He said the commission will test the veracity of claims and counter-claims about the market “and seek hard evidence that proves or disproves them,” including whether governments are making it harder for producers to develop new supplies through their regulatory regimes.
The latter point is a potential time bomb for several state governments in a year (2016) where the winter could bring some shortfalls in the largest regional economy (New South Wales) and nasty price surprises for many Victorian households in a political environment that is likely to be even more volatile than in 2013.
Underlying the ACCC exercise and much of the rest of the energy debate is a fundamental question: What is the purpose of energy policy?
This is not as esoteric as it may sound.It is a point that has been taken up by the Business Council. The BCA argues that the objective should be to “achieve
a balance between promoting economic growth, energy security and environmental sustainability.”
In reality, the BCA adds, policy development over a number of years has been affected by “missteps at all levels of government”, including intervention in markets, a lack of evidenced-based policy rationale, fragmented change and a lack of focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions at least cost.