Greens Media Release : 16 July 2008
In a last ditch attempt to rescue NSW Treasurer Michael Costa's electricity privatisation push, the Rudd government has ignored Professor Ross Garnaut's opposition to compensating power stations for the costs of emissions trading, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.
Dr Kaye said: "The handiwork of Michael Costa is writ large in the federal government's Green Paper.
"He has been able to keep the door open for revenue from carbon trading to be used to compensate the owners of the large generators.
"This was essential if his proposed sell-off was to have any chance of surviving the huge costs of purchasing emissions certificates for the state's power stations.
"Ross Garnaut explicitly rejected compensation, explaining that other forms of structural adjustment funding would deliver more jobs and wealth creation.
"He anticipated and explicitly rejected the Green Paper's concern that power stations would lose value, citing the case of government policies that have depreciated investments in producing asbestos and tobacco
"Treasurer Costa knows he cannot sell the state's electricity generators without someone else paying for at least part of the billions of dollars of emissions certificates needed to support the 58 million tonnes of CO2 they emit each year.
"Together with his climate sceptic allies in Canberra and the fossil fuel lobby around Australia, Michael Costa has been able to push the Rudd government into taking compensation away from households and giving it to generators.
"This battle is not over yet. Saner heads in Canberra will no doubt be appalled by this outcome and will be working hard to keep the compensation amounts to a minimum.
"Treasurer Costa still faces an uphill battle to push through his sell-off," Dr Kaye said.
For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455