It's hard to have a rational debate about the feasibility of action on climate change: Dutton - The Epoch Times

It’s hard to have a rational debate about the feasibility of action on climate change: Dutton – The Epoch Times

Opposition leader Peter Dutton said Australians need to be more realistic about reshaping the entire power grid to reach net zero.

“It’s hard to have a rational conversation about it with people because you screamed for being a retarded person,” he told 2GB Radio on June 2.

“The truth is, if a city like Sydney enforces electric cars tomorrow… the power grid will collapse because people plug in their cars at 6pm, they’ll go home, take a shower, have some dinner, sit down and watch TV… just peak load – can’t to work scientifically,” he said.

Dutton said he was a supporter of renewable energy, but the technology wasn’t advanced enough to constantly support the current lifestyle.

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A Tesla electric car charging station is in the parking lot of The Star Casino in Pyrmont in Sydney, Australia, on April 14, 2015 (Ben Rushton/Getty Images)

“If the discovery is made tomorrow and the batteries can give your car a range of 700 km instead of 270 … Let’s hope that one day it will, but I think we need to have a sober conversation about it.

“Yes, we want to reduce emissions, we want responsible environmental protection – all of this is taken for granted…but I won’t stand idly by and watch families fall apart because they can’t pay the electricity bills.”

The global energy crisis has caused wholesale electricity prices to rise 141% in Australia. While the polar vortex in the southern parts of the country has caused electricity demand to rise, leaving homes and small business owners with rapidly rising electricity bills.

Fluctuating wholesale prices have also caused small energy retailers to turn away new customers to reduce the cost of their business.

“By leaving, you help yourself while helping protect those who stay with us because we have no choice but to pass on the wholesale costs we face,” Luke Blincoe, CEO of ReAmped Energy, said in a statement.

Renewable energy advocates have blamed the price hike on the state’s failure to develop alternative energy sources — wind, solar, and hydro — fast enough.

However, critics such as Queensland Senator Matt Canavan say political interference in the energy market, which is holding back the opening of new coal-fired generators and offshore drilling stations, has left the market without enough room to deal with the rising demand for electricity.

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File photo showing a gas stove. (John Stilwell/PA)

“It is not complicated. When green policies, such as net zero, shut down the supply of coal, gas and oil, the price of energy goes up. He wrote on Twitter on June 1st: When you restrict the supply of something useful, the price of that thing goes up.

Dutton also warned that investors would benefit more from increased investment in the renewable energy sector, not consumers.

“We should get really frank shocker in Australia about where we’re headed,” he said. “When you look at the billions of dollars being made by all these traders in different renewable energy proposals – they have no regard for whether the lights are going to come on or not – they are making money.

Dutton called on the new Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, to explain to Australians how the country will reach net zero.

“I really think [Prime Minister] Anthony Albanese has to properly explain to the Australian people what he is proposing because I think prices will go up and jobs will go abroad.

“If companies can’t get assurances about the electricity supply – if there’s a blackout or a blackout, if their bills double – they will just pack up and go to another country where the electricity is cheaper and the supply is assured.”

Increased climate change action is a focal point of the new Labor government as the center-left party has already pledged to legislate a new target of cutting emissions by 43 percent by 2030, instead of the current 26 to 28 percent.

The Albanian government will also push for renewable energy to make up 82 percent of the country’s electricity market by 2030 – currently, Australia sources 64.67 percent (PDF) of electricity from generation using coal.

Such a pledge could terminate – or slow – approvals for new coal, oil and gas production in the country.

Meanwhile, Chris Bowen, the new minister for climate change, said the party would end the “climate wars”.

“The Albanian Labor Party government will seek to end the climate wars by taking real action on climate change, bringing Australians together and listening to Australians from all walks of life,” he told reporters on June 2.

“We have been elected with a mandate to take real action on climate change, ambitious but achievable, as outlined in the policies for which we have sought and will implement.”

Daniel Wei Teng

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Daniel Wei Teng lives in Sydney. Focuses on national affairs including federal policy, response to COVID-19, and Australian-Chinese relations. Got a tip? Contact him at daniel.teng@epochtimes.com.au.

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