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Coal seam gas: dirty technology

February 21, 2011 — BarryK
It seems that the Queensland Government has basically sold it's soul to big business and given the go-ahead to massive expansion of coal-seam gas extraction.

However, the fracturing side of this is such a dirty technology, that has already resulted in highly toxic chemicals leaking into the ground-water. Vast aquifiers are at risk, which could spoil agriculture over large areas of Queensland.

It is not just Queensland at risk: all States of Australia have reserves of coal-seam gas and extraction is well underway in New South Wales and pending in the other States.

Wake up! This is a one-way thing. Nobody can really state definitely that leakage of the dangerous chemicals won't contaminate ground water, and in fact it has already happened -- the response of the Queensland Government has been to close down just one well where leakage has been proven. Yet, leakage could be going on elsewhere, maybe very slowly over several years. We end up with water poisoned for a thousand years.

Some links:

Queensland Govt official FAQ:

My objection is not about the gas extraction itself, but in the fracturing process that requires exotic toxic chemicals. Some sites do not need fracturing, but there are still other concerns, such as lowering of the water table.

I find the very notion of pumping thousands of litres of toxic chemicals into the ground to be fundamentally unacceptable, and decided to post this message as one tiny little contribution to raise awareness here in Australia.

I watched a "Four Corners" documentary, which covered the concerns of some rural communities in Queensland. What was uncovered was a series of lies and subterfuge by the gas companies. For example, water getting contaminated in neighboring farms and the gas company keeping it quiet for 13 months, until they were exposed. Another example, use of 23 chemicals that have never been evaluated for the purpose of fracturing -- despite this, the Qld and NSW State governments and the Federal Government have give the projects the thumbs up.

About the Four Corners program: must click on the interview with Marianne Loyd-Smith ...what she has to say is so alarming!

Just one extra note: one of those chemicals was examined by Four Corners and the documentation from the chemical manufacturer states that it is highly toxic and must not be used underground where it could contaminate groundwater.

"The coal seam gas land grab", Australian "60 Minutes":


They just go for money!
Username: FeodorF
This is what you call a nightmare - a real nightmare. ...and the gas companies like to run this for the next 100 years or so... Who is going to buy this gas? CHINA !!! China is going to kill us. They know how. With MONEY!

Re China
Username: BarryK
"Yes, most of the gas is going to China I think. A Chinese company has recently signed an agreement to search for coal seam gas in the State of Victoria you guys in Victoria are next! I don't recall the exact figure, but the gas reserves in Queensland are quite limited. I think a figure well under 100 years was mentioned in a news report -- something like 10 or 20 years if I recall rightly. So, we make a quick profit, then the gas companies walk away. Then we are back as before, relying on income from our agriculture -- except then the water supply may be unusable in many places.

Germans are great.
Username: FeodorF
" They really know how to mess up something. They have decided to give a go for the same sh.t they are doing in Australia. Coal-seam gas extraction. Where at? They just choose a little lake called “Lake Constance (germ.: Bodensee)”. Just take a look at it. The drilling will take in the center of the lake - out of sight. In order to be extra careful they decided to pick a UK based firm to do the job. So, if something goes wrong they will blame it on the UK. Same fore the legal cases, they will go to the UK too. Yeah, the Germans are smart.

Inland Tsunami 2 approaching...
Username: Puppyt2
"Goodonyer, Barry! I've recently moved my young family into the Lockyer Valley - between Withcott and Helidon - so that we can live life more self-sufficiently with the smallest possible carbon footprint. Alternative energies and permaculture ideals are no bandwagon to us. We are simply mortified at the coal-seam insanity and inanity that passes for Government in our state when it comes to fossil fuels. We missed the community debate with Anna Bligh in Toowoomba yesterday, but we see the grassroots about to cause the second Inland Tsunami.

Tags: general