No one would be happier than me if we lived in a world without climate change and the future of coal-fired generation in the Hunter could be extended. But that is not what AGL has said publicly today and not one energy company has shown any interest in the Prime Minister’s thought bubble.
My advice is that the Prime Minster has misled the Hunter community by deliberately and desperately describing a "request" he made of AGL to extend the life of Liddell power station as a "discussion". This is not only misleading, it also risks raising false hope amongst those who work in the industry.
Indeed, AGL CEO Andy Vesey has tweeted in response to the Prime Minister’s claims, exposing these claims as falsehoods.
We know AGL slapped down Barnaby Joyce when he raised the question of building new clean-coal generators. He was told it was too expensive, would take too long, and the company would not ask its shareholders to take on the significant carbon risk it entailed.
It's even more unlikely AGL - which has been running television commercials promoting its withdrawal from coal generation - would invest the money needed to extend Liddell.
Then again, I suppose it depends on how much taxpayers' money the Prime Minister is prepared to throw at AGL to run the plant for just another five years?
Australia is confronting an energy crisis because the Government has failed to act in four years to provide the policy certainty that is needed to put downward pressure on power prices.
Because of Malcolm Turnbull's refusal to embrace the Clean Energy Target, the uncertainty over future sources of energy generation will continue to see power prices go up and up.
It's past time Malcolm Turnbull acted to end the energy crisis by joining Labor in embracing the Finkel review recommendations in full.