The Australian government hast passed its “carbon tax” legislation, marking the first time that a major industrialised state has attempted to price, and place a cap on, its greenhouse gas emissions. Acrimonious debate around the proposal had evoked the often-irrational fears, both of the rightwing opposition and some business and mining representatives, that the country is now headed for economic dissolution, if not bankruptcy.
Among the companies mining coal in Australia are Anglo American, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata.