If only we could power the electricity grid with warnings. Back in mid-March, the Prime Minister warned gas exporters that the Commonwealth has "tremendous powers" including "the ability to control exports" which would be used if they didn't provide sufficient gas for domestic consumption rather than exporting it. And then, dissatisfied with their response, in April, he announced a "Australian domestic gas security mechanism" a week after warning gar exporters he would intervene in the market. In June Malcolm Turnbull announced that he had "finalised tough new regulations in the gas sector." Then, yesterday, there was considerable media speculation -- indeed, there had been for several days -- that he was was poised to "pull the trigger" and impose a gas reservation, having received a report from both the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Australian Energy Market Operator that there would be a domestic gas shortfall in 2018 and 2019.
At just after 1pm yesterday, the Prime Minister, flanked by the Treasurer and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg, strode into the media room in the government offices in Sydney and... issued yet another warning.