'Fracked NT gas = 130 new coal power plants over 40 years'


p2217-fracking-10By ERWIN CHLANDA
The Australia Institute’s submission to the NT fracking inquiry, which will take public evidence in Alice Springs on Thursday, has found that fully exploiting the Territory’s shale gas resources could result in emissions equivalent to 60 times Australia’s total current annual emissions, or to 130 new coal power plants operating for 40 years.
The institute’s principal advisor, Mark Ogge, says in a media release that the inquiry “failed to follow its own terms of reference to consider the cumulative impacts of fracking, instead basing its risk assessment on a single gas field in isolation.
“The inquiry also ignored the impact of shale oil development, despite it being regarded as a key driver for NT fracking by Geoscience Australia and being actively perused by oil and gas companies.
“Even that single gas field would increase Australia’s emissions by around 5% which would be a large and unacceptable increase of Australia’s emissions at odds with our already modest Paris commitments” says Mr Ogge.
“The Northern Territory will be amongst the hardest hit anywhere in the world by global warming.
“For example, in Darwin the number of days over 35 degrees Celsius is expected to increase from 11 per year currently to 308 by 2070 without global action to reduce emissions.
“Heatwaves have killed more Australians than all other extreme weather events combined. NT Fracking will contribute to more frequent and intense heatwaves and should not be allowed to go ahead under any circumstances.
“The inquiry has used a misleading ‘salami slicing’ approach comparing small elements of fracking to total global emissions, and ignoring large ones, to hide the full impacts from Territorians,” says Mr Ogge.
Meanwhile inquiry chair, Justice Rachel Pepper, says that hearings this week provide a final opportunity to hear formal presentations from interested people, groups and organisations before the inquiry finalises its work and publishes its final report in March.
Presentations will be live-streamed and uploaded to the submission library, Justice Pepper says.


  1. Worth noting The Australian Institute, a front for the extreme left, is simply pumping out anti fossil fuel propaganda, in doing so treating the general public with complete contempt!
    This is zero science, fear mongering garbage!
    The fracking enquiry is about the safety or otherwise of the fracking process itself, not about the use of gas to generate power!
    Gas is a 50% cleaner fuel than coal and as such is infinitely preferable to coal as a fuel.
    The article above would only be accurate in regards to total carbon output if we kept using coal and used every inch of our supposed gas reserve as well!
    Over the same period! That is utterly ridiculous!
    What are we going to do? Just turn on all the taps and blow the stuff out into the atmosphere?
    Clearly fear mongering garbage!
    If we were to use our gas in its entirety over that time we wouldn’t need any coal which would in fact markedly reduce our carbon output over that period.
    As for the claims about temperature rise, if you know anything at all about the greenhouse effect, firstly “the Territory” will not be affected anymore or any less than any other place on the globe!
    Nor is there any scientific basis to their claims of more days over 35 degrees for Darwin – in fact the opposite is likely to be true.
    Darwin will see a flattening out of its daily temperature variation, tops coming down, bottoms coming up similar to living on the equator as will to a lesser degree, the rest of the Territory!

  2. It would be useful for Steve to send his sources re Darwin becoming more comfortable. Environment Department is projecting an increase of days over 35 degrees “up to 69 by 2030 and 308 by 2070 … coupled with the extremely high humidity that Darwin experiences during the wet season, higher temperatures are expected to adversely affect levels of human comfort.”

  3. We’ve also become a nation that uses fracking to extract oil. Today, nine out of 10 oil and gas wells in the United States use fracking, and more than 15 million Americans live within a mile of a well that has been fracked.

  4. Steve, the NT will be adversely affected more than other places by climate change.
    When oceans soak up more heat that heat comes back at you as energy in increased cyclone activity and that means more trouble for the Top End. It will also mean more rain for the rest of the NT but no one knows all the effects yet. If we keep going the way we are now we will get a lesson we might not want.
    On fracking itself I maintain the danger is not so much in the science but in the management of the mine by the greedy mine companies who have virtually nothing to lose if they stuff the environment and the corrupt regulators, in particular the easily bought politicians and senior bureaurocrats.
    Keep in mind that we are not talking two or three years here. We need these fracked areas to be uncompromised for decades, hundreds of years, even millennia.
    Sometime in that time someone will make a mistake, take a bribe or be blackmailed to drop standards and that will be the end of the environment in that vicinity.
    The case of the Great Wall of China is a case in point. The wall was technically sound, built to high standards and was good enough to keep out invaders for thousands of years.
    It still stands today, just as good as ever in many parts. When Ghengis Khan invaded China he knew that so he didn’t even attempt to attack it. He just bribed the government official in charge of the gate.
    This is where our danger lies as well.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here