Only Angus Taylor Would Find A Way To Turn Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine Into A Fossil Fuels Ad

Angus Taylor continues to ignore the "emissions reduction" part of his portfolio.

angus taylor

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Energy minister Angus Taylor has slammed activists who opposed the controversial Beetaloo Basin oil and gas development, asserting that Australia’s decision to continue investing in fossil fuels was the right call.

In the wake of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, dozens of countries have imposed strong sanctions against Russia — including the US, which banned Russian oil imports, and the UK, which has pledged to phase them out by the end of the year. But according to Taylor, European nations are now regretting their choice to invest in clean energy over a “gas-fired recovery”.

In an interview with Sky News Australia, Taylor — who is also the minister for emissions reduction — asserted that he is glad Australia “kept our foot on the accelerator” when it comes to digging up fossil fuels.

“We’re investing in new supply for gas and oil in places like the Beetaloo Basin, where there is enormous potential — we’ve kept our foot on the accelerator here in Australia because we know that is the right thing,” Taylor said on Wednesday, ironically neglecting to mention the fact that our metaphorical car is headed straight towards the brick wall known as climate change.

“I tell you what, I bet a number of countries in Europe right now wish they’d had a gas-fired recovery.”

Taylor was quick to slam the activists who protested the Beetaloo Basin fracking — over both environmental concerns and the land’s cultural significance — asserting that they’re “getting in the way.”

“You know, there’s been a lot of people trying to block the Beetaloo Basin from being developed… we’ve had lots of activists trying to stop it. They are getting in the way of a sensible pathway for energy which delivers affordable reliable energy as we bring our emissions down,” said Taylor.

But the irony of Taylor’s comments is that he has hedged his entire pro-fossil fuel spiel on one major crisis — war in Ukraine — while ignoring the fact that fossil fuels were, at least in part, the catalyst for the other major crisis we’re facing right now — the devastating east coast floods. 

During his Sky News appearance, Taylor also spoke extensively about the flooding that has ravaged most of the east coast, noting that the government is expanding support for victims but neglecting to mention the impact of climate change.

“What really counts though here is putting in place the measures that are going to help those communities,” he said in the same appearance he used to further promote fossil fuels.

While we can’t ignore the impact that sanctions on Russia will have on Australia — perhaps most notably, the hugely inflated cost of fuel right now — it is obscenely counterproductive to be using this as an opportunity to spruik further investments in fossil fuel, especially in the Beetaloo Basin.

Just last year, more than 60 experts on climate science warned that fracking in the Beetaloo Basin would be a “grave mistake” and a “big step in the wrong direction” in an open letter to Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner.

To spruik fossil fuels right now is downright offensive and inappropriate, considering millions of people across the east coast of Australia are currently battling megafloods that have ravaged the country for weeks.

It goes without saying that the Morrison Government doesn’t really care about climate change — heck, they might as well make it their campaign slogan at this point — but to have a senior government minister actively promoting more carbon emissions in the midst of a national climate emergency is a blatant slap in the face to everyone living in a now-flood-prone area.