Federal

Sep 8, 2017

There might never be a deal to end the climate wars

While everyone has assumed the Prime Minister wants to get a Clean Energy Target through his partyroom, what if his goal is actually to demonise Labor instead?

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

Earlier this week, I wondered if the government's recent strange behaviour presaged that, no matter how much Labor offered to compromise on energy and climate policy, the government will never agree to bipartisanship.

After all, Malcolm Turnbull had decided to use reports from the Australian Energy Market Operator to demand that the Liddell coal-fired power station be kept open, even though those reports explicitly and clearly showed that the risk of unserved power demand in NSW -- following this long-forecast closure of Liddell -- would be kept to a negligible level if there were greater investment in renewable power. The owner of Liddell, AGL, was repeatedly verballed by the Prime Minister and others and then, when it objected to being lied about, attacked by the government and by News Corp, which in league with the government has now begun one of its periodic culture wars against the company. And it's a campaign that uses the sort of language that if Labor used it about major corporate players would be condemned with froth-mouthed fury as "class warfare" by the Coalition and the Murdoch press. Now, hilariously, the Coalition and The Australian have combined to demand that Labor "state its position" on Liddell, which will remain operational for another five years.

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