Gas

Fracking in the Vaca Muerta shale reserves. Mapuche Indigenous communities in the Argentine Patagonian province of Neuquen have denounced fracking in the Vaca Muerta shale reserves, which they claim are contaminating their land and groundwater, killing their livestock.

Gamilaraay people are engaged in an epic fight for country against coal and gas giants supported by state and federal governments. For Raymond “Bubbly” Weatherall, from the Gunu Gunu clan and the Biridja clan, the fight is about totems — “our water, the environment and the land itself”.

Narrabri community group People for the Plains lodged an appeal on August 29 against a decision of the New South Wales Land and Environment Court to uphold the approval of Santos's coal seam gas (CSG) wastewater treatment plant near the Pilliga Forest in north-west NSW. The approval was given for the Leewoood CSG wastewater plant without an Environmental Impact Statement or public consultation. That approval was upheld by the court on August 1.
Communities across Victoria have won a permanent ban on unconventional gas mining and fracking. It is the first state to do so and sets a precedent for other states and territories to follow. The Labor state government announced on August 30 it was banning unconventional gas and extending the moratorium on conventional gas until 2020. More than 1.4 million hectares of the state had been under threat from some form of gas mining — coal seam gas, tight gas, shale gas and underground coal gasification.
Communities across Victoria have won a permanent ban on unconventional gas mining and fracking. It is the first state to do so and sets a precedent for other states and territories to follow. On August 30, the Labor state government announced it was banning unconventional gas and extending the moratorium on mining conventional gas until 2020.
Sacred Stone Camp. Growing in number and spirit, the Standing Rock Sioux protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline is swiftly gaining strength, as a federal hearing delayed a decision on the controversial project on August 24.
There are correlations between hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and a range of health issues for Pennsylvania residents, according to a study released on August 25 by the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The problems include nasal and sinus problems, migraines and fatigue The report, Environmental Health Perspectives, is the school’s third study over the span of the past year focusing on the adverse health effects of the controversial method for extracting gas from solid rock deposits, increasingly used in Pennsylvania.
Asking the peak oil and gas industry body to prepare a report on Australia's future energy needs for federal and state energy ministers was always going to have a predictable outcome. The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) was tasked to report to the Council of Australian Government (COAG) energy ministers meeting on August 18 and 19. Unsurprisingly, it recommended urgently producing and supplying more gas — and fast — before Australia runs out.
AGL was in court on August 25 after pleading guilty to 11 counts of breaking political donation disclosure laws in relation to coal seam gas approvals. The breaches were first uncovered by the Gloucester community when it was fighting AGL's attempts to set up 110 coal seam gas wells on rich farming land near the town on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. They relate to donations AGL gave to the NSW Labor Party and the Liberals from 2008 to 2014.
Some would have seen One Nation Senator-elect Malcolm Roberts' performance on ABC's Q&A on August 15. He went hammer and tong repeating ad nauseum that academics are doctoring the science, that the major science bodies are corrupt and that the science on climate change is anything but settled. Here is one small excerpt from his exchange with British physicist Brian Cox: Roberts: “I'm saying ... two things. First of all, that the [climate] data has been corrupted and we know that the 1930s were warmer than today.”

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