Gas lobby’s self-interested push for clean energy taxpayer funds bad for land, water, climate and energy affordability

Published: March 06, 2017

Lock the Gate Alliance is calling on the Federal Government to reject a proposal by the gas lobby, revealed today, to access taxpayer funds from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) has released its submission to Chief Scientist Alan Finkel’s review into the future of the National Electricity Market. The submission argues for new gas-fired power stations to be funded from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

Lock the Gate Alliance spokesperson Phil Laird said, “This is a clear example of rent-seeking for an industry that has has a poor track record of driving up prices and overstating its own benefits.

“The reckless decision to open up Queensland to coal seam gas mining sent our energy markets into turmoil, increased domestic energy prices and caused serious harm to our land, water and communities.

“New research has revealed that gas-fired power can be just as bad for the climate as coal when substantial volumes of methane leak from unconventional gasfields and infrastructure are accurately measured.

“There is absolutely no place for such a polluting industry, which is ruining land and water that farmers rely on, to ever be considered for Clean Energy Finance funds.

“Put simply unconventional gas is anything but ‘clean.’

“Australia is at a turning point where the entrenched extractive fossil fuels are proving to be more expensive and less reliable than renewables.

“Domestic gas prices in Australia have almost doubled due to the development of three large export LNG plants in Queensland and domestic gas supply has been re-routed to feed the export LNG plants, leading to artificial shortages here.

“Gas and energy company AGL is quoted in The Australian newspaper today admitting that operating and investing in gas-fired plant was ‘increasingly uneconomic’.

“Investors are sending the signal that they do not want to risk their money on outdated and polluting infrastructure like coal and gas-fired power stations which are unsuited to the challenges of this century.

“We urge the Chief Scientist, and all Australian Governments to provide for the electricity systems that the public and investors want: renewable, non-polluting and non-extractive,” Mr Laird said.

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