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September 21, 2017

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Australia cuts number of firms subject to carbon tax

CANBERRA, Australia -- Australia will levy a controversial carbon tax on about half the number of companies originally expected, a government list released on Friday shows, which may limit the economic and political impact of the tax which starts on July 1.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has pinned her government's survival on implementing the carbon price while hoping for a muted voter reaction to blunt a persistent opposition attack warning of higher prices, job losses and factory closures.

Australia's Clean Energy Regulator has named 294 firms will be liable for the AU$23 per ton (US$22.96 per ton) carbon tax, with electricity generators, steel makers and mining companies among the biggest emitters. The list was based on emissions output.

The list is well short of the government's initial estimate that around 500 companies would be forced to pay to pollute under its sweeping carbon price, designed to cut Australian carbon emissions by 5 percent of 2000 levels by 2020.

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