TUESDAY 08 FEBRUARY, 2011 |
$600m Australian Oil Production Tax Loophole Exposed
Australian grassroots political activist group GetUp! is urging Prime Minister Gillard not
to slash solar power funding to help pay for flood damage recovery, but to take
it from fossil fuel subsidies - and by closing one tax loophole for polluters in
According to GetUp!
an independent political movement with over 400,000 registered members, the Australian government is leaving untouched an arbitrary $600 million per year tax loophole for condensate crude oil that
"industrial lobbyists bullied politicians into protecting". If this loophole was closed, it would be more than enough to protect the funding for large scale solar
energy projects, currently threatened
by caps, deferments and cuts
GetUp! says having previously promised to tax the crude oil produced by gas companies as a by-product of production (known as condensate), the former Rudd Government
bowed to industry lobbyists who coerced politicians into providing them a cheaper tax rate for their oil production if their facility was built before 18 September 1975.
Just a fortnight ago, Treasury estimated that this benefits the bottom line of big polluters to the tune of $600 million a year.
The group is currently calling
in order to take out a full page newspaper ad that will
feature a political cartoon in order to raise awareness of the loophole with the
public and politicians who are debating the flood package in Parliament this week.
Last week, the Australian Conservation Foundation also argued that the
government should be severing the estimated $5 billion per year tax subsidies to
the fossil fuel industry rather than take it from renewable energy, stating that
the wrong message
to the electorate about the importance of cutting
greenhouse gas emissions.
National solar solutions provider Energy
has pointed out in the past the major reason that clean, renewable
electricity generation is still not competitive with polluting fossil fuels is
the massive subsidisation fossil fuels have enjoyed for decades, creating an era
of cheap energy that never really was
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