Friday, May 20, 2011

Fracking – the ominous new word in the English language.

Anybody who has watched the ABC’s recent Four Corners Program about the coal seam gas industry in southern Queensland should be horrified. Farmers are becoming increasingly concerned about the rapid expansion of this industry in our state. The Queensland government has given the miners unfettered rights to enter private properties and start drilling for gas wherever they like. This is not only poisoning underground water, but destroying the livelihood of the farmers. It is absolutely frightening what is happening in Australia. Click on picture to enlarge!

The Queensland Labor Party has taken “civil rights” away from their citizens. Asset sales, forced water fluoridation, the Brigalow Corporation and now “Fracking,” (Coal Seam Gas industry) are part of the terrible legacy of the Queensland Labor party. GAS FRACKING is an IMPORTANT ISSUE FACING AUSTRALIANS RIGHT NOW. This will affect every Australian. Australia has been sold out to China for GAS (FRACKING); what is left behind, is poisoned land/water.
Growing concern over coal seam gas plans. click on the link below.

A short film by Ross Pepper
depicting the issues around Coal Seam Gas industry, particularly in the Tweed Valley. MUST WATCH! Click here.
See also the heartbreak gas mining has caused in the USA. “Firewater” from the kitchen taps. For those who haven’t seen “Gasland” on SBS, Watch the trailer please:
It is happening all across America - rural landowners wake up one day to find a lucrative offer from an energy company wanting to lease their property. Reason? The company hopes to tap into a reservoir dubbed the ‘Saudi Arabia of natural gas’.

This film is about what comes out of the ground with that natural gas; how it affects our air and drinking water. GASLAND is a powerful personal documentary that confronts these questions with spirit, strength, and a sense of humor. When filmmaker Josh Fox receives his cash offer in the mail, he travels across 32 states to meet other rural residents on the front lines of fracking. He discovers toxic streams, ruined aquifers, dying livestock, brutal illnesses, and kitchen sinks that burst into flame. He learns that all water is connected and perhaps some things are more valuable than money. - Werner
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Four Corners looks at the daily realities behind Queensland's burgeoning new coal seam gas industry, and meets farmers on the ground whose lives have unwittingly become caught up in the gas boom.

The company behind a $15 billion coal seam gas development
in Queensland is being investigated for damaging an underground water source within the Great Artesian Basin system, the recent Four Corners program reveals. Click here.

(Click on "play" on left side under: "We have shut the gate.")

The incident was uncovered by a
sleuthing Queensland farmer, Anne Bridle, as she investigated rumours of a fracking mishap near her beef and grain property in Dalby.
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, involves blasting a mixture of water, sand and diluted chemicals into a well to help open coal seams, increasing gas production.

The problems arose when Queensland
Gas Company (QGC) fracked its Myrtle 3 well, connecting the Springbok aquifer to the coal seam below, the Walloon Coal Measures, in 2009.

Ms Bridle has raised several concerns: that chemicals used in the process - which included 130 litres of THPS - may have migrated into the water supply; that water from the different aquifers could intermingle, affecting the water quality; and also that water levels in the aquifer could fall.

The company did not alert authorities or nearby water users about the problem until 13 months after the incident.
"Ultimately there's no-one checking to see what happens under the ground. The accountability is not there," Mrs Bridle said.

Worried about her own cattle, she probed further but found the safety data sheet QGC had submitted for the fracking chemical THPS was American, incomplete and 10 years out of date.

Chemical management expert Mariann Lloyd-Smith also examined the documents and believes the company may be in breach of the national safety code governing toxic chemicals. Federal and state government regulators put a total of 1,500 conditions on QGC's Curtis LNG Project when they approved it late last year.
But Dr Lloyd-Smith believes the company's safety sheets - used in its recent Environment Authority application - are not up to scratch. Under a national code, safety data sheets on chemicals used must contain information on Australian emergency contacts and regulations and be written within the past five years.

QGC says it does not believe it has breached the regulations. After extensive testing, Mrs Brindle's cattle were cleared of any contamination - their water had come from a different aquifer.
In a statement, QGC said interconnectivity between the two bodies existed naturally before drilling. However, during drilling the company "unintentionally provided a route for water in the aquifer" to enter the well, adding the water flow had been "relatively minor".Monitoring had indicated there had been no impact on the water source's quality or levels and steps were being taken to fix the problem, it said.

"QGC believes the risk to human health or to water supply, or to both, have been negligible," the statement said. "Notwithstanding, QGC understands the Bridles' fears and is doing all it reasonably can to alleviate them." The Queensland Government - which on Friday announced the establishment of its new LNG enforcement unit - is still investigating the 2009 fracking incident.
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Here is part of a Press Release by Peter Pyke: 20 May 2011
Queensland must follow France’s lead and ban fracking says Pyke. “Vive la France!” says Queensland Party candidate for Toowoomba North Peter Pyke, who wants Queensland to immediately follow the lead set by France in banning fracking and imposing a moratorium on all coal seam gas (CSG) mining.
The Queensland Party is the only parliamentary party in Queensland to promise to implement a CSG moratorium. Pyke says both the ALP Bligh Government and the LNP have lost the plot in supporting a bastard industry which endangers the long-term interests of Australia-wide precious underground arterial water resources and prime agricultural lands in Queensland and elsewhere.

Last week France’s lower house voted to ban the CSG fracking process in that country. Earlier this year the French Government took the decision to impose a moratorium on all coal seam gas mining.
A moratorium on fracking has also been enforced in South Africa’s Karoo region due to that country’s environmental and health concerns. Pyke says this is overwhelming support for all opponents of fracking and those who are troubled about the detrimental aspects of CSG.
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My thought for today. - Werner
The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing. ~John Powell


True Blue Aussie said...

No doubt, ominous fits well with “Fracking.” It is disgusting what our Labor government is doing to our state. And the silence about fracking from the LNP is deafening. Good on you Peter Pyke for you and Queensland Party speaking out about it. We must change the political landscape at the next election and elect candidates that have the welfare of their electorate at heart and put a stop to foreign countries buying up our food producing land. The Queensland Party will get my vote.

Babette said...

It's great that you've posted the articles re 'Fracking.' I did see the ABC, Four Corners program. At the end of the program I felt totally disturbed by the arrogance and indifference our Queensland government and the coal seam industry holds toward the health and safety of the community and the environment. Why is that the government is satisfied with out-of-date documentation with regards to fracking? Well I guess it's a no-brainer: There's big money to be made, my friend....bugger the little people. We must push to have this dangerous method of extracting gas removed!

Fed up Australian said...

What the “Fracken Hell” are our politicians doing to this country? We should alter the lyrics in our national anthem, they don’t fit for the present situation anymore.
Our politicians are selling us out.

They are in for the power, the glory and their perks and to hell with the rest of us. Wake up Australians before it is too late. Good on you Peter Pyke (Queensland Party) for opposing fracking. I live in Toowoomba North and will vote for you at the next state election. Thanks Werner for publishing this.

Vicky Corcoran said...

It is beyond belief. I have been utterly appalled through 2 screenings of Gasland on SBS. It should be shown at every school in Australia .I'm actually going to buy a copy of this DVD and post it to Anna Bligh. She can't have seen it as no Woman , Mother or Leader with a moral compass would impose this disgrace on any family or the environment. It is the filthiest most appalling & toxic extraction of energy I have ever seen. I will never ever ever use gas again.

Red in America said...

Hi Werner,

I just stumbled on your blog after doing a Bing search for "fracking in Queensland". I live in New York, where fracking is currently a subject of hot debate--there is presently a moratorium on fracking while the state conducts further inquiries into the subject, but in the meantime there is no regulation whatsoever on it in this state. None!

I wanted to know about the Australian situation in particular because, unlike in the United States, I was told that the information on chemicals used in fracking is made known to the public and to the government. Here, the chemical formulas are protected as a "trade secret". I'm very concerned about this issue, and am trying to get the attention of my local legislators in order to better protect our environment. If it weren't for foreign sites like this, I wouldn't know about some of these chemicals. I've got to hand it to you and tell you that you're helping activists abroad. Thank you so much for providing a new perspective on this industry.

P.S. I've read that 44% of all natural gas wells in Australia are leaking. I think this info should be passed on.