So i have recently become more and more bamboozled by the legality of the CSG Industry -that is how on earth is it legal??. I honestly thought environmentally dangerous industries of this caliber died in the fifties – you know?…chemicals with cotton farming and “cigarettes are good for you”. With modern technology today allowing for independent research and global networking i really didn’t think something so obviously damaging would get so far. At first i was dumbfounded but have since done some research; reading articles and press releases, activists pamphlets and gas company websites, scientific reports and watching home videos from locals experience the effects first hand. Coal Seam Gas companies seem to have no problem destroying the fertility of the land, the safety of our water and the quality of the air we breath. After attending an active protest in Glenugie near Grafton in New South Wales i fell in love with the wetlands and the cause. Beautiful butterflies roaming freely, water lilies in natural lagoons oh and an assortment of dragon flies buzzing around. It is a paradise. However it is bittersweet as the site for an exploratory drilling well is in walking distance to the lagoons in the heart of the wetlands. Which will all be in danger if the fracking goes ahead. Hence my brand new group – Butterflies Against Gas.
For those of you who do not know much about Coal Seam Gas it has been sold as a “cleaner energy source” than coal – “producing less greenhouse gasses”. The method used to extract the gas uses Hydraulic Fracturing, Multiple Drilling, Hydraulic Drilling and Azidizing. They drill deep into the earth forcing a mixture of sand, water and chemicals down to create pathways for huge amounts of methane gas to escape. This toxic water mix that has now been created needs to be removed to make way for the gas. There is no safe way to dispose of this wastewater which is now highly toxic. The water mix is then stored in a damn lined with plastic nearby, often not even fenced off from local wildlife such as (in Australias case) kangaroos and wallabies.
Many studies in Australia and around the world have found high levels of methane gas leaking out of CSG wells. This gas seeps through the ground, contaminates the bore water and then becomes a part of the atmosphere. In Tara, Queensland Australia, we have recently been provided readings of up 20 parts per million of methane in the atmosphere and 7 ppm on average. It all reminds me of that movie about Erin Brockovich.
“Methane is about 20 times as potent a greenhouse gas as carbon dioxide,” Peter Rayner says.
But when you burn it, it produces, on average, only about half the carbon pollution that coal does, to produce the same amount of energy. (coalseamgasnews.org)
So with all the reported leaking it makes the process worse for greenhouse gas emissions! With the negatives far outweighing the positives. It is 30 years gain for 1000 years pain. The other sad thing i keep hearing is how irreversible a lot of the the damage is – so if they are allowed to continue we could lose all hope of fresh water and fertile soil for farming – where is our future?
I think i will leave it on that note – i could go on forever. Here are some groups to look out for, and there are so many more for other parts of the world. Cheers, Lock the Gate and SAY NO TO COAL SEAM GAS!
Some beautiful pics from near Grafton;