The Age reports that the coal fired power industry is seeking government handouts to "compensate" it for any future action to levy a charge on them to pay for the cost of dealing with their emissions. Hmmm. From Big polluters demand billion-dollar 'ransom':
AUSTRALIA'S electricity generation industry is demanding massive compensation from the Federal Government in return for its co-operation in efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions. In a challenge to the Government's climate adviser, Ross Garnaut, the power generators have warned of soaring costs to consumers and disruptions to supplies unless they are compensated for the costs of complying with anti-greenhouse laws. With most of Australia's electricity coming coal-fired generators, the industry is the nation's largest producer of greenhouse emissions, and the main focus of efforts to curb them. A planned carbon trading system will force the industry to pay to emit greenhouse gas.
Climate Institute policy director Erwin Jackson has rejected the suggestion that refusing compensation to power generators would hurt the environment, arguing a strong emissions cap would force the market to invest in cleaner forms of energy. "We shouldn't be giving (compensation) to industries that have failed to respond to what the market has been telling them was on the way for a long time," he said. The debate coincides with worsening predictions about the pace of climate change, including a UN report that found glaciers melted nearly twice as fast in 2006 as in 2005.