A group of activists, academics and former politicians campaigning against new onshore gas developments in Western Australia are ignoring the facts about natural gas and the industry, according to Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) Director External Relations Matthew Doman.
Activists led by the Australia Institute have called on the WA government to implement a permanent ban on hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, in a letter signed by scientists and former politicians.
However, Mr Doman said in a blog post that the letter was a “waste of energy”.
“In WA, gas is used to generate about 50 per cent of the state’s electricity. Demand for gas is continuing to grow,” he said.
“Developing local gas supplies underpins thousands of jobs across the manufacturing and resources sectors.
“Traditional owners and communities across regional WA support local gas projects. Again, all facts ignored by the Australia Institute.”
In the Australia Institute letter, Institute for Financial and Energy Analysis Analyst Bruce Robertson said hydraulic fracturing operations “would not only be disastrous for the world’s climate, but drive up Western Australia’s domestic gas prices to above global parity prices, exactly as it has done on in the eastern states”.
But Mr Doman said natural gas helping to lower emissions and the government had done its due diligence regarding hydraulic fracturing.
“Every analysis by credible experts shows that natural gas is essential to delivering reliable, cleaner energy over the next 20 years,” he said.
“The Australia Institute hardly bothered to recycle their usual, misleading claims about hydraulic fracturing.
“After 13 public inquiries which have found that, properly regulated, hydraulic fracturing is a safe process, it is becoming more and more difficult to make these claims.”
A fourteenth inquiry into the practice is currently being evaluated.