Blogwatch – We round up a selection of responses to the Labor government’s Green Paper.

Wong, all Wong. Larvatus Prodeo has been working overtime on responses to Wong’s Green Paper. One response was that “the government has bought into the electricity generation and ‘trade exposed’ industry blackmail about blackouts and ‘moving offshore.’ ” Another talked about the government’s bait and switch, saying the announcement was trying to steal a march on the Libs by incorporating the Lib’s petrol excise cut, while “looking to cut the Greens out of the Senate equation on emissions trading“. Another post decried Rudd’s “folding before the debate starts“: Even as a Green Paper, this thing makes no sense. All the concessions have been made in advance, and probably a lot need not have been made.”

Let’s all take a deep breath. The reaction in the left-wing blogosphere to the Rudd Government ETS Green Paper’s cent-for-cent reduction in the fuel excise to compensate for tax increases in the ETS seems to have been universally hostile… A bit of passion over policy is great – but in this case it’s misguided. The Australian Left have an unfortunate habit of imputing political opportunism as the rationale for every government decision with which they disagree. — Tree of Knowledge

Lessons from Brazil’s alternative energy industry. The environmental problem will not be changed unless the culture is changed and the problem then becomes culture is long term historical development, whereas the time available to address the climate challenge may be much shorter than is comfortable — Duckpond

Professor Garnaut is likely to be very unimpressed indeed. The upshot is that the Government has put their foot on the accelerator and the brake at the same time. The leak this morning about essentially keeping petrol out of the scheme (raising the price with one hand and dropping it by the same amount with the other!) is symbolic of the whole thing. An emissions trading scheme is about driving new investment, but this proposal would protect existing coal investments, shutting the door on efficiency and renewables and mass transit and alternative fuels. — Greens Blog

I spot a Green Paper problem. Remembering that yesterday’s Green Paper on an emissions trading scheme is just that, a discussion paper designed to illicit responses from stakeholders and the wider community rather than a set-in-concrete blueprint for actual legislation, it is important to take the opportunity and encourage that discussion. More to the point, it is important to note those areas where the ideas put forward by the government are seriously wrongheaded. The idea being, of course, to get them to change their mind. To that end, let me point out what I see as the biggest problem the discussion paper presents: the allocation of free permits to so-called “trade exposed” industries. Tim Dunlop,

What’s the most dodgy part of the ETS proposal? I reckon it’s this: A promise of special direct assistance to existing coal-fired power stations on the grounds that it will encourage companies to invest in Australia. — Peter Martin

Keeping lefties everywhere happy. It’s like they are wetting themselves over ‘peak oil’ as if it proves something. Indeed, isn’t the whole issue of carbon trading right up the leftist’s street. A whole orgy of new taxes, regulations and controls, a mass of new rules, new bureaucrats and things for busy bodies to keep busy. The state can extend its deadening hands ever further. — No Minister

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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