Huge public opposition to new coal seam gas projects
Narrabri Gas Project: Latest info, Myths & Facts

All environment activists, and public-minded citizens, last chance to add your opposition to the Narrabri Gas Project - please lodge a written submission with the IPC by 5pm, Monday 10 August.

Online assistance can be found at https://www.lockthegate.org.au/csg_around_narrabri. There are plenty of details and comment published, including in recent fossil fool bulletins, 21st  and 28th July 2020.

Transcripts of the recent public hearings are available. There is plenty of evidence that project is a money extraction operation for the proponents, with their "limited-liability". Santos and our Australia coal and gas oligarchy. It is a high risk project for everyone else.[5] Our civilization has a regressive fixation on the potency of "old energy", supported by corporations and governments. We have run out of easy fossil fuel resources. The proponents are into cooking their books, and the global climate. Now even the banks that lend out the money must be starting to feel the fossil fuelled heat.

From the words of the managing director and chief executive officer of Santos - Kevin Gallagher. From transcript of IPC public hearing, day 1.

Gas, combined with carbon capture and storage, is also the fastest and most efficient pathway to a hydrogen economy, which will be necessary to provide zero-carbon energy for transport and energy-using sectors other than power generation. Indeed, these sectors make up more than 80 per cent of the world’s energy demand. So you can see that natural gas is a very important energy resource for decades to come, including here in New South Wales.

Words of "fast, efficient, zero-carbon, hydrogen economy" have been strung together with CSG.  None of these are suitable words for CSG mining. There is no effective or efficient carbon capture and storage option anywhere. Not for CSG mining, certainly not for this project. Zero carbon it can never be. Published Integrated climate and economy models show gas mining in general to be a no better fossil fuel source than coal. There is no climate science support for gas as a "transition fuel", because by now we should have already transitioned.  The climate downsides of extracting fossil gas are considerable. The local waste, water and environment impacts of CSG are considerable. The "external costs" impact us all, even these climate change deniers having the high living off their salaries, supplied by generous bank loans and shareholders.

 A hydrogen economy only starts to make sense if all the hydrogen is produced using renewable energy. Batteries and other energy storage options are very strong competitors to the difficulties of hydrogen storage.

Even the oil and gas industry knows that its good-profits times are over [1] -  the investment smarts are in renewable energy, oil and gas investments are in crisis of poor demand, overproduction, and are being overtaken by competition from renewables. [2,3]. Fossil fuels have poor financial returns, and accumulating environment costs, and people are suing corporations and governments for their global climate negligence. 

The only way any CSG could get through to approval stage, is weak approval systems built from deep, prolonged, institutionalised political party corruption, that allows easy resource looting by foreign mining corporations.

Australian governments keep trying to enhance their self-enrichment approval politics shop for mining corporations-

  • Generous government subsidy, tax exemptions, and generous infrastructure building for mining projects
  • Weak tax and royalty conditions. Most of the resources and profits go overseas.
  • Low cost giveaway licences to trash local environments.
  • No-care attitude to indirect and extended environment impacts.
  • Poor enforcement of weak environment and occupational safety regulations
  • Piles of water leeching waste, containing radioactives and heavy metals
  • Allow traumatic exploitation of local communities.
  • Brushing aside of local indigenous peoples.
  • Inadequate compensation for families and communities that are broken.
  • International criminal aggravation of global warming emergency. 
  • A negotiating platform of 'level playing field' is not a good defence strategy.

These corporate demands happen all the time, which are "what corporations mean by freedoms". Financial competitiveness is given as justification.  Most mining projects get awarded most if not all of these freedoms. This is what corporations mean by "abolishing red and green tape". Simply put, their income is always to be our future impoverishment. More recent projects have been dressed up by a large numbers of "strict environmental conditions and safe-guards", sounding good in PR , but no details sound-bites . Naturally they will include the cheapest options, such as claims of biological offsets, which on close inspection, won't amount to much.

A particular feature of CSG is that gas extraction also comes with large amounts of "produced water" containing salts, heavy metals and radioactives. This is a largely unacknowledged hazard of the oil and gas industry in general. Their are some documented cases of oil worker exposure, leading to cancers, even in their children.[6]  Dispersal of products and byproducts tends to statistically distribute life-time risks among the general community, and specific causal and legal attribution is usually difficult.


Most people are completely unaware that oil and gas production brings large amounts of radioactivity to the surface. [6]


Although the risks are characterised as minimal in this project, this from an industry that is in general prone to strong denial and consequent carelessness with the most difficult to manage exposure risks and waste disposal. 

Global warming is a most certain risk that fossil fuels continue to impose on future of all species.

This Santos Project has still not delivered a believable set of concrete arrangements to handle the products in the salty waste water.

This is a part of the overall pathological syndrome of human civilization. It means having governments think that their jobs are not do their job. The definition of nationhood does not match its actual behaviour. It is a standard unregulated behaviour of "civilised means exploitative" culture. We collectively dress it up as normal, and satisfy ourselves with the PR appearances.

It is very unfortunate for the world and ourselves that a majority of Australian governments and political parties display all of these conditions. They even think it is normative behaviour that produces the most "efficient" economic results, meaning currency in the bank for some peoples. Self-interest is the name of the game for corporate lies and blandishments, and it is too easy for politicians to fire-sale rights to stuff that they have given themselves technical legal stewardship over, the fates of which they are not going to feel personally. No real skin risk in the exploitation game, that is the whole idea of it. [4]

The only way to stop the vicious government supported mining corporations in the long run, is to stop being a fossil fuel dependent civilization, and stop being exploited. Hence "Lock the Gate". 

Human Civilisations, are those many human social attempts of cities and regions, exploit, live off, and degrade their environments. We have very poor sustainability records. Short historical periods of economic fortunes are fleeting. The rest of the time is more like subsistence. Australia seems determined to go through its natural fortunes as fast as possible. It's overall negotiation skills are marred by haste of competition for growth for its own sake, and fixed focus on export of raw materials as cheaply as possible. It is an absolutely perfect strategy for an exploited third world country.

Being the latest incarnation of civilization is a good indication that Australian wealth and environment health is also going to disappear as fast as the raw materials can be extracted and shipped. Until the next coming great slow down stops the fire-sale, governments and corporations bent on exploitation need to be opposed by all possible means.


A few links

[1] Oil and gas after COVID-19: The day of reckoning or a new age of opportunity? - https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/oil-and-gas/our-insights/oil-and-gas-after-covid-19-the-day-of-reckoning-or-a-new-age-of-opportunity#

[2] Hazer signs off on $17m green hydrogen facility - https://reneweconomy.com.au/hazer-signs-off-on-17m-green-hydrogen-facility-22178/

[3] Genex plans big battery in Queensland, seals equity deal with J-Power - https://reneweconomy.com.au/genex-plans-big-battery-in-queensland-seals-equity-deal-with-j-power-55239/

[4] Gas giants misled governments and it is costing Australian jobs, ACCC boss says https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-27/gas-giants-misled-governments-accc-boss-rod-sims-says/12004254

[5] Narrabri Gas Project: Latest info, Myths & Facts -  https://nwprotectionadvocacy.com/narrabri-gas-project-latest-info-myths-facts/

[6] The Syrian Job: Uncovering the Oil Industry's Radioactive Secret  https://www.desmogblog.com/2020/04/29/syrian-job-oil-industry-radioactive-secret?utm_source=DeSmog%20Weekly%20Newsletter


author:
Michael Rynn
description:
So many reasons why the Narrabri gas project should have long since been rejected.
keywords:
Narrabri Gas Project, IPC, NSW Independent Planning Commission Hearing.
og:title:
Huge public opposition to new coal seam gas projects