National hysteria on carbon warms up

BHP lemmings over the cliff, or self interest?

There seems to be an urgent rush towards the cliff of righteousness with everyone and his drover’s dog wanting to pay carbon taxes. Or is it clever strategic deals being made in the name of stupidity. Alan Moran looks closely at BHP Billiton’s Marius Kloppers’ intentions and crunches some numbers.

In seeking a price on carbon for Australia, Kloppers presumably is not advocating that BHP start to pay it immediately on the 103 million tonnes of coal a year it sells. If so, even with a tax set as low as $25 a tonne of CO2, he is advocating a payment from his shareholders of $5 billion a year.

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