A new study has recorded methane leakage from coal seam gas mining in the Darling Downs in Queensland at rates that may render it a far dirtier polluting industry than coal mining.
The researchers, Dr Isaac Santos and Dr Damien Maher, used sophisticated new equipment to measure methane levels around the coal seam gas fields between Tara and Chinchilla. They also did comparison measurements outside the gas field. The results were presented at a public lecture at Southern Cross University in Lismore on the evening of the 14th November.
The study showed methane levels in the CSG areas as high as 6.89 parts per million, compared with background levels below 2 parts per million. The most likely source of the methane is leakage directly from the ground through cracks and fissures in the underground rock layers – something which the gas industry has never measured.
Currently, this whole class of fugitive emissions is not included in carbon accounting, but if gas companies are made to measure and pay for those emissions under the carbon price it is likely to cost them billions of dollars and render the industry economically unviable.Read more
Queensland deputy-premier, Jeff Seeney, has welcomed the renewed application by New Hope Coal for expansion of the Acland coal mine despite Campbell Newman’s promise before the state election that the company would not be allowed to go ahead with its plans.
Mr Seeney said today the new mine expansion plans would limit the footprint of the development and so it could well be acceptable to the government.
Lock the Gate Alliance president, Drew Hutton, said this was a flagrant and unacceptable breaking of a solid election promise.Read more
As the Independent Commission Against Corruption begins public hearings today into coal mining projects in the Bylong Valley, the Department of Planning continues to rush through the approval of the controversial coal mines.
The ICAC will begin hearing evidence this week concerning dealings between former Labor Ministers and Cascade Coal Pty Ltd, over the Mount Penny Coal Project near Mudgee. However the NSW Planning Department is continuing with the approval process for Mount Penny.
The Lock the Gate Alliance is calling on the Minister for Planning, Brad Hazzard, to freeze the approval process for the Mount Penny coal mine until the ICAC inquiry is completed, and the company is cleared of any wrong doing.Read more
Coal seam gas company Santos is showing an advertisement on New South Wales television that has a farmer extolling the virtues of farmers and coal seam gas companies working together.
The problem is: the farmer, Warwick Moppett, is shown standing in fields of canola and cotton that do not belong to him.
Furthermore, neither of the cropping properties shown actually have coal seam gas wells on them and the landholders concerned have expressed their strong opposition to coal seam gas mining.Read more
A memo sent to employees of Queensland’s Parks and Wildlife Service raises the possibility of the Newman government allowing mining and coal seam gas in the state’s national parks, conservation areas and state forests and urges them to think more positively about such uses.
The memo, signed by acting deputy director-general, Anne Moody, states:
“Some other key challenges that we need to address are:Read more