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Malcolm Turnbull convinces party to unite on energy policy

Katharine Murphy reports in The Guardian (17.10.17) on the Turnbull Government’s newly announced energy plan, which ditches the Clean Energy Target recommended by the recent Finkel review of the energy sector in favour of a National Energy Guarantee.

‘Malcolm Turnbull has secured party room backing to impose new reliability and emissions reduction guarantees on energy retailers and large energy users from 2020.

‘But the emissions reduction trajectory, the most internally sensitive component of the reform, will require new legislation, and the government has been advised to implement the new scheme with the support of state governments passing complementary laws – which could render Turnbull’s reworked proposal dead on arrival.

‘While the government characterised its new energy guarantee as a “game changer”, Labor quickly blasted the decision to dump the clean energy target recommended by the chief scientist, Alan Finkel. A handful of government MPs, including Tony Abbott, expressed objections to the emissions reduction element of the overhaul during party room debate.

‘Labor has also zeroed in on the price aspects of the scheme. The government contends its new energy framework will lower prices for households by between $100 and $115 per year, but the opposition suggests those estimates are rubbery, given serious modelling has not yet been undertaken.

‘After months of internal controversy, the government on Tuesday dumped the clean energy target favoured by Finkel in favour of a new “national energy guarantee” which will impose a reliability and emissions reduction guarantee on retailers and some large energy users.’

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