Qld bans Underground Coal Gasification, yet SA is to embrace it!!

Leigh Creek Coal Gasification…really?

Renew Economy, excerpts

One company is proposing to use new technology to “gasify” the brown coal resource at Leigh Creek and use it for a large base load gas plant. Underground coal gasification has been banned in Queensland, but the South Australian government does not plan to follow that example.

“There is no need to politicise this process – the approval or otherwise of the proposed coal gasification project at Leigh Creek should be based on science,” Energy and Mineral Resources minister Tom Koutsantonis said in a prepared statement for RenewEconomy.

“Leigh Creek Energy will need to pass rigorous environmental impact assessments overseen by expert scientists if this project is to go ahead. We have a very effective regulatory framework in South Australia and the merits of the Leigh Creek Energy project will be assessed against that framework, not this decision in Queensland.”

(Seeing is not believing? Please note that the CEO of Leigh Creek Energy was a former Senior Manager with Linc Energy in Qld ! How does that make me feel safe? Ed.)

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2016/04/18/qld-bans-underground-coal-gasification

End of Coal in SA – will it be a Solar Future for SA?

Pt. Augusta Power Station – End of SA Coal Era

InDaily Monday, May 9, Bension Siebert, excerpts

The coal era has ended in South Australia this morning with the closure of Alinta’s Northern power station in Port Augusta.

Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis said it was a “sad day” but the Port Augusta plant was based on outdated technology. He said cheap renewable energy had made Port Augusta’s coal-fired power station unprofitable.

Employment Minister Minister Kyam Maher told reporters this morning that there were good jobs prospects in Port Augusta in clean energy generation. He said the Government had spent $6 million aiding the transition of Port Augusta from “old technologies to new technologies”. “We have Sundrop Farms with 23,850 reflective mirrors [that reflect] the sun to a 15 metre high solar thermal collection tower to power 20 hectares of greenhouses to grow tomatoes,” he said “This will provide up to 150 jobs.”

Opposition Mineral Resources and Energy spokesperson Dan Van Holst Pellekaan urged the Government to announce its position on a solar thermal plant proposed for Port Augusta – which proponents argue would create up to 1000 temporary and 50 permanent jobs in the city.

Greens SA Senator Robert Simms said the construction of a solar thermal plant in Port Augusta could “create 1000 construction jobs in a region where they are badly needed”.

Renew Economy

South Australia is expected to reach 50 per cent renewable energy generation by the end of the year – the highest penetration of “variable” renewables such as wind and solar in the world for a significant-sized grid. And yet Adelaide buses display on their sides,” Natural Gas Clean and Green”.

More information at http://www.repowerportaugusta.org/

ps on sun

Unconventional gas is a small employer

In November 2015, The Australia Institute (TAI) stated:

The entire oil and gas industry in Australia employs 27,500 Australian workers, or less than a quarter of 1% of the Australian workforce,[1] considerably less than the retail hardware store Bunning’s, which employs 33,000.[2]

TAI Employment figures

[1] ABS (2013a). 6291.0.55.003 Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly, September 2015, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Accessed 11/11/15, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/6202.0

[2] Bunnings (2013). About Us: Who we are, Bunnings, viewed 21 November 2013, <http://www.bunnings.com.au/about-us>.

Queensland Government bans Underground Coal gasification

Karen Auty from Chinchilla raises some pertinent questions.

Linc Energy

Delivery of our Petition in Canberra

A group from the Australian Conservation Federation has just delivered a petition of OVER 105,000 signatures to the 9 independent senators in Canberra this week.

canberramarch2016Asmall

It was a powerful message that was very well received and had lots of media interest. We were greeted with open arms!

This is a big deal in a government election year.

canberramarch2016Bsmall

DennisViceinCanberraMarch2016

thatisalotofsignatures

Coal and the Bulga video from The Weekly

The Weekly has uploaded the Bulga segment so you can watch and share.

I had a great laugh : you either laugh or you cry!

Health and Fracking Report

Background

The United Kingdom (UK) is presently set to expand ‘hydraulic fracturing’ of shale formations (‘fracking’) as a means of extracting unconventional gas. Proponents of fracking have argued that it can be conducted safely and will bring benefits in the form of: a) energy that is cleaner in climate terms than coal and oil; b) greater energy security; c) lower energy prices; d) more energy diversity and competition; and e) local employment and economic development. However, fracking has proven to be controversial and there are serious concerns about its safety and impact on the environment.

This report reviews fracking and its associated activities through a comprehensive public health lens. It examines the direct and immediate effects of fracking on health; the adequacy and capacity of the regulatory system; and the relationship between fracking and climate change.

It builds on a number of existing reviews of the evidence and interviews with various academics and experts (in the UK and abroad). Medact also requested short papers in particular subject areas to inform the production of this report. Given that much of the literature about fracking has been derived from experience in the United States (US), this report also highlights the specific features of the UK that need to be considered.

Read the full report here

healthandfrackingreport2

Santos CSG wastewater to top 1 million litres a day

Santos CSG wastewater to top 1 million litres a day – with nowhere to go

Sydney Morning Herald reports on Date March 28, by Peter Hannam

Environment Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald

Santos Energy is seeking approval for a new waste treatment plant at its controversial pilot coal seam gas field in northern NSW without identifying how it will dispose of the briny and potentially toxic end product.

The Santos venture at Narrabri, which has already cost the company about $1.2 billion, was drawn into the state election campaign when Opposition Leader Luke Foley declared a Labor government would not allow the gas field’s exploration licence to be converted to a production licence if it won office.

The issue of CSG may prove key in several electorates on Saturday, including in Barwon in which the Santos field sits, with several long-standing Nationals candidates facing big swings against them for supporting the industry.  Read more at www.protectlimestonecoast.org.au/santos-csg-wastewater-to-top-1-million-litres-a-day/

New Book; The Human and Environmental Costs of Fracking

New Book; The Human and Environmental Costs of Fracking (Praeger Press, 2015) is available. http://www.amazon.com/Human-Environmental-Impact-Fracking-Fracturing/dp/1440832595/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1427722884&sr=8-1&keywords=madelon+finkel 

Madelon Finkel says; “This is an important book discussing many different aspects of an important topic. Each of the authors is an expert in his/her field, and the material is all evidenced-based (no personal opinions permitted).

Natural gas and oil prices have plunged, but that does not mean that fracking has disappeared or isn’t an issue anymore. Quite the contrary. Much more needs to be done to understand the components of the fracking fluid, for example. Much more work must be done to figure out how to dispose of the fracking byproducts. Much more needs to be done to scientifically document the potential for harm both to human and animal health and the environment. But most importantly, the public needs to get an unbiased, evidenced-based discussion of the pros and the cons of this technology. This is not an anti-fracking book; this is a book that lays out the facts and lets the reader make up his or her mind about the potential benefits and limitations of hydraulic fracturing.”

 

 

Fracking causing earthquakes

Science has determined that fracking causes earthquakes — now it’s trying to figure out what to do next

Business Insider Australia by Shane Ferro  Mar 5 2015,

Researchers are pretty sure at this point that the increase in earthquakes in the middle of the US in recent years have been caused by fracking.

The USGS put out a news release in February that starts with this:

Large areas of the United States that used to experience few or no earthquakes have, in recent years, experienced a remarkable increase in earthquake activity that has caused considerable public concern as well as damage to structures. This rise in seismic activity, especially in the central United States, is not the result of natural processes.

You can see in the chart at right that California, the light blue line, has a noisy but relatively stable number of earthquakes every year. Nothing about the dark blue line, earthquakes detected in Oklahoma, looks stable.

The question now is what to do about it.  Read more at http://www.businessinsider.com.au/fracking-earthquake-detection-2015-3