Today’s Climate Embarrassment

The Wall Street Journal editorial page today rightly celebrates Australia’s repeal of its carbon tax, noting that by adding about $10 a month to the average household’s energy bill, the tax was—imagine this!—unpopular.

But Philip Hutchings, writing over at WattsUpWithThat, brings our attention to a detail that reveals how corrupt these carbon management schemes come to be—even ones that are as supposedly simple and straightforward as a carbon tax.  Now, you’d think that energy companies, especially coal companies, in Australia would be ecstatic about throwing the carbon tax over the side.  And while they probably are, would be believe the repeal of the carbon tax may actually reduce profits for at least one coal company?  Hutchings explains:

Within minutes of the Australian parliament voting to scrap our carbon tax today, one of our major coal-fired electricity generators issued a profit warning announcement.

(You’ve got to love the ASX. Listed companies here must publicise anything which has a material impact on profits – favourable or negative.)

In this case, AGL Energy announced its pre-tax profits will fall by $186 million in 2014/15 solely due to the removal of the carbon tax. The majority of this is related to the very large, but inefficient Loy Yang brown coal station which supplies 30% of the power needs of the state of Victoria. . .

Yet it was due to get $242 million of “Government assistance” under the carbon tax arrangements this year. Most of which found its way to the bottom line.

We see here yet again that these policies always involve back-door subsidies and transfers of wealth to affected industries.  The Waxman-Markey cap and trade bill that went down in the Senate in 2010 had billions of dollars in subsidies promised to just about everyone—everyone, that is, except for us mere consumers of energy.  I’m sure our new “flexible” EPA greenhouse gas regulation scheme will be entirely free of any of this corruption.

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