Australia Takes a Major Step Toward Establishing National Legislation on Climate Change October 13, 2011 : 7:54 AM

According to the Los Angeles Times:

"The Australian government's goal of implementing a carbon tax passed its toughest test today as the lower house of Parliament overwhelmingly approved a package of bills that institutes a phased-in carbon tax, to be followed by a carbon-trading system."

"The 18 bills now go to the Senate, where the law is all but assured of passage in mid-November."

"According to Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the system will reduce Australia's carbon emissions by 159 million tons by 2020. Australia is the largest per-capita carbon polluter, with an economy deeply dependent on coal."

"The first phase of the law will tax carbon at $22.90 a ton beginning in the middle of next year. The surcharge will rise modestly until mid-2015, when the carbon-trading system will take effect. Other bills call for a national emissions caps, exempting farming and other agricultural sectors."

"The tax will not extend to the price of gas for consumers, although rail, shipping and large trucking businesses will pay the tax indirectly on fuels such as diesel."

This vote is a tremendous accomplishment. I applaud Prime Minister Gillard for her leadership, as well as all of those who have worked for many years to enact legislation in Australia. I look forward to Senate consideration in November.