The Morrison government's shortlist of new power projects is an unusual form of pork-barrelling. It started off as an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission recommendation to fund the entry of new dispatchable power into the east coast energy market to undermine the dominance of the three big power companies -- i.e. having been told of the virtues of privatisation and markets in electricity for decades, taxpayers now have to fork out to fund a new entrant to provide some of the competition they'd been promised originally.
The Turnbull/Morrison government saw in that a way to fund new coal-fired power stations to placate the fossil fuel fetishists within the Coalition. That was all fine and dandy until the Wentworth and Victoria showed supporting coal was now about as popular as the plague. The initial rush to pull together a shortlist of coal-fired power projects to which the government could contractually commit before the election suddenly slowed to a halt while the Coalition brains trust worked out what to do. Then Barnaby Joyce and some Nationals arkked up, demanding new coal-fired power plants regardless of the objections of elitist latte-sipping inner city Liberals.