Last week, The Liberal Party furiously wagged the finger of blame for the current energy crisis on the three-week-old Labor government.
The truth is, the seeds of the crisis were sown because the previous Liberal and National coalition government, under the guidance of Scott Morrison and former energy minister Angus Taylor, pussy footed around so appallingly with its energy and climate policies. Over nine years, the previous government preferred to play politics instead of landing a concrete policy that businesses and consumers could rely upon. But the Libs and Nats can't shoulder all the blame.
The Greens are the real villains. Yes, you read correctly, the Greens, those audacious defenders of the environment, are ultimately responsible for laying the groundwork for the Libs and Nats to do their nefarious work.
When Kevin Rudd was PM in 2009, the Greens voted with the Coalition in the Senate to defeat the Labor government's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. The scheme was a price mechanism intended to inspire emissions reduction and the adoption of renewable energy. When Bob Brown's Greens voted it down, Tony Abbott had been opposition leader for one day after a divisive feud within the party room over its Malcolm Turnbull-led climate policy.
The problem with the Greens is they often pursue the perfect at the cost of the good, which in this case led to no carbon reduction policy at all. The passing of the CPRS would have likely consigned the climate wars to a few angry right-wing zealots shaking their fists at the sky. The Greens defended the decision by saying they supported Julia Gillard's carbon pricing scheme, which turned out to be better than Rudd's CPRS. But, the Greens supporting that policy was of no consequence because by that stage, the rot had set in, with the Liberals getting invaluable support from the Murdoch media in a 'Carbon Tax is bad' campaign. Had the CPRS been legislated, businesses would have had the certainty to invest in renewable energy, and energy consumers would have been spared the horrid politics of a decade of climate and energy policy hesitation that's come back to bite us on the backside now.
I reckon the voting public ended the climate wars in 2022. So, surely the Libs, after losing so many seats to climate action independents won't repeat Abbott and Morrison's mantra in this stint in opposition, and surely the Greens have learned from their mistake in 2009. We can only hope.
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