Media release

Climate villains victorious in WA

Commenting on WA Premier Mark McGowan’s instruction to the WA Environmental Protection Authority to withdraw proposed emissions guidelines this afternoon, Dan Gocher, Director of Climate and  Environment, Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR), said:

“Following a meeting with representatives from Chevron, Santos and Woodside in Perth today, WA Premier Mark McGowan has caved in to the overwhelming power of the fossil fuels lobby by confirming that the WA Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) will withdraw guidelines that would have required any new project emitting more than 100,000 tonnes of carbon to offset those emissions.

“In doing so Premier McGowan has confirmed who really runs climate policy in that state, and indeed this country.

“The toxic influence of lobbyists on Australian politics has been on full display in the last week, as our largest gas companies as well as their industry associations APPEA, the Business Council and the Chamber of Mines and Energy (WA), destroyed another carbon price.

“We have not witnessed a concerted campaign on this scale since the carbon price was repealed by the Abbott government, and the resources super profits tax before that. The climate villains have struck again.

“The great hypocrite in all of this is Woodside’s Peter Coleman, who was happy to swan around in November last year calling for a price to be put on carbon, only to aggressively lobby against guidelines that would effectively set such a price.

“The events of the last week have sent a very clear signal: these companies are not afraid to get their hands dirty, and they will fight tooth and nail against sensible climate policy, as they have done for the last 20 years.

A week of shame:

  • March 7: WA EPA recommends ‘offsets for proposals with direct emissions above 100,000 tonnes of CO2e pa’
  • March 7: APPEA urges WA government and EPA ‘to put aside the guidelines’
  • Marcy 7: CME WA urges WA government ‘to reassure industry that they will not adopt these guidelines as their policy’
  • March 8: WA Premier notes he has ‘received feedback’ from project proponents
  • March 8: BCA calls EPA proposal ‘reckless’ and calls on the WA Govt to reject them
  • March 8: Prime Minister Scott Morrison describes guidelines as ‘unworkable’
  • March 8: Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan describes guidelines as a ‘homemade sledgehammer’
  • March 9: Woodside CEO Peter Coleman says WA Premier must ‘fix mess’
  • March 11: Woodside CEO Peter Coleman confirms he has encouraged his peers to complain to the WA Premier
  • March 11: Woodside runs full page ad in the West Australian
  • March 12: WA Environment Minister criticises EPA guidelines
  • March 13: CMEWA runs full page ad in the West Australian
  • March 13: Woodside CEO Peter Coleman says WA Premier ‘must sort out the confusion the EPA has introduced’
  • March 13: Woodside’s Meg O’Neill claims the guidelines would destroy jobs
  • March 14: WA Energy Minister criticises EPA guidelines
  • March 14: Senior executives of Santos, Woodside, Chevron and Shell meet with WA State Premier at Parliament
  • March 14: WA Premier confirms EPA will withdraw guidelines announced on March 7

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