Thursday, July 24, 2008

Rudd assures coal power industry of emissions scheme support

ABC News Online, Posted 57 minutes ago

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has moved to assure the coal-fired power generators that they will get help to cope with the changes caused by an emissions trading scheme.

The electricity industry says the Federal Government should help major power suppliers make the transition to lower emissions technology.

New economic modelling commissioned by the Energy Supply Association suggests a 20 per cent emissions reduction would push up power bills by about 28 per cent.

Mr Rudd says the Government is not ignoring the power generators.

"We are already investing $500 million [in] our clean coal initiative to assist that industry," he said.

"Secondly, we've already indicated through the carbon pollution reduction scheme green paper that [we] will also be providing some assistance through the electricity supply adjustment fund and of course we will be in continued consultation with the industry."

But Jeff Angel from the Total Environment Centre says any money generated from emissions trading should go to renewable energy instead of coal companies.

"Why should we give them the money to do that?" he said.

"I wouldn't trust them as far as I could throw them. They're interested in coal power solely, and we should in fact be dispersing this income that will come from the emissions trading scheme to genuine renewable energy companies and investors."

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