Gloucester Advocate, Dr Richard Denniss and John Ross - 1.05.13
This is a scanned copy of two letters to the editor which were published in the Gloucester Advocate on 1st May 2013: Mining’s contribution – by Dr. Richard Denniss, Executive Director of The Australian Institute. Water a priority – by John Ross, Manager Hydrogeology AGL Upstream Gas. Click here to download a PDF of the [...]
Renew Economy (online publication), 1.5.13
A report released on April 24 by the Australian coal industry, Adding value to the Australian Economy, unsurprisingly documents only one side of the ledger. It is perhaps more surprising that this one-sided report has some academic imprimatur, when review of the international literature reveals a very different picture. The complete picture shows coal is [...]
Australian Financial Review, 4.4.13
Article by Bob Katter – What do you call an industry that doesn’t create many job opportunities, doesn’t provide significant revenue for the economy and destroys structural homeland industries through systemic and endemic collateral damage? It’s called the coal seam gas industry. http://www.afr.com/p/opinion/more_risks_than_benefits_in_csg_rzi5tx8wymhIPv95zezhPO
SMH - Paul Sheehan - 9.1.2012
“The largest single water user in the industrialised world is the energy industry. Prodigious amounts are needed to produce nearly every type of electricity and transport fuel across the energy value chain . . .
The link between energy and water is rarely discussed, yet is of huge consequence.
It is strange, strange, strange that when it comes to the most important subject on the planet, the basis of all life – water – governments, international agencies, economists, scientists and businesses have consistently underestimated the growth in global demand, and the growing stress on supply.”
Ch.Nine News - 13.1.12
Mr McLindon, a former LNP member and sitting Beaudesert MP, said he had joined the blockade because he shared the residents’ concerns about the mining practice.
“The coal seam gas threat has well and truly reached the heart of the Scenic Rim as the foreign-owned company, Arrow Energy, rolls out its exploration permits,” Mr McLindon said on Friday.
Walgett schoolteacher, Mr Robins, said the protesters wanted baseline water tests to be conducted on local aquifers before drilling was allowed to begin.
“We need to know what is in there now, because after drilling, once it’s contaminated we have to know who is responsible,” he said.
Southern Highland News - 12.12.2011
SOUTHERN Highlands representatives at the NSW Upper House Inquiry into coal seam gas (CSG) mining in Mittagong on Friday were overshadowed by a powerful statement from Rivers SOS.
Ms Graham spoke about the “white elephant” in the room being the “undue influence” that mining companies had over Australia’s political process.
She received rousing applause from the gallery.
The Land - 17.11.2011
“Country Labor has taken a stand and called on the O’Farrell Government to immediately suspend all Coal Seam Gas exploration licenses before irreparable damage is caused to ground water and aquifers in the Northern Rivers,” Mr Ellem said.
“We have said that until a regulatory framework is in place based on independent scientific research and conclusive evidence, we should not be allowing Coal Seam Gas mining to proceed freely.
Aust. Financial Review (AAP) - 9.12.2011
The US Environmental Protection Agency for the first time has implicated fracking – a controversial method of improving the productivity of oil and gas wells – for causing groundwater pollution.
The Australian - 2.12.2011
“Internal advice to the Queensland government had warned five years ago that coal-seam gas development was dictated by misplaced “technological optimism” that environmental problems could be solved, when there was no way to assess the industry’s “cumulative impact” on farming and water.”
This is just more instances of professional advice that Anna Bligh ignored. She – and Tony Burke – also ignored Dr Chloe Munro, the Commissioner of the National Water Commission, who warned them of the huge impacts to the GAB.
The Australian - Anthony Klan - 5.12.2011
FORMER coal-seam gas mechanical technician Roy Michie, who spent eight years working fracking wells across Australia, claims the industry is dominated by “cowboys” who are subject to substandard regulation.
The Australian - Editorial - 2.12.2011
Yet it is fair to say the risks here are considerable. As the committee report emphasises, we cannot afford to be reckless with the Great Artesian Basin because it is one of the nation’s most precious natural resources.
The Australian - 2.12.2011
GROWING community and political opposition to coal-seam gas production is beginning to make analysts doubt whether yet-to-be approved projects will get up.
The Australian - Anthony Klan - 2.12.2011
FOR every “fracked” coal-seam gas well, between 10,000 and 35,000 litres of chemicals are injected into the ground, with up to 40 per cent remaining there.
The CSG industry has talked down the quantity of chemicals used in the process, repeatedly stating the chemicals represent roughly 1 per cent of fracking solution.
The Senate committee into CSG, which delivered an interim report this week, has examined the bulk of chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” process. It states that because of the very large volumes of solution involved, “even 1 per cent is still a significant volume”.
AFR - Financial Review - 29.11.2011
A legally blind farmer trying to stop coal seam gas (CSG) exploration on his farm in the NSW Hunter has been taken to the Lands and Environment Court.
Australian Financial Review - 24.11.11
Queensland’s environment minister will investigate claims her department allowed coal seam gas (CSG) water to be dumped into a river in breach of national standards.
An ABC Radio investigation found treated CSG water, containing chemicals and traces of heavy metals, was dumped into the Condamine River in southeast Queensland.
SMH - Paddy Manning - 19.11.2011
Crucially, we have rushed to develop coal seam gas reserves as a cleaner alternative to coal, assuming it will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and tackle climate change. But will coal seam gas reduce emissions? By how much? We don’t actually know.
SMH - Ben Cubby - 15.11.2011
COAL seam gas drilling at a flashpoint site on the edge of the Liverpool Plains has been halted after the state’s biggest coal seam gas operator, Santos, backed down, ending a three-week blockade by residents.
The halt came as the O’Farrell government was forced into damage control over coal seam gas exploration after the Minister for Western NSW, Kevin Humphries, appeared to foreshadow a suspension of pilot production across the state.
SMH - Ben Cubby - 12.11.2011
Protecting the water wealth of the Great Artesian Basin is the latest challenge for the coal seam gas industry, writes Ben Cubby.
The basin has existed in its current form for millions of years, but one of the biggest tests to its existence will come in the next decade. Beneath the layers of water lie some of the world’s most extensive coal seams. Just as the sandstone aquifers contain water, so the coal seams contain methane.
The Australian - Paul Cleary - 7.11.2011
The root of the problem, he says, is that politicians pay little attention to the long-term effects of decisions, especially the impact of mining on water resources.
“One thing people must have is food and water, but we are destroying that for one-off payments from mining,” he says.
“No one has a clue of the geology of aquifers. Once fractured, there’s no possibility for them to be fixed. You can’t mine without fracturing the aquifer.”
“The single most important thing you can have is water,” Mr Ball said.
SMH - Paddy Manning - 28.10.2011
Senior energy analyst Gundi Royle has broken ranks with her colleagues, attacking industry and regulators for failing to conduct independent regional modelling of the groundwater impacts of up to $80 billion in planned coal seam gas (CSG) development.
She said that State governments were so enamoured with projected revenue “they cannot regulate efficiently. They have failed from the outset. They are trying to run behind the ambulance but they will not be able to catch it”.
The Singleton Argus - 4.11.2011
With opponents to coal seam gas fighting the industry on many fronts the news that gas producers pay nothing for five years has been met with disbelief.
Those opposed to the industry have been questioning its impact on the environment in particular ground water – but now they want to know how a multinational run industry can receive such a significant financial boost from the state government.
Sydney Morning Herald - 3.11.2011
The only company in Britain using hydraulic fracturing to release natural gas from shale rock says the controversial technique probably did trigger earth tremors in April and May. Fracturing operations were suspended on May 27 following the detection of a tremor centred just outside Blackpool.
SMH - editorial - 14.10.2011
But if it comes to a choice, food must win out over energy.
If the choice does become necessary, it should not be made by default.
Decisions to exploit energy resources must not be made prematurely so that they pre-empt the decision to protect the best agricultural land in a continent where it is in short supply.
SMH - 13.10.2011
PRIME agricultural land in the black soil plains in northern NSW, regarded as the best in Australia, is being taken from farming communities by coal seam gas mining companies in a form of ”legalised theft”, a retired NSW Supreme Court judge told a public meeting in Gunnedah yesterday.
Northern Daily Leader - 11.10.2011
THE massive planned expansion of BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam mine would plague South Australia with radioactive waste and water overuse, say green groups, dismissing government assurances of strict environmental standards.
Willem Vervoort, professor of Hydrology at the University of Sydney, who has followed the plans, said he understood environmental concerns had to be balanced against economic opportunities but said BHP Billiton was missing an opportunity by not ending its use of Great Artesian Basin water altogether.
Northern Daily Leader - 13.10.2011
Doctor Pauline Roberts likened polluting mining companies to the tobacco industry 60 years ago, when the first studies came out attributing the smoking of cigarettes to lung cancer.
Dr Roberts said the response by the government to the tobacco problem then was to tax the product, and she asked the audience if this sounded familiar to the carbon tax debate.
SMH - Paddy Manning - 8.10.2011
Professor Howarth’s finding was that shale gas may in fact be between 20-100 per cent dirtier than coal once the latest science on the higher global warming potential of methane was factored in, and fugitive emissions during flowback and routine venting are taken into account. Howarth’s study didn’t even consider production of liquefied natural gas (LNG). ”Then you have real issues,” he told the Herald recently. ”The leakage from the compression and transport of LNG is incredible. That is probably the worst thing you can do with gas.”
Herald Sun - 30.9.2011
A LEADING American investment analyst has criticised Australia for allowing China to buy large swathes of its natural resources in what he calls “resource imperialism”.
James Dines says Australia is in danger of squandering its “irreplaceable inheritance … traded for easily printed paper”.
He described natural resources, including farmland, as a source of real wealth that should be kept for “your descendants”.
Newcastle Herald - 7.10.2011
“The state governments have a massive vested financial interest in these projects going ahead. They don’t get any revenue or very little revenue from prime agricultural land, but they get hundreds of millions of dollars from these coalmines and coal seam gas,” Mr Turnbull said in a radio interview.
SMH - Ben Cubby - 6.10.2011
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.
”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.”