Tony Abbott fires opening salvo in looming party debate over clean energy, insisting PM must ‘go ahead with new coal-fired power’ because he backs hydro

Tony Abbott has thrown down the gauntlet to Malcolm Turnbull in the lead-up to the Coalition’s renewed deliberations over the Finkel review, declaring if the prime minister is prepared to back pumped hydro, he also needs to support a new coal-fired power station.

The former prime minister used his regular spot on 2GB on Wednesday to argue the government needed to walk the walk on technology neutrality, and also use its looming response to the Finkel review to create a regulatory environment where coal-fired power generation was not subject to “political risk”.

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