Lock the Gate Alliance is alarmed following reports a Canadian company and joint venture partner with Santos plans to install remote Bitcoin mining dongas in Far Western Queensland to tap fossil gas from reserves in the Lake Eyre Basin*.
Bitcoin mining is a notoriously power intensive operation, and Lock the Gate Alliance Queensland spokesperson Ellie Smith said using fossil gas from the state’s fragile Channel Country floodplains to mine the controversial digital currency was one of the worst ideas she’d ever heard.
“The Channel Country rivers and floodplains of the Lake Eyre Basin are already under immense threat from fracking companies like Origin Energy, who want to drill thousands of wells across this fragile landscape,” she said.
“The International Energy Agency has warned no new gas or oil fields or coal mines should be opened up if the world is to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
“It is madness that companies are talking about plonking fossil gas-sucking, Bitcoin mining dongas on the edge of some of the last free-flowing desert rivers on the planet.
“This also further exposes the gas industry’s lies about gas supply. There is no supply issue. Greedy gas companies just sell Queensland gas overseas to the highest bidder when it’s connected to a pipeline. When it’s not, it’s given to Bitcoin miners.
“We fear that if Bengal Energy is able to get away with this project, it will encourage others to follow. Queenslanders don’t want the outback trashed just so an international company can mine Bitcoin.
“Residents of South East Queensland and North East NSW have just endured - and in some cases are still enduring - catastrophic flooding, made worse thanks to the burning of fossil fuels."