Fossil gas industry ambit claim for renewable status must be rejected

Gas industry

IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 05 July 2013, Zero Emissions Media Centre, Melbourne

The Australian Pipeline Industry Association has hit the media today with an ambit call for cash handouts to subsidise their dirty, greenhouse gas producing operating practices.

"With cap in hand and not holding back their smugness the fossil gas industry is now asking the government to use our tax payer dollars to subsidise them," said Matthew Wright executive director of energy security think-tank zero emissions.

"Gas is dirty, it's not clean, gas is a diversion and not a shortcut.  To throw good money after bad on a sunset industry that is seeing costs blow up for Australian consumers is wrong and should be given short shrift.

"In no way can gas be treated on a 'level playing field' with renewables; they're not even in the same league.  Renewables like wind and solar power are in the clean energy A league, while gas is competing for the wooden spoon at the bottom of the reserves along with the other fossil fuels including coal.

"This is another story of myths and spin from a dirty industry salivating over the opportunity to exploit struggling Australian farmers, the Australian community and the Environment. All for short term gain by wealthy miners at the expense of ordinary Australians.

"A report from Worley Parsons released last year which I commissioned shows that fossil gas is dirtier then coal in most applications, including electricity generation here and overseas, household heating and hot water.

"The report from Australia's biggest engineering firm, Worley Parsons, shows that with as little as 2% of gas lost in exploration, extraction, pipelining, storage or at point of combustion, gas is dirtier than coal in all applications.  The industry has tried to bury this report but it is available, published in a peer review journal for all to see(below), 

"There is no justification for fattening up the coffers of gas companies which are dirtier than coal when renewable energy like solar, wind and heat pumps reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero.

"Kevin Rudd and his energy minister Gary Gray must immediately rule out any support for the gas industry, including putting an end to the granting of anymore exploration and extraction licenses to discourage it rather than handouts to prop it up creating more kand and climate damaging product," said Matthew Wright executive director of energy security think tank Zero Emissions.

FOR COMMENT: Matthew Wright 0421 616 733


---------------------APIA PROPOSAL AND RETORT-----------------------

APIA #1. A supply-side policy – the Government should establish a technology neutral energy investment policy that allows renewables, clean coal, low-emission (fossil)gas and other clean technologies to compete for funding on the basis of emissions reduction and energy supply.

ZE: The renewable target and carbon price are already technology neutral and operate strictly as a level playing field.  Renewable sources along with any technology that produces zero greenhouse gas emissions can participate in the Renewable Energy Target. Nineteen technologies are currently explicitly covered by the act with 15 actually generating renewable certificates to date. Gas is not low emissions (see below).

APIA #2.  A demand-side policy – a technology neutral emissions intensity electricity sector scheme should be established to provide appropriate signals to investors. In the case of (fossil)gas, it would provide all investors, including explorers, with the signal that low-emission gas technology has an important role to play in the electricity sector.

ZE: Fossil Gas is dirtier than coal when we take into account total lifecycle emissions.  The APIA/ACIL report conveniently ignores the upstream emissions including migratory fugitive emissions that occur during exploration, extraction, drawing down the water table and other associated activities.  A very low loss rate of only 2% makes fossil gas worse than coal and fields in the US are showing upto 15% losses with an average of 4% for unconventional gas includign CSG. (NOAA, Cornell etc)

APIA #3 Improvements to regulatory and administration regimes, including tenement management, taxation, land access and information.

ZE: The gas industry has had it to good for to long, we now need to close in on this industry and no longer offer any more exploration and extraction licenses which is where the problems begin.

--------END APIA PROSAL RETORT---------

FOR COMMENT: Matthew Wright 0421 616 733


Worley Parsons report: Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Electricity Generation: A Comparative Analysis of Australian Energy Sources

APIA Media Release