Billions wasted in economy sapping energy regulations

Each year the energy regulator, the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC), publishes data on the make-up of electricity costs for households.  This breaks down costs into three categories: environmental, regulated networks and wholesale/retail.

In Queensland federal environmental policies cost the average household $63 and state based schemes a further $128, adding 7 per cent to household electricity bills.  NSW consumers get off more lightly: Commonwealth environmental schemes cost them $72 with state schemes a further $37.  Victorians pay only $48 in subsidies for the Commonwealth schemes and $33 for the state schemes, while South Australians pay $62 for the Commonwealth schemes and $93 for those of the state government.

But these are only the direct costs.  The environmental regulations bring three other classes of cost.  The first of these is resulting in the closure of coal-fuelled power stations because increasing amounts of volatile subsidised “must-run” wind forces them into stop-start operations.

This undermines the economics of generators designed to provide stable supplies of base load power.  The latest forced closure is the Victorian Hazelwood facility.  Hazelwood’s shut down is estimated by the AEMC to bring about wholesale price increases of 55 per cent next year in Victoria and Tasmania, and lesser price rises in other jurisdictions.  That comes to about $200 per Victorian household.  The renewables subsidies will drive further such closures which will add to these costs.

The displacement of fossil fuel supply by more expensive wind and solar is causing other problems.  The progression of the South Australian system to third world reliability standards is just one of these.

But further costs are entailed.  Among these is spending to augment transmission in order to link remote wind installations and to allow the remaining stable supplies of fossil fuel generated electricity to back-fill the reliability of increasing amount of unreliable wind and solar.

AEMO estimates it must spend $2.2 billion to allow the Victorian renewable energy scheme to operate.  The wind generators want to locate in areas where there is very weak transmission capacity at present.  Gone by the board is the original national market plan under which new generators would be required to pay any additional transmission costs their location entailed.  Hence, the costs will be charged to consumers.

The AEMC also foreshadowed additional new costs from a new ancillary market that is to be created to provide system stability.  This is needed to counter the effects of wind and solar’s intrinsically inability to provide the same flexibility as the fossil fuel generators they displace.  In South Australia, the government is already paying Engie to keep open its Pelican Point gas plant to enable this.

Yesterday, Victorian energy Minister, Lily D’Ambrosio, acknowledged that Victoria’s electricity prices would rise as a result of the Hazelwood closure but said they would fall again as new renewable energy came on stream.  This is (perhaps intentionally) misleading.  The AEMC forecasts only a slight fall in later years and this is dependent upon no other fossil fuel generator being forced out of business.  Moreover, the minister’s statement took no account of the $2.2 billion in increased costs of transmission lines and of the additional ancillary costs.

Compounding these problems are the measures introduced by politicians in NSW and Victoria (and to be introduced in South Australia if the state Liberals prevail) to ban or restrict the search for additional gas, the fuel that might replace coal, albeit at a premium.

Unfortunately we are still going backwards.  The regulators are working on how to achieve the 26-28 per cent reduction in emissions that Australia agreed to in its ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement.  To this end, Mr Turnbull’s attempts to railroad through an emissions intensity form of carbon tax via his hand-picked Finkel review of electricity have been forestalled temporarily.  However, not coincidentally, there was another AEMC review was also released last week. This looked into achieving the Paris Agreement’s 28 per cent reduction from electricity emissions; it estimated the costs were $66.6 billion if the approach were to use renewable requirements and that this would be reduced to a mere $55.4 billion through the emissions intensity carbon tax.

Political meddling from ministers bowing to green ideologues and enjoying the patronage of renewable businesses that can exist only on the back of political favours is forcing Australians to pay a high price.  At the turn of the present century, reform had meant Australians enjoyed the cheapest electricity in the world.  Even though other developed countries have become infected with the same green poison that is raising Australia’s prices, none have the same severity of sickness.  American and French consumers now pay half our average of around 30 cents per kilowatt hour, even Japanese households, in a country with negligible domestic energy resources, have electricity cheaper than Australians.

This week Eddie Obeid was jailed for misconduct in office but the costs of his crimes are chicken feed compared to those of the nation’s energy ministers.


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38 Responses to Billions wasted in economy sapping energy regulations

  1. gabrianga says:

    Normally you would petition your Prime Minister or local Member to voice concerns but unfortunately our Leader is also the “Leader” to the “Renewable Energy Market” spivs and snake oil salesmen/women.

    The $multi-million, $multi-billion “renewable” schemes, like Hewsons, have been waiting and praying for years for an “enlightened” and experienced (Goldman Sachs Government Leader to come to power and WE gave them Malcolm.

    Only removal of this cancerous like growth to the “boonies” will bring an air of sanity back to our long standing economical energy production.

    Sack Turnbull before he sacks Australia.

  2. miltonf says:

    The political class has become an absolute menace.

  3. teddy bear says:

    The sad reality is we are going to end up with more gas instead of coal power plants. I would much prefer coal power plants because I simply do not trust the regulators and scientists who do all the bogus EIS and other stuff in regards to coal seam gas.

    These scientists are after all the same ones who do bogus study after bogus study on climate change, the murray darling basin etc.

    We should have built more brown coal plant’s like Hazelwood, instead because of corruption and incompetence from politicians scientist’s and an ignorant public we are going to end up with more expensive and unreliable power with an as yet to be determined long term impact to farming areas and water systems by coal seam gas.

  4. stackja says:

    RGR followed Al Gore. TA tried changes. Now we have MT.

  5. Tel says:

    Those electricity costs in South Australia are just brutal. It’s worse than it looks when you think that industry will glance at that and then avoid SA, preferring to open shop elsewhere. This means any young people in SA can’t get jobs so they can’t get on the job training so their career goes nowhere. The smart ones leave… there isn’t much of a choice.

    It’s a recursive circle of suck, what have you got left that you can do without electricity? Some tourism, and farming, that’s about it.

  6. teddy bear says:

    Tel our politicians have long had a rotten solution to that, they simply provide massive subsidies to companies to set up shop.

    Just wait till Labour get back in power federally, then they along with the greens will roll out a massive subsidy program for potential business in SA because of its “Green Energy”.

  7. Tel says:

    Which automotive manufacturer do you think they will fool this time? Can’t be too many left who haven’t been stung once at least.

  8. Baldrick says:

    What an absolute joke.

    The only way Australia can emerge from its economic slump is through cheap labour or cheap power. Thanks to our glorious politician’s, from both sides, we have neither.

  9. teddy bear says:

    Tel I don’t think it will be a matter of fooling them, more a matter of trying to fool taxpayers into thinking the outrageous subsidy they will have to pay is a good idea.

    It’s the small business and all else who can’t move that are going to be hit the hardest. Cost of living in SA will rise, and you can imagine the union members won’t allow themselves to be left behind so they will get higher wages and cost of living will snowball.

  10. OldOzzie says:

    Let me repeat a post I put on the Victorian government priorities below, which illustrates the stupidity of both Labor and Liberal Politicians re Billions wasted in economy sapping energy regulations

    The Following Australian Financial Review Article sums up the Stupidity of Victorian Labor Dan Andrews and NSW Liberals under Mike Baird

    BHP Billiton named America’s best fracker

    There is infuriating paradox in news that BHP Billiton has been rated, by some distance, America’s most transparent and risk-averse oil and gas fracker.

    BHP makes its home in the Victorian capital of Melbourne. And that means the world’s best fracker – if you are the safest unconventional driller in the US then you must be the best in the world – makes its home in an Australian state that has, uniquely, put a permanent ban on the technologies whose efficacious use so differentiates BHP from its oil and gas peers.

    So who decided that BHP is best? Well, for the past five years a trio of ethical investors and green investment advocates has put out a fracking industry scorecard called “Disclosing the Facts: Transparency and Risk in Hydraulic Fracturing”.

    The group of three is Boston Common Asset Management, Investor Environmental Health Network and As You Sow, and their work on fracking is funded by, among others, the Roddenberry Foundation (yes, it honours the Star Trek guy) and the Disney Family Foundation.

    The basic idea of the fracking scorecard is to encourage drillers to become ever more transparent about what they are putting into the earth and how they manage what is taken out.

    Behind that ambition sits a pragmatic realism that recognises that hydraulic technologies now sit in the mainstream of the US energy mix. “From a production perspective, these formations are anything but unconventional; the US Energy Information Administration reports that in 2015 ‘unconventional resources’ yielded approximately two-thirds of the natural gas and roughly half of the oil produced in the United States.”

    The introduction to the latest fracking report card observes:

    New frontiers

    “Following the ‘what gets measured, gets managed’, this report encourages oil and gas companies to increase disclosure about their use of current best practices to minimise the environmental risks and community impacts of their ‘fracking’ activities.

    “This year, the report card has been compiled amidst a continuing dramatic contraction of well drilling and completion activities and enormous financial write-offs. As reported by Baker Hughes, the number of drilling rigs dropped to 476 in March 2016 from a peak of 1931 in late 2014. Nearly 100,000 jobs linked to the oil and gas sector have been lost in the United States, bankruptcies have multiplied, and companies are now focusing on their most profitable areas rather than expanding into new frontiers,” the report says.

    “Despite the sharp downturn from the pell-mell growth of the prior 10 years, a core group of companies within the industry has maintained and enhanced disclosures of their practices for managing the environmental risks and community impacts of their operations.

    “While the number of leading scorers has grown, the majority of the oil and gas sector is still leaving investors in the dark about their risk management practices.”

    Which leads us to BHP. For a third year running it emerged the top-ranked US operator based on a scorecard that assesses disclosures on the use of toxic chemicals, water and waste management, air emissions, community impact and management accountability.

    Out of a possible score of 50, BHP’s rating was 40, up from the 32 that saw it the top-ranked operator in 2015. To put that out-performance into industry perspective, the big operators that worry the report’s authors include serious operators like Exxon, BP, Chevron and Shell.

    BHP is obviously pretty chuffed to be recognised for the integrity of its reporting standards and its operational performance.

    “Transparency is a core value at BHP Billiton and we are really proud to be recognised for this,” the petroleum division’s environment and regulatory boss, Ed Mongan, said from Houston on Wednesday.

    Best practice

    “This is very credible third-party acknowledgement of the level of public information we provide and also a good way for us to measure our own disclosure.

    “It’s important to note that the report not only recognises disclosure, but also places an emphasis on best practice. Not only do we have a responsibility to be transparent, we also need to be doing something well, doing what we say we will do, and be transparent about it.

    “For the past three years, we have been recognised as best in the world with this year’s score our best yet, which demonstrates our own focus on continuous improvement. It is also pleasing to see how many other companies are scoring higher and shows an uptick in commitment to transparency across the industry.”

    None of this progress matters a jot in BHP’s home town. In the name of rural serenity and green, marginal urban politics, last August Victoria’s Labor government banned the exploitation of shale, coal seam and tight gas resources within its state boundaries.

    The ban is built on a confection of anxieties over hydraulic fracturing, the “unconventional” drilling technology needed to release petroleum from the solid rocks that bind it.

    The US is home to the world’s biggest unconventional petroleum industry and its successful and increasingly uncontroversial deployment has revolutionised its domestic energy economy and its broader geo-politics.
    But Premier Dan Andrews reckons Victoria’s suite of bans will protect the clean and green integrity of Victoria’s pastoral bounty while alleviating the farmers’ concerns about the risks supposedly embraced by the fracturing of the sub-surface that is necessary to release petroleum from hard rocks.Furthered its cause
    The Premier would, of course, better serve Victoria by educating both pastoral and urban communities to the idea that what was once unconventional and uncertain is now thoroughly mainstream and manageable.
    Instead a state that has historically made much of its competitive advantage in the cost and quantum of its energy supply decided to add four years to a moratorium on conventional onshore drilling to its permanent ban on fracking.

    Victoria is not alone, of course, in crumbling in the face of an environmental lobby that has consistently furthered its cause – to stop all oil and gas drilling – by disseminating exaggerations and mistruths about the risks of the unconventional generally and of coal seam gas extraction specifically.

    NSW, for example, should already be the same unconventional gas powerhouse that Queensland is.
    Instead the state has effectively banned the coal seam gas industry even though an inquiry by its own chief scientist found the environmental risk of unconventional technologies was essentially no greater than those posed by any other extractive industry and that those risks were entirely manageable.

    Surely if we accept the science of climate change (we do) then we should accept the scientific and regulatory reviews that have so consistently endorsed this rapidly maturing drilling technology?

    NSW presently imports all of its gas from Queensland and South Australia. Every molecule of that gas is fracked.

    Because its supply is piped a great distance, NSW industry pays about $2.50 a unit more for gas than its East Coast competitors (Victoria is still living on energy easy street because Bass Strait continues to pump out tonnes and tonnes of gas).

    Once upon a time Santos planned to generate half of NSW demand from its coal seam gas fields around Narrabri. Outside of delivering a security of supply, that gas would have made NSW industry more competitive because it is so close to western Sydney.

    Narrabri’s gas was meant to hit the market next year. But the project has never really been allowed to start. Last week Santos despatched Narrabri into its basket of non-mainstream assets. For company, state and nation that is a minor economic tragedy.

    Dan Andrews and Mike Baird should apply the

    The US Mineral Rights
    Basic information about mineral, surface, oil and gas rights

    the artilce above is worth aread

  11. Dr Fred Lenin says:

    Turnbull will not change ,he has a conflict of interesr in the energu matter ,he and his mates at goldman sachs ,and the mafia unions are invesring heavily in the renewable scams ,when he gets the flicj as pm in favour of his comrade fellpw “socialist” shorten he will retire overseas ,like rudd and gilliard and keep bludging on the taxpyer with a huge undeserved pension . Rudds wife rippef us off for a fortune ,giliard gave heaps of our money to the clinton mafia ,and dont tell me with her previous criminal past none of it stuck to her thieving fingers the turnbull/goldman sachs government is following precedent nicely . This is a Swamp that really needs Draining . Life prison terms are needed for these crooks they will have plenty of former colleagues to catch up with inside .

  12. Entropy says:

    They have to stop calling CSG and shale oil “unconventional”. It is a major source of fuel these days.

  13. egg_ says:

    The political class has become an absolute menace.


    Includes the MSM ‘Insiders’ inside the Canberra bubble.

  14. RobertS says:

    A simple solution to South Australia’s brutal electricity prices would be a nuclear power plant at the top of Spencer Gulf. When it was due for decommissioning they could dump it into the superpit that BHP would have dug at Olympic Dam. And Wheatherill calls himself a progressive?

  15. Entropy says:

    Just had a look at the rural socialism hour on their ABC. It has an interesting article about some CSIRO study that estimates the economic cost of CSG to be $2.17 million over 20 years. Leaving aside why the CSIRO has an economics unit at all (apparently it has the largest social science unit in the world!) I consider that figure rather trivial in the scale of things, let alone the steps being taken to reduce interference with the over land activities even further. Much of the article was taken up with what the activists thought, and the rent seeker lawyer who does land access agreements drumming up a bit of business with free advertising.

    Also for some reason there was no disclosure about how much compensation the CSG companies were paying the producers over 20 years. Wouldn’t want to ruin the narrative I guess.

  16. OldOzzie says:

    #2236794, posted on December 16, 2016 at 2:31 pm
    A simple solution to South Australia’s brutal electricity prices would be a nuclear power plant at the top of Spencer Gulf. When it was due for decommissioning they could dump it into the superpit that BHP would have dug at Olympic Dam. And Wheatherill calls himself a progressive?

    You are right, a natural location – it is a pretty ugly spot and there is always Maralinga to bury the Nuclear Waste, besides BHP’s Super Pit at Olympic Dam

  17. Pickles says:

    Nothing wrong at all with studying agriculture, eh Rafe?

    No finer grounding in how to get into trouble and break things.

  18. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    There’s a story today which hasn’t had much discussion or comment, but which is very pertinent to Alan’s article:

    CFMEU calls off immediate strike action at Loy Yang power station in Victoria that threatened festive season blackouts in SA (DT)

    SOUTH Australians have avoided blackouts over the festive season, as unionists withdrew calls to shut down one of the country’s biggest power stations — but their withdrawal is only temporary.

    Victoria had expected widespread blackouts as a result and because SA is heavily reliant on power imports from that state, there were fears it would have a flow-on affect.

    The union only backed down after the Victorian Government submitted an emergency application to the Fair Work Commission to terminate the industrial action and force the parties to come to an agreement.

    AGL and the union have been locked in an 18-month dispute, with workers already rejecting a 20 per cent pay rise over four years.

    All that is interesting enough (like rejecting 5% pay rises a year) but then there’s this interesting comment:

    That [AEMC] report followed revelations in The Advertiser that a plan to switch Port Augusta’s Northern power station back on, but not to produce energy and instead used as a converter to stabilise the grid, had been abandoned because of red tape.

    So SA is so desperate that they wanted to recommission the switchyard at the Northern power station but couldn’t because they had to do

    a full assessment of the option, which was required under regulations

    Now the demolition of the whole plant will go ahead.

    So if blackouts in Victoria and South Australia were “expected” as a result of Loy Yang going off line what is going to happen when Hazelwood closes permanently in the new year?

    The ALP is crazier than a hatful of hamsters and the Greens make them look good.

  19. teddy bear says:

    It would be nice if we there was a wage and conditions list compiled of all the union heavy industries, formerly public sector industries, public sector industries.

    I imagine if such a list were to be published including a line graph for various industries against private wage growth over the past 20 years industrial relations reform would become a much more pressing topic.

    Unfortunately our politicians are either complicit, corrupt or both so union industries, public servants, former public industries will continue to enjoy massive wage rises as they hold everyone else to ransom over vital infrastructure and services.

  20. incoherent rambler says:

    what is going to happen when Hazelwood closes permanently in the new year?

    Hmm. Cert IV will be required to operate a light/aircon/heating switch.

    Inanity rules. OK?

  21. min says:

    Now you know why Frydenberg let the cat out of the bag re emissions intensity and then escaped the heat in Antarctica. He knew MT was trying to cover it up and that organisations were pushing it including those on the review committee like Finkel,
    Who is advising the pollies? Don’t they read what is happening in Europe, China India.? With all the green lefties supporting MT how do we stop them.?

  22. Botswana O'Hooligan says:


    Have you got any figures to hand on pollution of the water table caused by fracking in either the USA or Australia, or for that matter anywhere else?

  23. OldOzzie says:

    Botswana O’Hooligan
    #2236904, posted on December 16, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    Have you got any figures to hand on pollution of the water table caused by fracking in either the USA or Australia, or for that matter anywhere else?

    Botswana O’Houlihan,

    Report: EPA Finds No Widespread Water Pollution From Fracking

    December 15, 2016

    Steve Everley

    Americans could be forgiven for thinking fracking poses an inherent threat to groundwater.

    The anti-fossil fuel “Keep It In the Ground” movement has waged a multi-million dollar campaign to convince the public of that exact claim, even though there has never been any evidence to support the accusation. Indeed, anti-fracking activists were peddling “fake news” long before the media professed any concern about it.

    But a landmark report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), released earlier this month, finally puts that talking point to bed. After more than half a decade of study, the EPA concluded that “the number of identified cases of drinking water contamination is small” compared to the total number of hydraulically fractured wells.

    Put differently, activist claims about “inherent risks” to groundwater are simply not true.

    Of course, EPA did its best to soften the blow to the “Keep It In the Ground” crowd. The agency stressed that oil and gas development as a whole “can” have impacts “under some circumstances,” a fact that was already known before EPA began spending nearly $30 million in taxpayer money to assess the risk.

    EPA also claimed “data gaps and uncertainties” prevented them from making broad-scale conclusions, which is odd considering how Congress appropriated EPA the money in order to derive a conclusion about the overall risk.

    Even the agency’s admission that the number of contamination cases was small was omitted from EPA’s press release. It had to be pried out of them from the media.

    In the agency’s draft report, released in the summer of 2015, EPA explicitly said they “did not find evidence that these mechanisms [fracking] have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources.” The data did not change, but EPA removed that line from the final report.

    EPA is now defensively claiming that political pressure played no role in how they characterized their results.

    Regardless of EPA’s press strategy, one thing is abundantly clear. The lack of evidence of water contamination from fracking is now the data. Multiple officials at the EPA, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Geological Survey have either said there is no evidence of widespread contamination, or have released reports showing no such evidence exists. Peer-reviewed studies have consistently found little if anything to substantiate the idea that fracking can contaminate groundwater.

    At a certain point, you have to accept that the lack of evidence actually means something, especially considering the extensive studies that have taken place.

    But if you’re waiting for environmental groups to acknowledge the scientific realities of fracking, don’t hold your breath. The Sierra Club still claims on its website that “fracking has contaminated the drinking water of hundreds of thousands of Americans.” Food & Water Watch responded to EPA’s report by claiming it shows “the inherent harms and hazards of fracking.”

    It’s odd how members of “Keep It In the Ground” love to call their opponents science deniers, considering they are willfully denying what the scientific community has said and continues to say about fracking.

    Anti-fracking groups have done a masterful job of scaring the public about oil and gas development. Thankfully, we now have proof that their central claim is without merit.

    As a Counter Balance to the above

    The EPA Abstract says


    This final report provides a review and synthesis of available scientific information concerning the relationship between hydraulic fracturing activities and drinking water resources in the United States.

    The report is organized around activities in the hydraulic fracturing water cycle and their potential to impact drinking water resources. The stages include: (1) acquiring water to be used for hydraulic fracturing (Water Acquisition), (2) mixing the water with chemical additives to prepare hydraulic fracturing fluids (Chemical Mixing), (3) injecting the hydraulic fracturing fluids into the production well to create fractures in the targeted production zone (Well Injection), (4) collecting the wastewater that returns through the well after injection (Produced Water Handling), and (5) managing the wastewater via disposal or reuse methods (Wastewater Disposal and Reuse).

    EPA found scientific evidence that hydraulic fracturing activities can impact drinking water resources under some circumstances. The report identifies certain conditions under which impacts from hydraulic fracturing activities can be more frequent or severe:

    Water withdrawals for hydraulic fracturing in times or areas of low water availability, particularly in areas with limited or declining groundwater resources;
    Spills during the handling of hydraulic fracturing fluids and chemicals or produced water that result in large volumes or high concentrations of chemicals reaching groundwater resources;
    Injection of hydraulic fracturing fluids into wells with inadequate mechanical integrity, allowing gases or liquids to move to groundwater resources;
    Injection of hydraulic fracturing fluids directly into groundwater resources;
    Discharge of inadequately treated hydraulic fracturing wastewater to surface water; and
    Disposal or storage of hydraulic fracturing wastewater in unlined pits resulting in contamination of groundwater resources.
    Data gaps and uncertainties limited EPA’s ability to fully assess the potential impacts on drinking water resources locally and nationally. Because of these data gaps and uncertainties, it was not possible to fully characterize the severity of impacts, nor was it possible to calculate or estimate the national frequency of impacts on drinking water resources from activities in the hydraulic fracturing water cycle.

    EPA’s report advances the scientific understanding of hydraulic fracturing’s impact on drinking water resources, and can inform decisions by federal, state, tribal, and local officials; industry; and communities to protect drinking water resources now and in the future.

    The full report – 28 Pages

    Assessment of the Potential
    Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing
    for Oil and Gas on Drinking
    Water Resources

  24. miltonf says:

    I suspect Frydenberg really believes this CO2 idiocy. Bruce you are absolutely right re closing Hazelwood=>blackouts. Full speed ahead to the edge of the cliff it seems.

  25. rickw says:

    Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC),

    You notice how Government sets up a commission on an issue and then things really start going to shit?

  26. OldOzzie says:

    Botswana O’Hooligan (apologies for the name slip above , the Irish in me)

    The full report – 28 Pages

    Assessment of the Potential
    Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing
    for Oil and Gas on Drinking
    Water Resources

    Couple of points from that report above

    – Thousands of wells are drilled and fractured every year in the United States, with activities
    concentrated in specific locations. We estimate 25,000-30,000 new wells were drilled and
    hydraulically fractured annually in the United States between 2011 and 2014
    . Additional, preexisting
    wells (wells more than one year old that may or may not have been hydraulically fractured
    in the past) were also likely fractured. Hydraulic fracturing took place in at least 25 states between
    1990 and 2013.

    – We did not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on
    drinking water resources in the United States. Of the potential mechanisms identified in this report,
    we found specific instances where one or more mechanisms led to impacts on drinking water
    resources, including contamination of drinking water wells. The number of identified cases,
    however, was small compared to the number of hydraulically fractured wells.


    We did not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on
    drinking water resources in the United States
    . Of the potential mechanisms identified in this report,
    we found specific instances where one or more of these mechanisms led to impacts on drinking
    water resources, including contamination of drinking water wells

    The number of identified cases where drinking water resources were impacted are small relative to
    the number of hydraulically fractured wells.

  27. teddy bear says:

    OldOzzie the problem is you are discounting the cost of this “small” number of cases where drinking water is impacted, further they give a figure of 25000-30000 wells so why are they unable to also provide a figure for the number of issues identified.

    You are forgetting that Australia is an entirely different situation than America because of the great artesian basin. The great artesian basin provides drinking, irrigation and industrial water for a large part of our country, managed properly it will provide effectively infinite water for those areas. If anything happens to that whatever economic benefit that may come from coal seam gas is worthless.

    The main reason they are going for coal seam gas is because of global warming nonsense, we have plenty of coal but are unable to use brown coal now because of this nonsense. You may trust these people who state that the potential impacts are small and negligible but I certainly do not.

    The reality is if our elected politicians want a project to happen they will make it happen regardless of what impacts may occur, and by the same token if they do not want a project to occur it will not happen. There are plenty of people who have spent all their money trying to get a company off the ground commissioning outrageously expensive EIS and other nonsense only to be knocked back by politicians not because of any concerns but because of politics.

    I don’t trust them one bit and certainly not with something as vital as our underground water sources.

  28. OldOzzie says:

    teddy bear
    #2236940, posted on December 16, 2016 at 6:16 pm
    OldOzzie the problem is you are discounting the cost of this “small” number of cases where drinking water is impacted, further they give a figure of 25000-30000 wells so why are they unable to also provide a figure for the number of issues identified.

    teddy bear,

    given the EPA in America under Obama is “Pro Green”, the fact that they say that only a “small” number of cases where drinking water is impacted, is amazing.

    As was the fact they came to the above conclusion


    We did not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on
    drinking water resources in the United States.
    Of the potential mechanisms identified in this report, we found specific instances where one or more of these mechanisms led to impacts on drinking
    water resources, including contamination of drinking water wells

    The number of identified cases where drinking water resources were impacted are small relative to the number of hydraulically fractured wells.

    Nearly 4,000 EPA Regulations Issued Under President Obama

    The House Subcommittee on Energy and Power held a hearing this week to review the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulatory activity under the Obama Administration, which highlighted the President and EPA’s blatant disregard for the Constitution and State authority. The hearing also addressed the drastic impact increased regulations have on U.S. energy and the economy as a whole.

    Since President Obama assumed office in 2009, the EPA has published over 3,900 rules, averaging almost 500 annually, and amounting to over 33,000 new pages in the Federal Register. The hearing highlighted growing concerns from states and affected entities about the mounting complexity, costs, and legality of EPA rules.

    The compliance costs associated with EPA regulations under Obama number in the hundreds of billions and have grown by more than $50 billion in annual costs since Obama took office. Such high costs, especially those related to the energy sector, ripple throughout the economy, impacting GDP, killing thousands of job

    Chairman Whitfield stated the EPA’s “controversial and extreme interpretation” of it’s statutory authority has transformed it’s role to that of “ultimate” regulator.

    Testifying on the Administration and EPA’s overreach of authority, David J. Porter, Chairman of the Railroad Commission of Texas, lambasted the Administration’s disregard for the rule of law, stating:

    “The President disregards the Constitutional limits of his office and public opinion to forward his own liberal agenda…[and] in promoting his agenda, he has allowed EPA to become the mouthpiece for ideological propaganda.”

    Given the above, it is as stated, amazing, that the EPA was unable to find problems with Fracking

  29. egg_ says:

    Unfortunately our politicians are either complicit, corrupt or both so union industries, public servants, former public industries will continue to enjoy massive wage rises as they hold everyone else to ransom over vital infrastructure and services.

    Likewise, private companies such as Downer, Transfield and Origin (Boral) have multiplied in size whilst feeding off formerly public utilities.

  30. teddy bear says:

    OldOzzie I don’t trust government regulators regardless of the normal slant of them in highly politicised industries, especially not the environmental regulators.

    From NSW Gov website
    “CSG is used to generate electricity in gas-fired power stations as a low emission alternative to electricity produced from coal.”
    “CSG is becoming increasingly important in the nation’s energy market as Australia moves to a lower carbon economy.”

    It is now seen as a green industry by many of our politicians as they need the base load power with coal no longer considered an option. So not only is it a revenue boon for cash starved incompetent politicians it is also a major political issue with them increasingly pushing it as hard as they can as green power.

    In such a highly politiciesd environment with them desperately floundering to try and regain energy security with coal out I have less trust than usual for government regulators surrounding the industry.

  31. Gerard says:

    If I have something to sell, the cost of bringing my goods to market are mine. Why doesn’t the same principle apply to a renewable power supplier? It should be his cost for accessing his market.

  32. Entropy says:

    Oldozzie, CSG development started up because it was profitable compared with a oil price over $100 a barrel at the time. Now of course the CSG supply has exploded along with the collapse in oil prices, so the price pressure has slowed development and led to industry consolidation.

    The artesian basin concern is overblown anti development hysteria. There are hundreds of meters between the coal seams and the hydrological aquifers that make up the basin. The shallower aquifers anywhere near the coal seams under extraction in the Surat Basin are not part of the GAB. In some areas it is the same coal seam that has stock and domestic bores as he CSG companies (and why you can light your tap, nothing to do with the gas extraction). The contaminant levels are low enough to be acceptable for consumption. In other areas this is not the case of course.

  33. Jonesy says:

    As pointed out earlier, if the farmer or land owner received a royalty or part thereof from gas/oil/coal production on or under their property, all resistance would disappear. The Lock the Gates campaign would then have a new enemy…anti development, anti farming, anti human green groups!

    Inner city votes from ignorant opinionated green voters. Starve the bastards into submission!

  34. Botswana O'Hooligan says:


    Thank you Sir,

  35. Geof Whyte says:

    Where does Western Australia feature in the “National Energy” scene of things?

  36. OldOzzie says:

    From a comment on “Actor DiCaprio says climate action is U.S.’s ‘biggest economic opportunity'” Yahoo Article (and the comments are not complimentary to DiCapio)

    STEP 1: Create a NONEXISTENT problem. CHECK
    STEP 2: Demand taxes to solve the NONEXISTENT problem. CHECK
    STEP 3: Shut down all debate & criticism of the NONEXISTENT problem. CHECK
    STEP 4: Refuse all FOI requests on the NONEXISTENT problem. CHECK
    STEP 5: Pretend to be solving the NONEXISTENT problem. CHECK
    STEP 6: Refer to observant people as “deniers” of this NONEXISTENT problem. CHECK
    STEP 7: Use SCARE TACTICS to keep people in fear of doing nothing. CHECK
    STEP 8: Cancel all the grants of any ‘scientist’ who disagrees creating the allusions of unanimity of thought for the NONEXISTENT problem. CHECK
    STEP 9: Pocket the scam money of this NONEXISTENT problem. CHECK

  37. Major Elvis Newton says:

    Seems like an awful lot of expensive phaffing around for a non-existent problem.

    The official assessment about cost of living increases are all lies.

    Anyone who thinks that every business from the coffee shop to the car-yard won’t pass onto the end-user/consumer any and all increases in their costs as a result of this ridiculous impost is deluded.

    To pretend households in Victoria will only be impacted by $200 is flat out bullshit. Too bad the Frydenburgs of this world are too gutless to call them on it.

    But that would take principle, a measure which is in short supply among our political class.

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