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Crikey says: don’t blow the carbon challenge

Palmer’s carbon tax wrangling: Keane on what just happened in Canberra. Indonesia’s ‘psy war’ — Prabowo likely to appeal. Rundle and Razer on refugees. Abbott and Abe’s boot bromance. Crikey’s exclusive watch: which outlets claim the most and how low is the bar? Xenophon: don’t blame crossbenchers for this mess. How the govt makes a windfall from public information. And who will be the next Tassie governor? We get the gossip.

Clive Palmer this morning …

We stand today at the edge of time, with an appointment with destiny.”

The climate is getting warmer and all of us as individuals … have a bigger interest in the future of our world, the sustainability of our planet, and the good life we can give to those generations that come after us.”

When you’re fighting climate sceptics, it’s a constant battle. You don’t win it every day, you have to be persistent, you inch forward, inch by inch, day after day …”

What matters in politics in the final analysis is not how many seats you’ve got in Parliament, not how long you’ve been in Parliament, what matters is the ideas you put forth for the nation. Because governments may come and go, but ideas go on forever.”

Fine words, Clive, fine words. But if you don’t want to turn them into hypocritical words, then save the carbon pricing scheme in federal Parliament over the coming months.

Following a morning of parliamentary chaos, in which Palmer declared his global warming conversion in a press conference (see above), the Senate voted down the repeal of the carbon tax just before Crikey hit deadline. PUP Senators voted to keep the carbon tax. So it survives — for now.

But this may be nothing more than delaying the inevitable. The Abbott government will try a second time with this bill, and will expect PUP Senators to pass it. That will be the crunch time for climate convert Clive Palmer.

Australia has a functional carbon pricing scheme in place. Palmer’s elaborate alternative — a zero-price ETS which starts operating when major trading partners bring in similar schemes — is a hoax. It is most unlikely to pass the lower house, and even if it did, the conditions attached mean the ETS would not fire up for years.

If the PUP really thinks climate change is real and Australia should act, there is only one feasible option: keep the carbon price when it is put before Parliament a second time.

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  • 1
    Posted Thursday, 10 July 2014 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    PUP amending a bill in the Senate to create an ETS is probably unconstitutional. section 53 of the constitution says the Senate can’t amend a bill to impose a burden on the people, so yes, Palmer’s ETS is a hoax. Maybe if Senator Lazarus et al knew that they wouldn’t abolish the current legislated ETS…

  • 2
    Electric Lardyland
    Posted Thursday, 10 July 2014 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    I’d probably feel a little bit more reassured, if Clive wasn’t flogging all that coal.

  • 3
    AR
    Posted Thursday, 10 July 2014 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    ..Clive..pleez.. stop, my sides are aching - “When you’re fighting climate sceptics”.. sounds like that old rockabilly number, “a’when yer fighting Yankees, a Red Neck’s a Man’s Best Friend”

  • 4
    AR
    Posted Thursday, 10 July 2014 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Just checking Grundle’s Tuesday piece which mentioned “Palmer himself, who spent much of the day on the Senate floor,“… why didn’t that evoke cries of “Stranger!”.

  • 5
    zut alors
    Posted Friday, 11 July 2014 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Palmer says he’s doing this for the less advantaged Australians but who actually believes any of us will save anything if carbon pricing is axed?

    Tony Abbott & Palmer would have more luck trying to flog me London Bridge.

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