Lock the Gate Alliance is calling on the Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, to review new research revealed last night showing major methane leakage from coal seam gasfields which could make unconventional gas a more polluting power source than coal.
An infrared camera deployed in the Queensland gasfields has shown large volumes of methane being vented directly to the atmosphere and also raised the spectre of gas from depressurised coal seams migrating large distances to the atmosphere.
“All the evidence is stacking up to show that gas-fired power is at least as polluting as coal if methane leaks are taken into account” said Carmel Flint, spokesperson for Lock the Gate Alliance.
“The new alarming information on methane leaks needs to be properly addressed by the Chief Scientist as he considers the future of the National Electricity Market.
“It is crucial that his review does not promote more gas-fired power in Australia at the expense of renewables whilst ignoring the greenhouse gases that unconventional gasfields pump into the atmosphere” she said.
The Chief Scientist’s preliminary report of the Review into the Future of the National Electricity Market, promoted greater gas supplies as an option for electricity generation but failed to address the risks of fugitive emissions from gas mining.
Recent aerial drone footage and video of the Condamine River bubbling is available here.