Thursday, December 20, 2012

EPA's Deception Of Community

Goolarabooloo People in Country EPA Board Member 2011

What is the purpose of the National Heritage register?  The ‘heritage value of fossilised dinosaur track sites that occur in Broome Sandstone is recognised and is listed as a National Heritage site. Who do these faceless trans-nationals think they are? It is one thing for corporations wanting to exploit resources that have no impact in their own back yard, but for the state government to  disregard not only the social mandate of the Broome community, but also State and Commonwealth laws, treaties  and agreements and are activity  aiding and abetting the wilful destruction of our national heritage. 
This is appalling.  

It begs the question again- just who is checking the checker? When you have a state government as the proponent, a stubborn egotistical and blinkered Premier who’s ‘streamlining’ processes is actually a blatant abuse of process, and Heads of Departments like Dr Vogel whose workplace renewal contract is reliant on and sanctioned by the Premier, one wonders whether conflict of interest enters the equation.

The Broome community lobbied the EPA board to come and talk to all interested and concerned community parties including the Goolarabooloo who welcomed them onto country and shared extensive cultural knowledge. Unfortunately, the community was under the misguided notion that the EPA was independent of governmental control, and would provide checks and balances to governmental excess.

That the guidelines enshrined in law for the protection of environmental and cultural heritage would actually provide recourse. Instead the EPA abused the hospitality provided and this deception only added to the collective no gas psyche of the Broome community…the faith that was put into this authoritive body and other governmental departments should stand as a warning for other communities who are battling corporations and the acquiescence of governments.




    Vogel backs business concerns

    WA's environment tsar has backed business concerns that excessive State and Federal green tape is delaying mining projects, saying more should be done to streamline cross-border environmental approvals.

    The comments by Environmental Protection Authority chairman Paul Vogel come a day after Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke surprised many in the industry by delaying an expected approval for Toro Energy's Lake Wiluna uranium development for three months.

    Dr Vogel also hit out at criticism by the Conservation Council of WA, who said on Tuesday that Mr Burke's decision was prudent in light of WA's "dangerously deficient" approvals process.

    "They (the Conservation Council) have a right to protest about uranium mining but to attack our process I think is clutching at straws and dangerously deceptive," Dr Vogel said.

    "And I would make that comment about any environment group, or company, or peak industry group that is going to make bald and unsubstantiated claims - I am going to retaliate."

    The Conservation Council argues the EPA's earlier report on Toro's proposal did not "provide sufficient information for the Commonwealth to make an informed decision" on issues such as water supply or uranium tailing dams, a position rejected by the EPA chief.

    "There is a healthy tension in the approvals process," Dr Vogel said. "Part of our job is facilitating ecologically sustainable development."

    "The environmental impact assessment process in WA is internationally and nationally recognised as being a very good one," Dr Vogel said. "So I was looking forward to the fact that we could actually reduce some of the duplication and uncertainty for business, which would lead to a substantial streamlining here without compromising environmental standards."



    Greens savaged over Browse

    The head of WA's environment watchdog has accused green groups of rewriting history and lacking objectivity by ignoring the previous detailed approval process for Woodside Petroleum's contentious $40 billion Browse project.

    Environment Protection Authority chairman Paul Vogel made the comments after he yesterday approved Woodside's so-called derived plans for a 25 million tonnes per annum LNG facility at James Price Point, north of Broome.

    The green light for the plant was given under the umbrella of a broader strategic approval process for the entire, larger, James Price Point precinct, which was cleared by the EPA and accepted by the WA Environment Minister this year.

    It means the latest "derived" decision will not be subject to appeals.

    Green groups attacked the move and flagged legal action against the EPA.

    However, Dr Vogel said no new environmental issues about the project had been raised in 1800 public comments on Woodside's derived proposal, and green groups were "attempting to rewrite history" by ignoring the previous lengthy approval process.

    "We have been involved in this assessment since 2007," he said.

    "There have been 43 sites looked at along the Kimberley coast . . . and there have been several years of a lot of work and thousands and thousands of pages of investigations about James Price Point.

    "This has been a rigorous and exhaustive process. To suggest that this has been a cursory examination is fatuous and disingenuous.

    "We have formed the view, with the approved project, that there aren't any significant new issues that would justify reassessment."

    To suggest that this has been a cursory examination is fatuous and disingenuous. "EPA boss Paul Vogel

  2. Shell Scraps British Columbia Drilling Plans In Contested Area

    CALGARY, Alberta, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell Plc has scrapped plans for a coalbed methane gas project near Canada's Pacific Coast in the face of local opposition and weak natural gas prices, ending an eight-year battle over development, the company and the British Columbia government said on Tuesday.

    In addition, the provincial oil and gas authority said it will not issue any more drilling rights in the Klappan area, which the local aboriginal community had identified as having special cultural and spiritual significance.

    Shell agreed to relinquish its land tenures in the region, which became known as the Sacred Headwaters, and with C$20 million ($20.3 million) of royalty credits, will build a water recycling plant at a gas field in Northeast British Columbia known as Gundy.

    An official with the Tahltan First Nation acknowledged Shell for giving up its drilling plans.

    "It is a place of tremendous cultural, spiritual, historic and social importance," Annita McPhee, president of the Tahltan Central Council, said in a statement. "Our people do not want to see it developed, and we look forward to working with B.C. on achieving permanent protection of the Klappan."

    "Close relations with aboriginal communities are important to our many business opportunities in British Columbia, and we are pleased to have found common ground on our petroleum and natural-gas tenure in the Klappan," Shell Canada President Lorraine Mitchelmore said. "We now focus on growth opportunities with better commercial and geological prospects in Northeast British Columbia.


    China's second west-to-east gas pipeline is ready to supply natural gas to Hong Kong, as branch lines linking Hong Kong with the pipeline went into operation on Wednesday, according to the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).

    The pipeline, which will send natural gas from the nation's resource-rich western region to the energy-starved east, will bring natural gas produced in central Asia to Hong Kong to ease the region's energy shortage.



    If successful, the deal would give Chevron a significant position in a region thought to hold the world's third-largest shale gas and oil reserves, after the U.S. and China. For Argentina, it could mean a return to energy self-sufficiency and an end to costly gas imports.

    Executives from the two companies signed an agreement at Chevron's Houston headquarters to create a joint venture within a year. That agreement, the final terms of which will be hammered out in four months, would see the companies spend about $1 billion to drill 100 wells in a 290- square-kilometer area in the Vaca Muerta formation in Neuquen Province. The results of that pilot program will help the companies finalize plans to drill an estimated 2,000 wells for about $15 billion.


    With the global total of climate-disrupting emissions likely to come in at around 52 gigatonnes (billion metric tonnes) this year, we're already at the edge, according to new research.

    To have a good chance of staying below two degrees C of warming, global emissions should be between 41 and 47 gigatonnes (Gt) by 2020, said Joeri Rogelj, a climate scientist at Switzerland's Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science in Zurich.

    "Only when we see the annual global emissions total decline will we know we're making the shift to climate protection," Rogelj told IPS.

  3. LNG prices peak

    According to Citi analysis, the prices that producers can wring from Asian customers have hit their peak.

    The Sydney Morning Herald said analysis undertaken by Citi’s oil and gas analyst, Mark Greenwood, found the top of the market had been reached.

    He said the threat of new supplies from North America and Africa had become real, with buyers holding out for better deals.

    However, while big falls in pricing was unlikely, Greenwood still downgraded the earnings forecasts of Woodside, Oil Search, and Santos based on lower LNG price expectations.

    LNG has traditionally been sold from Australia to Asian markets such as Japan or Korea on long-term contracts struck at a proportion of the oil price, typically about 14.85%.

    Citi said these prices would be difficult to achieve in a more competitive global LNG market and lowered its long-term slope projections from 14.5% to 14%.

  4. China firm quits iron ore project

    by: Sarah-Jane Tasker and Scott Murdoch
    From:The Australian
    December 21, 201212:00AM

    METALLURGICAL Corporation of China is shelving its $3 billion iron ore project in Western Australia and pulling its staff out of Perth as rising costs put the brakes on another resources operation.

    The company, which purchased the Cape Lambert iron ore project from Perth businessman Tony Sage's company in 2008 for $400 million, has reportedly said it will close its office in Perth by the end of next month, leaving no more than five people in a new smaller location to maintain its Australian mining licence.

  5. These principles of accounting should be applied to JPP.

    ......"The concepts, classifications and accounting rules needed to calculate the national accounts in member countries have long been set down by the United Nations Statistical Commission. Earlier this year the commission decided to introduce a system of integrated environmental and economic accounting.

    This will involve developing environmental accounts on a comparable basis to the existing economic accounts, so they can be combined to give a more comprehensive picture of how the economy is affecting the environment and the environment is affecting the economy.

    This ''system of environmental-economic accounting'' - SEEA - is a huge project involving the measurement of various environmental dimensions not presently measured and the conversion of physical measures - such as petajoules and gigalitres - into dollar values.

    Our Bureau of Statistics is at the forefront of this international development. Its recently published energy, water and land accounts are stepping stones in this great advance.

    Publishing integrated economic and environmental accounts won't magically solve all our environmental problems, but it will make it much harder to forget these two aspects of our existence are inextricably joined."

    All that mud from the dredging and the several thousand tonnes of Benzene a year,the 4 billion plus tonnes of CO2 for the 100 year lifespan,etc etc.......