Sunday, February 17, 2013

Fossil Fuels ‘May Prove Worthless’ - Truthdig

Fossil Fuels ‘May Prove Worthless’ - Truthdig:Asset stranding is currently little understood, but the implications are potentially very significant. 

The former MP John Gummer, now Lord Deben, chairs the Committee on Climate Change, an independent group which advises the UK Government. Speaking at the School, he stressed the need for businesses and policy makers to adapt to the new economic landscape

He said: “Investors continue to deploy hundreds of billions of pounds into polluting and unsustainable sectors. In many cases these investments will not be worth what investors think.

“Climate change, scarcer resources and new disruptive technologies will reduce value and strand assets. If investors better understand the risks of investing in these assets they will be attracted to greener alternatives and see them as better business propositions and safer places for their funds.”

Professor Gordon Clark, director of the Smith School, said: “We are looking at how changes in regulation, pricing, technology, society and climate could be a risk to a range of polluting assets.. Our new programme is creating a critically important space for these issues to be understood and for appropriate responses to be developed.”


  1. Shell more likely to go for the stand alone option for Arrow project.But still whinging about green tape.

    SHELL Australia chairwoman Ann Pickard says Australia's green tape is becoming a disincentive to investment, with the process of having to clear the same hurdles up to three times adding to costs the oil major has said has slowed its progress here.

    But she says the Arrow LNG project it is studying in Queensland has a good chance of becoming a new stand-alone plant amid signs the nation's construction market is cooling.


    She cited the creation last year of the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority as an example.

    "I think NOPSEMA is doing very well, but on the other hand you also have the environmental ministry that wants to play in the same space..

    Ms Pickard said the green tape added to the costs that Shell chief executive Peter Voser said earlier this month was slowing the energy giant's Australian investments.


    However in Queensland.

    ...the Queensland government lifting the moratorium on some (not all) oil shale projects in the state, a moratorium imposed by the previous Labor administration in 2008 after protests about the environmental impacts of treating shale.

    New technology should eliminate most of the pollution problems (air and water) that led to the moratorium.


    The CSRIO.(a report from the very well named Dr. Mudd)

    CSIRO scientists have highlighted concerns that chemicals produced by hydraulic fracturing could be affecting ground and surface waters.

    In a review published in the national science agency’s online Environmental Chemistry journal, researchers say fracking may be unlocking pollutants currently trapped safely in the ground and mixing them with substances injected by mining operations.

    Review author and CSIRO chief research scientist Dr Graeme Batley says there is very little understanding of the chemical concentrations or what happens to them over time.

    “To date there have been relatively few publications in the open scientific literature dealing with the environmental impacts of coal seam gas production and especially of fracking...

    “Although the industry is adapting where possible to more benign fracking chemicals there is still a lack of information on exposure to natural and added chemicals, and their fate and ecotoxicity in both the discharged produced and flow-back waters.”

    Petrochemcials such as benzene, and naturally occurring metals and radioactive materials have been found in water produced as a result of fracking, according to the review.

    “Geogenic contaminants mobilised from the coal seams during fracking may add to the mixture of chemicals with the potential to affect both ground and surface water quality,” Dr Batley states...

    The practice is controversial and fracking for coal seam gas has been blamed for depleting and contaminating groundwater and causing methane to leak up through farmland in Queensland and the US.

    In WA, unconventional gas reserves consist mainly of shale and tight gas and are expected to secure the state’s energy needs as advances in engineering make the product more commercially viable.

    Across the state, 46 wells have undergone 780 fracture stimulations across the Perth, Carnarvon, Canning and Bonaparte basins, according to the Department of Mines and Petroleum.

    Monash University environmental engineer Dr Graham Mudd says more quantitative work needs to be done on the issue.

    “At the end of the day, we’ve had multi-billion dollar projects go through Queensland and we still can’t get an accurate description of what is in [discharged] water, how it varies, what are the concentrations, how much chemicals have been put in and what has been the impact so far from existing coal seam gas operations—this is all stuff that an environmental assessment process should have dealt with and it hasn’t, and it has failed,” Dr Mudd says.

  2. A story sure to give most rational folks the horrors.

    Abbott hopes to model his government on Barnett's

    Tony Abbott has addressed the WA Liberal Party's campaign rally, telling the crowd he hopes to model his government on Premier Colin Barnett's.

    Mr Abbott has attended the launch of the WA Liberal Party's re-election campaign in Perth ahead of the March 9 poll.

    The Opposition Leader says Mr Barnett's win at the last state election gave Liberals across the country hope.

    He says he has learned a lot from Mr Barnett, describing his government as a model he hopes to repeat in Canberra.

    Mr Abbott described Western Australia as the powerhouse of the nation and says every Australian owes a debt to the state.

    (Abbott also said he will model himself on Colon !)


    And with the airport in the middle of town what "we" need are the heaps more flights only a massive gas hub at JPP can deliver.
    Getting a cough already just thinking about it.

    The proposed James Price Point gas hub could be the catalyst for regular flights between Singapore and the Kimberley, says the boss of Broome airport.

    Work started this week on a multimillion-dollar refurbishment of the airport's departure lounges and there are plans to expand the passenger terminal, depending on international demand.

    Airport chief executive Nick Belyea said the proposal to expand the terminal for overseas passengers would depend on corporate traffic generated by the oil and gas industry associated with Browse Basin.

    "The development of Browse Basin in itself is unlikely to commercially support a Broome- Singapore service," he said.

    "However, the development of the James Price Point LNG plant could be the required catalyst to initiate and sustain an international service.

    "But let's not forget that, whilst the aircraft will have the much-needed corporate traffic, there is also expected to be seats available for tourism and for Broome and Kimberley passengers wanting a quicker route to Asia and Europe, rather than via Perth or Darwin."

    (yep,lets not forget that)


    More whinging from the multinational miners - they may have to "buy local".

    Labor jobs plan upsets miners

    ...Under one change, companies running projects worth $2 billion or more that apply for tariff concessions will have to employ what would be called an "Australian industry opportunity officer" to push for the company to buy local.

    Minerals Council of Australia chief executive Mitch Hooke said the proposal was uncalled for.

    "The proposal to embed public servants inside companies is both unnecessary, unwarranted and inefficient," he said.

    "Australian mining companies use more than 80 per cent local goods and services.

    "We are already buying Australian when it makes good business sense to do so."

    A spokeswoman for Industry Minister Greg Combet said the official would not be a public servant but an employee of the company.


    (Gillard)hoped it would mean big foreign companies investing in projects such as the oil and gas sector in WA would be required to employ a local to advocate on behalf of local businesses.


    Under other reforms announced, the Government will legislate to require the proponents of projects worth $500 million to produce a plan showing how they would support local industry to win work.

    More than $500 million will be spent in 10 "industry innovation precincts" around Australia that will bring the private sector together with experts from government agencies such as the CSIRO.

    Unions broadly welcomed the plans, saying they should help spread the wealth created by big resources projects under way in WA and Queensland.
    "It has long been a concern of the union movement that major resource and infrastructure projects do not even look at what they could source locally," ACTU secretary Dave Oliver said.

    (the greens fear all this will be to local jobs what the mrrt was to raising tax)