

The only way that I can make sense of what is happening is that the political debate about transport emissions is evolving into whether mandatory vehicle regulations or increases in fuel prices due to emissions trading will be more effective in reducing vehicle emissions of greenhouse gases. Currently, there are no mandatory regulations regarding fuel consumption in Australia. Greg Hunt is arguing that increases in petrol prices due to the introduction of a carbon trading emissions scheme will have little effect on fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions due to the low elasticity between fuel prices and fuel consumption.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:10 AM | | Comments (8)


Hunt and Turnbull may be holding the line of emissions trading scheme whilst the rest of the Oppostion front bench moves to oppose it. The Liberals are divided.

That's my reading of what is happening.

The Libs are doing what Howard taught them to do - practise opportunism untainted by principle. Don't stand FOR anything, just be against stuff that's unpopular with people who are inclined to vote Labor.

It's already obvious that a section of the population expects da guvvermint to 'do something' about petrol prices. The same people are unlikely ever to understand the concept of a carbon tax, let alone support it. So the Libs can't resist stirring the pot. Sure it's unprincipled and inconsistent but who's surprised at that? That's the nature of John Howard's Liberal Party.

I noticed that Bernard Keene over at Crikey has a guide to why the Coalition is wrong on emissions trading, just incase you find yourself "on a bus next to Andrew Bolt". While covering a few questions, it deals with the transport in/out issue.

As Peter and Ken say, the coalition's arguments don't have to make sense, because they're pure politics.

The Liberals are divided on the issue, and they're divided between their Howardian past and their something else future.

They're also divided over whether to humiliate Turnbull out of the picture or maybe just take him out the back and shoot him.

They should call themselves Minchin Inc and be done with it.

isn't Hunt arguing that increases in petrol prices (from the introduction of a carbon trading emissions scheme) will have little effect on fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions because of the low elasticity between fuel prices and fuel consumption?

There needs to be something like mandatory vehicle regulations for increased fuel efficiency, which are more effective in reducing vehicle emissions of greenhouse gases than increasing the price. Isn't that his argument?

Or am I just confused?

that is what I thought too. Hunt isn't Bolt.

Is he playing "Roll out the barrel" ?

who knows what's being played. I don't.