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Fracking company Tamboran accused of greenwashing, ASIC and ACCC asked to investigate

Lock the Gate Alliance and GetUp have accused fracking company Tamboran of making misleading statements that amount to greenwashing, and have made a formal complaint with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

In particular, the groups say the claims made by Tamboran in response to the Safeguard Mechanism reforms were misleading.

The complaint (available here) has been lodged as the company imports what is being described as a “mega fracker” - a rig that can drill horizontally for four kilometres - which Tamboran claims is the biggest ever used in Australia. 

The two organisations say there is no evidence to support Tamboran’s public claims that it supports “net-zero” carbon emissions from its fracking proposals and in fact, fine print from a footnote from the company’s 2022 Sustainability Plan (available here) severely qualifies this apparent “vision”:

Achievement of Tamboran’s vision of becoming a Net Zero emissions producer of gas is presently uncertain and depends on Tamboran being able to economically manage its carbon emissions.

The complaint also points out that Tamboran has no plans to mitigate the significant downstream emissions from any fracking projects it may develop.

Widjabul Wai-Bal woman and GetUp CEO Larissa Baldwin-Roberts said, “Gas corporations like Tamboran want to frack vast quantities of methane in the Northern Territory’s Beetaloo Basin, steamrolling the consent of Traditional Owners to destroy water, cultural heritage, land, and our climate.

“Methane gas is a climate disaster. Remote communities are already feeling the impacts of climate damage with extreme floods in the Northern Territory and ASIC and the ACCC must hold Tamboran to account for their misleading attempts to greenwash fracking.”

Lock the Gate Alliance national coordinator Carmel Flint said, “Without any evidence to back up its claims, Tamboran is clearly engaged in a textbook example of greenwashing and should be penalised accordingly.

“If gas production is allowed to proceed in the Territory it will unleash a greenhouse gas bomb. Tamboran’s claims that this is somehow consistent with the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees would be laughable if the climate crisis wasn’t so serious.

“We sincerely hope ASIC and the ACCC throw the book at Tamboran.”

Central Australian Frack Free Alliance spokesperson Hannah Ekin said, “Tamboran must not be allowed to claim to be squeaky clean publicly, while at the same time pursuing dirty, polluting fracking projects.

“It’s really important that any company that engages in greenwashing is called out, and no amount of greenwashing can disguise the harm that would be caused by Tamboran’s plans to Frack the NT.”

ENDS

Background:

Late last year, ASIC issued its first fine for greenwashing - Australian company Tlou Energy was fined $53,280 and comes as the corporate regulator and the ACCC ramp up their campaign against greenwashing.

2021 Reputex Report found that under a high production scenario, fracking the Beetaloo would release up to 1.4 billion tonnes of CO2-e over 20 years.

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