Energy politics in Australia laid the crazy on thick this week, with Josh Frydenberg’s intricate coal dance, the business lobby’s renewables ambush, and the federal Coalition’s en masse support of a One Nation motion to build new coal plant.
Not to be outdone, however, ex prime minster Tony Abbott put the sparklers on the cake on Friday morning, in an interview with 2GB’s Alan Jones.
Here’s what was said:
AJ: What are we being, quote unquote, guaranteed in the National Energy Guarantee?
TA: The only guarantee, as i read it, is that emissions will come down.
…(In the NEG policy documents) there’s a few lines on reducing price, there’s a few pages on boosting reliability, and there’s page after impenetrable page of the most appalling prose you’ve ever read, which is all about reducing emissions.
Now, I don’t mind reducing emissions, but not if it drives your cost of living through the roof, and not if it makes your job more precarious.
And this is the problem. We are damaging our economy in an attempt to save the planet in 100 years’ time.
And I don’t think our children will thank us if we damage their future in order to make the world a bit colder for our grandchildren.”
So there it is. And while wouldn’t usually bother dedicating an entire story to the increasingly unhinged musings of the former PM, it’s worth noting what we’re dealing with in Australia, on energy and climate policy.
This is the man who killed the carbon price, and for whom Malcolm Turnbull is doing a merry dance by proposing a NEG that does nothing – and he’s not even grateful for it.
In any case, Abbott’s wrong about the NEG: It won’t bring emissions down, because that target will largely be met by the RET, which he tried to scrap. There’s no reliability issue, and if he really wants to upset the grandchildren, then doing nothing about climate change should do the trick.
“Hello, is this the coal hotline? I want to hear you say some nice things about coal. Yes, I’ll hold.” pic.twitter.com/pBnkWkZR4Q
— Ken McAlpine (@KenMcAlpine) June 27, 2018