Praise for Palmer, Abbott’s claims questioned  

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has praised Clive Palmer and the members of the Palmer United Party for their stance supporting the Labor party’s climate change policies.

“The three concrete measures now welcomed by Palmer United, are efficient and effective policy reforms that do deserve bipartisan support,” Shorten said, referring to the renewable energy target (RET), Climate Change Authority (CCA) and Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).

Unwilling to side with the Coalition, members of the PUP have vowed to vote against changes to the RET and CEFC at least until the next election in 2016. Before the last election the RET enjoyed bipartisan support, however a number of renewable policies have been scrapped by the Coalition government since and a review of the effects of the renewable energy target will be announced shortly.

Clive Palmer recently addressed the media while standing next to former US Vice President Al Gore, who also heaped praise on the senator for his favourable treatment of climate change legislation. This coincided with a poll showing the vast majority of the population supported the RET and wanted to see it retained or expanded.

Meanwhile Prime Minister Tony Abbott has reiterated his view that the RET “is very significantly driving up power prices”.

Solar advocacy group Solar Citizens have labelled the Prime Minister a liar, suggesting his “war is self interested, political and ideological. It’s deliberately misleading and it’s factually wrong.”

Evidence that the RET reduces the cost of electricity for all consumers continues to mount, with the government’s own modelling proving the correlation between renewables and lower wholesale prices and the roll out of solar in QLD leading to record low energy prices.

Palmer has told the Guardian that he is unaware of any legislation currently presented to the senate formalising the Coalition’s Direct Action Policy, when informed that The Carbon Farming Initiative Amendment Bill included the government’s Direct Action bill he responded, “I haven’t seen that. Anyway, if it is, we’ll vote against it.”