Terry McCrann: ETS is a tax
THE first and most important thing to note about Kevin Rudd's emissions trading scheme is that it is a tax.
It's not called a tax, but if it waddles like one, quacks like one, and most pointedly raises money like one, it's a tax. And not just any old tax -- it's a huge and continually growing tax.
It starts out in 2012-13 raising about a quarter as much as the GST. The budget in May put a number on it for the first time. Almost $12 billion in its first full year, 2012-13.
It is the equivalent of increasing the GST from 10 per cent to 12.5 per cent in that year. And in its impact on people it won't be all that different from doing exactly that.
In year one, that is, which if we actually get the ETS should be retitled Year Zero, because it will be the beginning of the end of Australia as we know it.
And when conventional energy becomes prohibitively expensive as a result, we will all have to rely on "alternative" or renewable power:
Where will this power come from? We can play around, in somewhat different ways, with gas and solar, but in the main there is only one answer: wind.
Except there's one problem with wind -- it's useless.
In a brief but utterly devastating analysis, Andrew Miskelly and Tom Quirk tracked the power output of all the now quite substantial wind farms in South Australia, Victoria, NSW and Tasmania for every minute of June. The simply devastating conclusion: when the wind don't blow, it don't blow everywhere at the same time.
This utterly shreds the claim that if you build enough wind farms nationally the wind will be blowing somewhere. You have to keep fully equivalent coal power up and running, not just when the wind is not blowing, but all the time. So, we have a government that is proposing a massive new tax. It then proposes to waste most, if not all, of the money from it. Either by compensating people for higher costs, or by pouring it into "alternative" energy production that can't work.
All this, of course, is to absolutely no purpose. Even cutting our CO2 emissions to zero would make zero difference to global emissions.
Anyone who votes for the ETS next week -- or indeed any week -- is betraying both common sense and their basic duty to the national interest and every Australian.
Read it here.