Media Release

Climate Change Critical in Fracking Inquiry

11/11/2014 11:00 am

The proposed Liberal inquiry into fracking for unconventional gas in the South East of South Australia must take climate change into account as well as local impacts such as on groundwater, according to the Greens.

“Gas is often touted as clean and green, however extracting and burning gas has both local and global impacts.  Local farmers can be affected by having their groundwater resources polluted, however their long-term viability is also affected by climate change with expected higher temperatures and lower rainfall,” said Greens SA Energy Spokesperson and Parliamentary Leader Mark Parnell MLC.

The Liberals are today expected to introduce a motion for a Parliamentary Inquiry, having already voted against a similar inquiry proposed by the Greens.

“Communities in the South East have been calling for bans, a moratorium and inquiries into unconventional gas and “fracking” for the past year. It’s about time we got underway.

“The most appropriate forum for this Parliamentary Inquiry is the Environment, Resources and Development Committee, which has members from Liberal, Labor and Greens.

“What is needed here is an inquiry that looks at all the evidence. It’s not good enough to have a half-baked inquiry designed to “calm people’s fears” as suggested by the Liberal Party.

“Experience from operations in South Australia and elsewhere shows that the fugitive emissions of methane from fossil fuel extraction, processing and transport represent about 8% of Australia’s total greenhouse gas pollution. These emissions are on top of the actual burning of the fuel and occur primarily near the point of extraction. Fugitive emissions exceed all emissions from “industrial processes” according to Government estimates. It makes no sense to inquire into the gas industry without examining this critical factor. Farmers in the South East deserve all the information.

“We are calling on the Liberals to look at the big picture as well as localised impacts. The Greens will work with all Parties in Parliament to get a comprehensive inquiry underway as soon as possible,” said Mark Parnell.

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