Australian miners underwhelmed by Prime Minister's carbon tax pledge

Australia's Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) says that the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's plan to fast-track adoption of an emissions trading scheme does not sufficiently address the sector's competitiveness concerns.

AMEC CEO Simon Bennison wants to see an end to the Clean Energy Future plan, suggesting that a dismissal of the program would "go a long way to recovering some of the lost competitiveness that has occurred over the past few years, as a direct consequence of this and other public policy announcements targeting the Australian mineral exploration and mining sector," Mining Weekly reported Monday.

Some claim that Rudd's plan is a classic pre-election move, which will not achieve its goal of slashing household energy bills.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott called the plan "a con," pointing out that the proposed emissions trading scheme is still effectively a tax:

“Mr Rudd can change the name but whether it is fixed or floating, it is still a carbon tax.”