Commentators blame successive governments over the last ten years for our lack of a coherent energy policy resulting in excessive power bills but that, in my mind, is completely unfair.
This whole debacle can be sheeted directly to Tony Abbott.
Many blame the Greens for sinking Rudd’s emissions reduction scheme but, had Labor and the Liberals continued with the agreement they had reached before Abbott rolled Turnbull, the Greens would have been irrelevant.
When the 2010 election did not produce a clear winner, Gillard negotiated the support of the Greens and Independents to form government by promising to introduce carbon pricing. The policy was introduced in 2012 with the effect of bringing down emissions and prompting a surge of investment in renewable energy projects.
With old coal-fired power stations reaching the end of their ‘technical’ lives, this investment was crucial to help cover the transition as they closed down. Gas could have been an option to help during this period except the government had agreed to export it with no compulsion to retain sufficient to cover domestic needs, leading to skyrocketing prices locally which are unlikely to come down any time soon.
Then the wrecker won in 2013 and threw out any certainty the industry thought they had. Investment in new generation ground to a halt. No-one was going to invest in coal and the rest of the world were more than happy to accept their investment in renewables.
Emissions started rising again for the first time in a decade and energy prices continued to rise astronomically, much higher than any increases due to the carbon price.
But Tony couldn’t care less about that as his tweet this weekend showed.
“To have a chance of winning the next election, the Coalition must create a policy contest on energy, not a consensus.”
So there we have it.
Abbott does not want a solution. He wants a fight. His political future is more important to him than any real effort to give the industry the certainty they need to invest in new generation to lower prices and emissions.
And he most certainly will not allow Malcolm Turnbull to come up with a solution.
Tony Abbott is a narcissistic anachronism who seethes with anger and resentment at being dumped by his own party less than two years into the gig he felt he was destined for.
Any idea that he gives the slightest shit about energy prices, or anything other than himself and his all-consuming desire for revenge, is laughable.