Another Black Eye For Coal Seam Gas

csgmethanetara

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 Queensland.
     
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 overseas,” said Dr. Santos, who also stated the  lack of site-specific baseline data is staggering.
  
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 White Paper 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 The Gate, 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.