Australia narrowly votes to repeal politically divisive carbon tax

By Kyle Johnson,

Prime Minister Tony Abbott can boast he came through on at least one campaign promise on Friday as the Senate voted 39-32 to repeal the carbon tax.

The narrow vote, in which Labor and Greens tried to save the tax, came after the Senate debated for 55 hours, with many looking to dump a tax that has cost many political figures their seats, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Abbott and others have considered the tax on greenhouse gasses to be disruptive to the country's weakened economy, with the PM calling it a "wrecking ball."

Abbott spoke triumphantly after the vote saying, "You voted to scrap the tax in September last year and today the Parliament finally listened." He also characterized the repealed carbon tax as "useless" and "destructive."

The Wall Street Journal reports that shortly after the bill was enacted, Australia began to struggle, like all other countries at the time. Many Australians began to feel the tax was at fault for the rising cost of living and other issues and turned their backs on it and those who supported it.

The bill, which was cited by the International Energy Agency as legislation other countries should similarly enact, had hoped to cut the country's carbon emissions by 160 million metric tons by 2020 as the country continues to best the global average of daily emissions by four times the amount.

The European Union was disappointed by the repeal and "regretted" Australia's move, EU Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said.

image courtesy of INFphoto.com

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