KEY GOVERNMENT AGENCIES CONFIRM THAT GOVERNMENT INACTION ON ENERGY POLICY IS DRIVING AN INVESTMENT STRIKE IN THE ENERGY SECTOR

May 27, 2017

PAT CONROY MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR INFRASTRUCTURE
MEMBER FOR SHORTLAND

KEY GOVERNMENT AGENCIES CONFIRM THAT GOVERNMENT INACTION ON ENERGY POLICY IS DRIVING AN INVESTMENT STRIKE IN THE ENERGY SECTOR

Two key Government agencies have confirmed that the massive investment uncertainty caused by the Government’s energy policy failure is leading to higher energy prices.

Testimony before the House Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy by Ms Anne Pearson, Chief Executive of the Australian Energy Market Commission said the investment uncertainty in the energy sector was due to a lack of a coherent emissions policy.

“The view of the Commission is the market is in transition. A market that’s in transition needs investment certainty, investment certainty will not come until there is some certainty in emissions reduction policies,” Ms Pearson said.

The Australian Energy Market Operator CEO, Audrey Zibelman said policy certainty was crucial for investment certainty.

“Certainly, questions of getting certainty on emissions objectives for the country probably would be helpful for people to understand where people want to go,” Ms Zibelman said.

Labor’s Shadow Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy and Deputy Chair of the committee, Pat Conroy, said the testimony was damning of the Turnbull Government.

“This testimony confirms, yet again, that the Liberals are the party of higher energy prices, they have their heads in the sand over climate change. Wholesale energy prices have doubled under the Coalition and their inability to see reason means Australian’s aren’t seeing investment in the energy sector because of investor uncertainty,” Mr Conroy said.

The committee also heard that an Emissions Intensity Scheme was the best policy in a range of diverse scenarios, including high gas prices; contrary to the disingenuous claims of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

“We came to the conclusion than an Emission Intensity Scheme… worked the best against high gas prices, low gas prices, high demand, low demand… when you look at different variables, which of the mechanisms copes and has the best price outcomes over time… when you look at all of those different variables, [an EIS] was the mechanism the Commission recommended,” Ms Pearson said.

“This confirms yet again that the Prime Minister has misled the Australian people about an EIS. Not only does an EIS have wide industry support, it has the approval of most energy experts and clearly it’s the best mechanism to reduce our carbon pollution in an economy facing higher gas prices.

“The Prime Minister should be condemned for failing to act in the national interest by fixing the energy crisis. His inability to stand up to the lunar right of his own party and get a policy which he once believed in demonstrates just how feckless the man is,” Mr Conroy said.

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