SMH - Ben Cubby - 6.10.2011
THE development of a major coal seam gas industry side-by-side with agriculture is ”essential” in NSW, and demand for gas will triple in the next 20 years, the state government has said in a submission to an upper house inquiry. (In other words, the govt. – in its own submission to a govt. inquiry – has already made up its mind that coal seam gas is “essential”. Hardly an ‘open and independent’ inquiry!!).
The government said it was trying to balance farming, environmental and gas company concerns in a way that would allow a state coal seam gas industry to grow to about $1 billion by 2025. (Yes, that’s right – its all about money for the govt., isn’t it?).
The gas extracted in NSW is at present worth $34.5 million, so expansion on that scale, based on the average output today, would mean there would be roughly about 5000 gas wells in NSW by 2025.
The government’s data on the life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions of coal seam gas is based on a report prepared for industry body the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association of Australia by consultants Worley Parsons.
However, that report is held as commercial-in-confidence information, so the data cannot be checked. (Well, that’s convenient for them. The report was written for the Mining Industry, and no-one is allowed to read it – this suggests that the Mining Industry wrote this whole submission for the government. What a scam!)
Greens Senator Jeremy Buckingham said that no decisions on the future of the CSG industry should be made until independent research about emissions from Australian coal seam gas operations had been published and peer-reviewed. (We agree!)
”It is disturbing that the government is relying on this secret industry data,” he said. ”The Worley Parsons report must be made public so that the assumptions and the science can be tested.
”The whole impression this submission gives is that the government has already made up its mind about this industry before the inquiry is finished.” (We agree absolutely!!).