The Australian government has voted to repeal its carbon tax, becoming the first major power to do so. For those (like us at IER) who believe carbon taxes harm consumers in exchange for no corresponding environmental benefits, the move signals benefit for the Australian people. Yet the episode also carries lessons for the U.S. debate: By showing the fragility of foreign participation in a carbon scheme, the Australians have also repealed the intellectual case for an American carbon tax.
Why the Aussies Hated Their Carbon Tax
As the Wall Street Journal reports:
Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who made a pre-election “pledge in blood” to voters and business to prioritize growth above climate shift, delivered on his promise after independent senators with deciding votes in the upper house sided with his conservatives, following a power shift this month that ended years of domination by the pro-environment Greens party.