Revelations a senior Northern Territory bureaucrat raised concerns over the impossibility of a fracking industry that was both carbon neutral and economically competitive casts further doubt over the NT Government’s ability to implement all of the recommendations from Justice Pepper’s hydraulic fracturing inquiry as promised.
The need for fracking companies to fully offset their carbon emissions was included in Justice Pepper’s 135 recommendations from the Inquiry (rec 9.8). The NT Government has repeatedly promised to implement all of the recommendations, however is currently falling dismally short.
The Pepper Inquiry found a fully fledged fracking industry in the NT could result in almost 100 million tonnes per year of emissions in Australia and overseas, equivalent to 20% of Australia's annual emissions. About 40 million tonnes of carbon emissions would be produced in Australia alone from fracking in the NT.
Arid Lands Environment Centre Fracking Campaign coordinator Hannah Ekin said the revelations exposed the myth of a carbon neutral fracking industry in the NT.
"These revelations prove that NT bureaucrats know, and NT politicians in government know, that there is no such thing as a net zero gas field,” she said.
"Fracking the NT will have catastrophic consequences for our climate. We must stop this polluting industry before it reaches production.
"Recommendation 9.8 from the Pepper Fracking Inquiry has the government snookered. Forcing companies to offset their emissions, as required by the fracking inquiry, would mean fracking the NT is uneconomical for these companies.
“But avoiding properly implementing the recommendation, as the NT Government is already attempting to do, just shifts that cost to the community - and the taxpayer is already footing the bill for billions of dollars in government handouts to fracking companies.
“Justice Pepper’s 135 recommendations didn’t give the go ahead for the fracking industry. The fracking inquiry only found that if these recommendations were implemented, the industry could proceed in a way that would do the least possible harm to Territorians.
“The NT Government needs to stop siding with the fracking industry over the safety of Territorians.”