UPDATED: Rudd's ETS "on hold" (possibly)
A parliamentary committee has been asked to inquire into the effectiveness of emissions trading as a means to reduce carbon pollution. [I can answer that: zero - Ed]
The inquiry committee will report "in the second half of 2009".
Legislation for the Government’s already-announced carbon reduction scheme was expected about July.
However, this inquiry might put it off for another 12 months, depending on its outcome.
Emissions trading is the core mechanism of the proposed scheme, and it would increase costs to business and households.
"Maybe the Government has decided there is no appetite for the cost of an emissions trading scheme when the economy is in trouble," a Liberal source said.
I'll believe it when I see it.
Read it here.
UPDATE: The Sydney Morning Herald reports:
Plans for emissions trading appear to be up in the air after the federal government called a fresh inquiry into the scheme. The surprise move has sparked speculation the government could delay, overhaul or ditch its main plan to tackle climate change.
Labor has promised to start emissions trading next year and has finished an intensive process to design the scheme.
Now it's back to the drawing board.
Treasurer Wayne Swan has asked a parliamentary committee to investigate whether emissions trading is the best option for Australia after all. [It isn't - Ed]
All we can hope is that they don't come up with something worse.
But Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull said the government was having second thoughts.
"You can see the government is getting ready to abandon the emissions trading scheme," Mr Turnbull told parliament.
"What's going to happen if the house economics committee concludes that the emissions trading scheme is not an appropriate response, and it's already been legislated for?"
The opposition's spokesman on emissions trading, Andrew Robb, said the government appeared to be backing off on the emissions trading scheme.
"It seems to be they're running around like headless chooks on this," Mr Robb said.
Nationals senator Barnaby Joyce said Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had experienced an epiphany and realised emissions trading would force people out of work.
Read it here.