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States threaten to move alone on energy

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July 13, 2017

A Liberal MP believes renewable energy is driving up power prices, claiming people will die.

Australians will die because of high power bills driven by renewable energy, the chair of the coalition's climate committee is warning.

Liberal backbencher Craig Kelly believes some people cannot afford to heat their homes this winter.

"People will die," he told ABC radio on Thursday.

Mr Kelly cited recent reports that one-in-four Australian households this winter will be frightened to turn on the heater due to high power prices.

He also said the World Health Organisation has made it clear that winter mortality rates increase if people can't afford to heat their homes.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing the number of extra deaths in winter haven't been released for the last couple of years.

"And when they are, we'll be able to put a number on it," he said.

Mr Kelly put his warning down to the government's policies that push up the price of electricity.

"There (is) $3 billion this year being paid in subsidies for renewable energy," he said.

Labor's energy spokesman Mark Butler accused Mr Kelly of scaremongering.

"This is another appalling intervention, not just by a backbencher, but by the chair of the coalition's energy policy committee."

Mr Butler conceded households and businesses are facing high power and gas bills, but he put that down to "policy paralysis" at the national level.

Mr Kelly's comments come ahead of a meeting of state and federal energy ministers in Brisbane on Friday to discuss recommendations for change from Chief Scientist, Professor Alan Finkel.

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