Pro-coal former Prime Minister Tony Abbott and rural-party Nationals members in Turnbull's coalition do not want to give any future Labor government the power to easily raise emissions reduction targets and make coal-fired electricity less competitive. The result was an overhaul known as the National Energy Guarantee.
"It's not ideal. But what it does do is present Australia and investors with certainty.I sincerely hope that reason prevails on Friday and we get an agreement on the NEG", Nigel Garrard, managing director of packaging manufacturer Orora Ltd, told reporters on Thursday.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian says the policy will lower power prices and deliver a more reliable electricity system and has called on states to put the national interest ahead of their local political interests and approve the guarantee.
"The time has come to get on with it", he said.
But the state of Victoria, where the Labor government faces an election in November and stands to lose seats to the Greens, has thrown up last-minute hurdles which will be tough for the governing coalition to overcome. And under the proposed NEG, the target would be reviewed every five years and could even be lifted, if parliament agreed to do so.
In a partial step back from some of the brinkmanship of the week leading up to Friday's meeting of the Coag energy council in Sydney, the energy minister Josh Frydenberg and his state and territory counterparts agreed to inch forward on the policy, rather than torpedo it.
It means the Neg remains alive and the emissions reduction components will be presented to the Coalition party room next Tuesday.
Opening the quarterly power bill is becoming more of a shock for many households as energy costs continue to rise.