Tony Abbot’s recent suggestion that the army take control of gas resources in states that have banned or limited unconventional gas mining shows the lengths to which the recalcitrant fossil fools will go to defend dirty energy corporations, which are under increasing fire as the national debate over energy security continues.
Nearly 10,000 people attended two sold out Frack Off! concerts at Margaret River over the weekend of November 26–27, highlighting the growing opposition to unconventional gas across Western Australia.
The concerts included performances by John Butler Trio, Mama Kin, Pigram Brothers and Ten Cent Shooters.
There were speakers from the three regions threatened by unconventional gas — the South West, Mid West and Kimberley.
I moved to Perth in June last year from a small, rural town in central Pennsylvania. There I witnessed first-hand the impact of the “fracking” boom — the rapid exploitation of the unconventional gas resources in the Marcellus shale play.
It hit rural Pennsylvania particularly hard because it is economically depressed, struggling to make ends meet by farming and what's left of manufacturing that has not been outsourced to China, Mexico, and other exploitable labour pools.
The Northern Territory government rejected an application to explore for unconventional gas in Watarrka National Park, also known as Kings Canyon, and Coomalie on the edge of the Litchfield National Park, on November 25.
The Traditional Owners have been fighting to protect the areas from fracking for three years. More than 90% of the Northern Territory is covered by gas exploration licences, or applications for fracking exploration.
Metgasco is upping the ante in its bid to drill for unconventional gas in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales. Activists are even more determined to protect the region’s land and water.
After Metgasco announced it would be carrying out pre-fracking seismic tests, Lismore council voted 5 to 2 on October 13 to refuse access to the gas company’s equipment.
Gas company Metgasco is so determined to drill for unconventional gas in northern NSW it is prepared to make enemies of old friends — the NSW Coalition government.
On September 1, Metgasco declared it was halting talks with Mike Baird's government and suing it for damages.
More than 250 farmers and their city cousins rallied at Queensland Parliament House on May 21 calling for an end to unconventional gas production and coal mining.
The rally was organised by Lock the Gate (Queensland). Farmers from the Bentley Blockade and Northern Rivers in NSW travelled to Brisbane for the rally.
The NSW government has suspended Metgasco’s licence to drill for gas at Bentley, near Lismore.
Energy minister Anthony Roberts said on May 15: “The Office of Coal Seam Gas made the suspension on the grounds that Metgasco did not fulfil a condition of its exploration licence, namely to undertake genuine and effective consultation with the community as required.”