Brothers! Sisters! Our mother Gaia is dying – and ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel is trying to speed up the process by holding a pillow over her face.

Oddly enough, that’s one message we haven’t heard this week, despite all the talk that climate change could decide the next election. Even the most fundamentalist Greens are avoiding the petrol-price debate.

We keep on hearing about the evil, gouging oil companies. Prime Minister John Howard says he is willing to give the competition watchdog greater powers to deal with claims of petrol price-gouging. 

Samuel has put oil companies on notice that they face greater regulation if bowser prices fail to rise and fall in line with benchmark indicators as motorists faced a hike in the petrol price ahead of this long weekend, despite international benchmarks falling through May.

The PM has backed his warning. “We will provide the ACCC with any additional power it asks for,” he said on ABC radio yesterday. “The Treasurer and I have both spoken to the chairman of the ACCC in the past couple of weeks and we’ve both made it very clear to Mr Samuel that if he wants further power then we will provide it to him.”

That’s clear collusion with Samuel in poisoning the planet. They’re aiding Greenhouse gas emissions.

Surely shrubhuggers should be applauding the oil companies for sending a price signal to consumers – use less fuel. But we’ve heard nothing from Peter Garrett. Or Anthony Albanese. Or Bob Brown. Ditto Christine Milne. And Kerry Nettle.

Is this what is called ‘an inconvenient truth’ – particularly so close to an election? Or do these people prefer platitudes and just go with the greenwash?

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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