THURSDAY 15 NOVEMBER, 2012 |
Another Black Eye For Coal Seam Gas
The greenwashing of coal seam gas (CSG) has hit another snag after revelations
of high levels of methane gas and carbon dioxide around the Tara gas fields in
Dr Isaac Santos and Dr Damien Maher from Southern Cross University's Centre for Coastal Biogeochemistry Research in the School of Environment, Science and Engineering
recently collected data from the area.
Snapshot surveys of methane concentrations in the atmosphere and creeks near Tara in Southern Queensland and in the Richmond River catchment in Northern NSW
where CSG activities are still at the exploration stage found concentrations of methane were much higher
around Tara than in Northern NSW.
"The current discussions on CSG are often based on anecdotal evidence, old observations not designed to assess CSG or data obtained
, who also stated the lack of site-specific baseline data is
According to a Sydney
Morning Herald article
, "methane, carbon dioxide and other gases appear to be leaking up through the soil and bubbling up through rivers at an astonishing rate."
Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, with many times the Global Warming
Potential (GWP) of carbon dioxide.
The scientists' findings will put further pressure on the Australian
Government's continued support of CSG activities - and also its tendency to
label it a "clean energy" source.
The Australian Government's recently released Energy
reaffirmed the nation's love affair with gas would continue and
intensify, which could be at the expense of authentic clean energy sources such
as solar and wind power.
The CSG industry has been called out on a number of issues recently.
According to Lock
, mining company Santos recently withdrew a TV advertisement after
complaints it depicted a farmer singing the praises of farmers and coal seam gas
companies working together. However, the field of canola the farmer was standing
in did not belong to him, nor did the property have coal seam gas wells on it -
in fact, the real landholders are strongly opposed to coal seam gas mining.
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