The gas lobby has had another win in its efforts to destroy Australia’s future, with a successful campaign pressuring the Federal government to continue to back a failing industry.
Commenting on the Federal government’s gas announcement, Dan Gocher, Director of Climate & Environment at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) said:
“For two decades, the Coalition has said we should ‘let the market decide’, while coal and gas companies said we shouldn’t be ‘picking winners’ with the Renewable Energy Target. But the government is now preparing to throw millions of taxpayer dollars at a failing industry.
“The gas industry’s fingerprints - including Origin Energy and Santos - are all over this latest announcement, with the Coalition prioritising the Beetaloo, Cooper Basin and Narrabri projects for development.
“Over the last several months, Australian gas companies have written off billions of dollars in shareholder value, as they face the looming reality that some of their reserves will likely be stranded.
“AEMO’s Integrated System Plan confirmed that we simply don’t need any more gas-fired power generation, because existing plants are not even being used to their full capacity.
“If we are to have any chance of meeting our Paris Goals, we simply cannot develop any new gas fields, let alone five new basins.
“The Federal government may have finally given up on thermal coal but the carbon lobby won’t be deterred, by pushing gas, another dirty fossil fuel - which is proven to have the same, if not worse emissions than coal once fugitive methane emissions are factored in.”
ACCR has filed shareholder resolutions with BHP and Origin Energy for consideration at their AGMs in October, calling for a review of its industry associations’ advocacy through COVID-19.
- The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) has called for government support to develop “uneconomic or stranded” gas resources in order to extend the economic life of existing gas infrastructure. APPEA has repeatedly called for further oil and gas exploration, welcomed government subsidies, and lobbied for weaker environmental regulation. In 2017, APPEA called for the CEFC to be eligible to invest in gas projects.
- The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has called for weakened environmental assessments of mining projects, scrapping of environmental regulation, government subsidies for fossil fuel exploration, and opposed the inclusion of Scope 3 emissions in Australia’s National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) scheme.
- The NSW Minerals Council published a report in July calling for the fast-tracked approval of 21 new or expanded coal mining projects, claiming they were necessary for economic recovery.
- The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) published a report in August that called for government support of $500 million for new gas pipeline infrastructure, incentives for further coal and gas exploration, amnesties from changes to royalties and taxes, and significant deregulation of the resources industry. The QRC has also welcomed government subsidies of $125 million for fossil fuel exploration and land releases for gas exploration, and called for the fast-tracking of coal mine approvals.