No Fracking Pipeline

ALEC is staunchly opposed to the proposed Jemena Northern Gas Pipeline (NGP) due to its enabling effects on the Northern Territory unconventional gas industry and impacts on climate change. 

1. No new fossil fuel projects or infrastructure 

  • Globally if we are to have a chance of combating climate change 80% of known fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground. This means no new fossil fuel projects or infrastructure, and abandoning some existing projects.
  • All around the world communities are mobilising against new fossil fuel projects and infrastructure including the Dakota Access Pipeline in America, the Canadian Tar Sands, Amu Power Coal Mine in Kenya and the Adani Carmichael Coal mine here in Australia. Communities are demanding action on climate change for a safe future.
  • Natural gas produces less carbon dioxide per unit energy than coal does, making it appear at first glance as a cleaner fuel. But natural gas is predominantly composed of methane, a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, and when leaks at drilling fields and pipelines are included it is considered as polluting as coal.

2. Don't Frack the NT

  • Territorians want fracking banned in the NT over concerns of groundwater contamination, industrialisation of the landscape and climate change. The NT Labor Government came to power promising a moratorium on fracking and another inquiry. While this is proceeding the gas industry continues to explore. 
  • 85% of the Northern Territory is under application for exploration for petroleum and gas.
  • NT Indigenous communities and pastoralists are under pressure to sign on to support gas exploration. Once the license is granted there is no opportunity to stop invasive gas fields from developing.
  • Despite assertions that the pipeline is being built to transport an over supply of conventional gas owned by Power Water Corporation to Incitec Pivot in Mount Isa, the stated justification for the Jemena pipeline is to "stimulate the development of the Northern Territory through increased gas exploration and production". This means unconventional gas fields and fracked gas. 
  • Traditional owners and pastoralists have not been told how the Northern Gas Pipeline could facilitate widespread fracking and industrialised gas fields across the NT. Many traditional owners and pastoralists are against fracking and support for the pipeline is not unanimous. 

3. Pipeline is a bad deal for the NT

  • The Northern Gas Pipeline has been described by industry commentators as the "whitest of white elephants". This is because it's being proposed in a time when global liquefied natural gas (LNG) markets are in a glut and the NT gas will be too expensive for the domestic market.
  • Despite the price of the excess gas being sold to Incitec Pivot (QLD) being protected by commercial in-confidence, commentators anticipate it is at a bargain basement price which undermines returns for the Territory.
  • The Northern Gas Pipeline will charge the highest tariffs in Australia for the transport of gas. Jemena is owned by the Chinese and Singaporean governments (via State Grid Corp of China (60%) and Singapore Power (40%) so the profits go overseas.
  • The pipeline will be built with a largely FIFO workforce with less than ten permanent jobs created.
  • The pipeline was a deal made under the previous Giles CLP Government who spent millions of tax-payer dollars promoting the shale gas industry. The Gunner Government would be better to refer this project to an Independent Commission Against Corruption Inquiry rather than allowing it to proceed.

4. Renewable Energy Future

  • Solar power has now become the cheapest form of new electricity generation and renewables are entering an era of undercutting the price of fossil fuel generated electricity.
  • Building fossil fuel infrastructure offsets investment in renewable energy. New fossil fuel infrastructure will become stranded assets in a world that is moving to renewable energy.
  • Governments must abandon polluting fossil fuel projects and transition to renewable energy immediately to meet climate change targets.
  • The NT Gunner Government has a 50% renewable energy target by 2030. This is going to require a rapid scaling of investment in infrastructure to support renewable energy generation, storage and distribution.

A Jemena response to the concerns raised by community members with regard to the Environmental Impact Statement is currently being considered by the NT Environmental Protection Authority, with a recommendation expected to be given to Minister for Primary Industry and Resources, Ken Vowles in the next few weeks. Minister Vowles can then approve the construction of the Northern Gas Pipeline.

ALEC urges all community members who have concerns over climate change and the threat of opening up the Territory to unconventional gas fields and fracking to take immediate action.

Call Minister Ken Vowles on 08 89365680, sign the petition on this page and email a letter personally to minister.vowles@nt.gov.au.

Please also call Chief Minister Micheal Gunner 08 89365500 and email chief.minister@nt.gov.au.

Links:

http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/life-after-oil/why-we-need-to-keep-80-percent-of-fossil-fuels-in-the-ground-20160215

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/sep/27/fracking-digging-drilling-paris-agreement-fossil-fuels

http://ieefa.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Pipe-Dream-A-Financial-Analysis-of-the-NEGI-MAY-2016.pdf

 http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/world-gas-market-faces-glut-says-iea

http://www.smh.com.au/business/energy/northern-territory-gas-pipeline-a-white-elephant-report-20160518-goya2b.html

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-15/world-energy-hits-a-turning-point-solar-that-s-cheaper-than-wind

http://www.michaelwest.com.au/as-power-bills-swell-so-do-the-fortunes-of-power-companies-and-billionaires/

Will you sign the petition?

80
1,000 signatures

Dear Minister Vowles,

More than 85% of the Northern Territory is currently covered by petroleum and gas exploration licences and applications. Community members have significant concerns on the practice of "fracking" and the impacts of the unconventional gas industry, and want to see the practice banned.

Whilst the proposed Northern Gas Pipeline is said to be built to transport an over supply of conventional gas owned by Power Water Corporation to Incitec Pivot in Mount Isa, the stated justification for the Jemena owned project is to "stimulate the development of the Northern Territory through increased gas exploration and production". This means unconventional gas fields and fracked gas. 

Globally if we are to have a chance of combating climate change 80% of known fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground. This means no new fossil fuel projects or infrastructure, like the Northern Gas Pipeline.

The pipeline is also a bad deal for the Territory made under the previous CLP government, with any profits going offshore.

We call on the Northern Territory Government to not approve the Northern Gas Pipeline, and immediately invest in the transition to a renewable energy future for the Territory.