Origin Energy’s plans to close its Eraring coal fired power plant early is a step in the right direction for the climate, but does nothing to improve the company’s environmental or social credentials while it remains focused on opening three new unconventional oil and gas basins for fracking.
Origin Energy is progressing early-stage fracking projects in the Northern Territory’s Roper-Gulf region (Beetaloo basin), Queensland’s Lake Eyre Basin floodplains (Cooper/Eromanga basin), and the Kimberley in Western Australia (Canning basin).
The company is also pursuing a new, gigantic 7,700 well coal seam gas project in Queensland’s Central Highlands through its joint venture APLNG.
“Origin chief executive Frank Calabria can talk up batteries and renewable generation all he wants, but Origin’s actions don’t match his words,” said Lock the Gate Alliance national coordinator Carmel Flint.
“If Origin walked the talk, it would be pulling out of plans to build polluting fracked oil and gasfields across Northern Australia.
“Instead, all we have seen is a doubling down by Origin to inflict harm on communities, against the wishes of many Traditional Owners, farmers, and business owners in the regions that would be impacted.
“Origin is targeting three of Australia’s cultural and environmental jewels, tourism icons of global renown, and some of the most beautiful, unspoilt places left on earth.
“Origin should walk away from its plans for destructive fracking gasfields in these magical places and fully commit to shift its company to renewables.
“It’s great that Origin is shutting down a polluting coal fired power station. But replacing dirty coal with dirty gas is no solution to the climate crisis."