The Canberra Times in its lead story of Saturday 30th reports the coal industry as saying reducing greenhouse emissions is too expensive, financially risky and untested. If we put a surcharge onto energy production that causes greenhouse emissions then we would soon find that reducing greenhouse emissions would be inexpensive and financially sound and that the technologies would soon be tested. All we need to do is to make the surcharge on greenhouse gases so that the total cost of energy produced by coal with greenhouse emissions is higher than the cost of energy without greenhouse gas emissions. The problem is to find a way of disposing of the surcharge that is positive and has a low inflationary impact. If energy companies keep the surcharge then it will encourage them to produce more energy with greenhouse gases. If the government collected it as a tax then it would be spent on other things in the same way royalties collected on oil production goes to consolidate revenue and it would be inflationary. A solution is to give the surcharge to the people who live in ways that cause few green house gas emissions and require that the surcharge monies they receive be invested in ways to reduce green house gases. This has to be an election winner for the party that endorses it. No increase in tax, solve the greenhouse gas problem, create an export industry in clean technologies, and reward voters with a low greenhouse gas footprint with an investment stake in the new greenhouse gas free infrastructure.

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