Energy Minister Angus Taylor's attempt to blame state governments and industry for rising concerns over electricity security deserve an "A" for effort. That said, they are disingenuous and come across as a blatant attempt to distance a succession of federal governments from any responsibility for the mess.
The reality that private and corporate electricity consumers along the eastern seaboard will enter summer with a significantly increased risk of blackouts is the direct, and inevitable, consequence of a major policy failure by both sides of politics over the last decade.
Even the Greens must bear their own share of the blame after passing on the opportunity to support Labor's carbon tax proposals after the 2007 election. They were hoping something better would come along. It never did.
The real reason we suddenly find ourselves at five minutes to midnight is that, despite having had more than a decade in which to do so, federal parliamentarians have been unable to agree on a bipartisan approach to energy and climate policy.
Given these tightly intertwined issues represent two of the greatest challenges facing this nation in the 21st century this is a degree of negligence that borders on the criminal.
It isn't as if opportunities for real progress have been lacking; the most recent being the Turnbull government's NEG proposal that lapsed after he was dumped as the Liberal leader just on a year ago.
Every time a real opportunity to do something has presented itself the political factions within the parliamentary packs have contented themselves with kicking the can down the road.
This has resulted in a policy vacuum which, in turn, has created an extremely difficult environment for both the Australian Energy Market Operator and the individual electricity suppliers.
Power generation infrastructure, whether it be fossil-fuelled or renewable, is extremely expensive to build. Projects have long lead times and, because of the nature of the industry, it takes decades to recover the initial investment. There is also the issue of the high cost of integrating new installations into the national energy grid.
Power generation infrastructure is extremely expensive to build.
All of this means that no private operator is going to stump up the billions of dollars required for significant additional generation capacity unless there is a very clear road map setting out future policy directions.
The main reason we now run the risk of significant power shortages around Christmas time and beyond is that a number of older coal powered generators, including Liddell in NSW and Loy Yang A in Victoria, are showing their age. Liddell has been kept in operation beyond the end of its design life and Loy Yang A is already suffering from "unplanned outages" which are expected to get worse as the hot weather approaches.
Victoria's Mortlake gas powered generator is currently running at 50 per cent of capacity due to an "unexpected" explosion last month. When even your back-up is on the fritz you know you have a real problem.
It is one thing for a government to coerce a reluctant operator to keep an ageing coal powered generator online beyond the end of its effective life. It is another thing entirely for that operator to be able to guarantee this will be as dependable as a modern piece of infrastructure.
It is time to take the politics out of energy and climate policy in order to clear the way for a genuinely bipartisan approach.
That is the only way we will ever see the practical, soundly engineered, cost-effective, energy framework Australia was crying out for five years ago.