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.”
A new climate report released on August 3 by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) confirms the world is hot and getting hotter. The State of the Climate report said that last year was the second consecutive hottest year on record, surpassing 2014 as the previous warmest year.
As AGL announced a $400 million loss on August 10, anti-gas protesters assembled outside its headquarters to demand it close its Camden coal seam gas (CSG) project in south-west Sydney. AGL, which largely invests in coal, has been producing gas in the Macarthur region since 2009, taking over from Sydney Gas Limited, which started in Camden in 2001 and expanded south east in 2004.
Stingray Sisters Three-part film series Directed By Katrina Channells Released on August 9 Watch at www.stingraysisters.com Stingray Sisters is a deeply moving three-part documentary highlighting the story of three Aboriginal sisters, Noni, Alice and Grace Eather, and their return to Maningrida in the Northern Territory, from schooling in Brisbane.
Apex Energy, in a joint venture with Ormil Energy (later Magnum Gas and Power), obtained a licence in 2011 to explore for coal seam gas (CSG) in the Illawarra, south of Sydney. Almost immediately a group of concerned locals came together to stop the project — and Stop CSG Illawarra was formed. Five years later, as Apex Energy exits the scene, rather anti-climactically, it is apparent the community has won and the environment and greater Sydney's drinking water are safe from this threat.
Lock the Gate has reported that a joint Central and Northern Land Council meeting in Tennant Creek on July 27, which was called to discuss a proposed gas pipeline across Aboriginal land, has ended in a walk out by Traditional Owners. The Traditional Owners of the Wakaya Land Trust, whose land has been targeted for the proposed new gas pipeline between Tennant Creek and Mt Isa, oppose the pipeline. They are concerned about the rushed consultation process for the access route for Jemena's Northern Gas Pipeline and the pipeline's reliance on fracked gas.
"How do you exaggerate the greatest bleaching event on the planet? How do you exaggerate that one quarter of the world's largest reef is dead? You don't," Tony Fontes, a prominent Great Barrier Reef diver and tourism operator, told a crowd of up to 2000 at Steyne Park, Double Bay, in the heart of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's electorate of Wentworth on June 26. The rally was organised by a coalition of groups, including GetUp, Greenpeace, the Wilderness Society and the Nature Conservation Council.