assessing the assessors … frakking revisited

The West Australian EPA has decided not to assess Buru Energy’s frakking proposal in the Canning Basin, to the astonishment of Wilderness Australia. There is so much mis-information around on frakking, so here is their publicity blurb, followed at the bottom by links to the science:

Did you hear – the EPA has chosen not to assess Buru Energy’s plans to carry-out 34 fracks this dry season in the Kimberley’s Canning Basin?

The Canning Basin in the Kimberley contains a huge unconventional gas reserve of around 270 trillion cubic feet, which dwarfs the Browse Basin reserves offshore. Fracking is a highly risky activity that involves pumping a mixture of chemicals, water and sand underground at extremely high pressure in order to fractures underground rocks and release trapped gas. Several companies have stakes in a joint venture looking at developing the Canning Basin region. However, Buru Energy is the main player.

See an ABC Kimberley map (right) of the locations marked in red on the right, “Yulleroo”, “Valhalla” and “Asgard” for fracking plans, not being assessed by the EPA – it’s over to us now to appeal that decision.

Key concerns of Buru’s planned fracking program include;
1. Shale gas extraction has the potential for serious environmental impacts, which is demonstrated by science from around the world
2. Buru’s proposal documentation does not adequately address environmental risks
3. The State’s current industry regulatory framework is insufficient to manage environmental risks
4. There is a pressing need for bioregional cumulative assessments to be completed for the proposed unconventional gas developments in the Kimberley
5. It is inappropriate for the proposed works to be approved to proceed while a parliamentary inquiry into unconventional gas is being undertaken
6. There is a high level of community concern which must be addressed
7. The time allowed for public comment on this matter is insufficient

Check out Buru’s fracking proposal here, and the EPA’s response for not assessing the proposal here.

The Good News

A community forum was held on ABC Kimberley earlier this week, which showed that there are inconsistencies with what Buru claims are non-toxic chemicals, compared with what other companies and countries have concluded should be banned or are listed as ‘toxic to aquatic organisms’. Buru’s chief scientist also compared fracking chemicals to a cabbage. Listen in here for the full version of the ABC Kimberley forum.

If you missed it late December, the WA water corporation called for a ban on fracking in areas where it affects drinking water sources, saying contamination risks from the chemicals used are unacceptable.

Also, In response to community concerns, the WA Legislative Council is holding an inquiry into the Implications for WA of fracking (hydraulic fracturing for unconventional gas). They are holding several public hearings in Perth and possibly Broome starting February 7th.

 

What can you do?

Appeal the EPA’s decision – for just $10 – bargin!

Until Monday, January 28th, you have the right to appeal the decision made by the EPA not to assess fracking at Yulleroo, Valhalla and Asgard. The last two sites are ironically have been named after Norse mythology meaning ‘hall of the chosen dead’ and ‘a world ruled by gods’. Read here about the reasons why the EPA chose not to assess the plan. For the James Price Point campaign around 250 appeals were submitted, this is a great chance to have your voice heard on this issue. Here’s how:

1. Get informed – gather the information from this email and linking documents for valid reasons why the EPA should assess Buru’s fracking proposal.
2. Email your signed appeal to: admin@appealsconvenor.wa.gov.au, addressed to the Minister for the Environment.
3. Call the appeal convenor to pay $10 appeal fee for the Environmental Impact Assessment of Buru’s fracking program in the Kimberley – (08) 6467 5190.

Join Frack Free Kimberley and The Wilderness Society for regular facebook for updates!

Thanks for your support on this important issue,

Jenita Enevoldsen and The Wilderness Society team.

I have posted several times on the science of frakking, so you can make your own mind up. Note, none of their wells are anywhere near close enough to any Kimberley town drinking supplies, but may be near Indigenous Communities.

Read here: Frakking debate…

frakking bonanza …

frakking … the last word

frakking the CSIRO …

Frakking…or not

occupational hazard in remote desert country. Buru Energy campsite team

occupational hazard in remote desert country. Buru Energy campsite team

The remains of Buru Energy campsite burnt out by wildfire

The remains of Buru Energy campsite burnt out by wildfire

The hazards of exploration in the Kimberley include wildfires, droughts, floods, cyclones, sandstorms, environmentalists and extreme heat. Buru Energy suffers from all of them …

Update: Just so long as the environmentalists don’t confuse gas frakking with oil wells: Photo shopped

Chris Hope has an article about shale gas in The Conversation today, and regular readers will not be surprised to read that he concludes that any progress in this direction should be accompanied by a carbon tax.

I was going to shrug my shoulders and move on to something else, when I noticed one of the pictures the editors had chosen to accompany the piece:

That, I said to myself, is not a shale gas field. All those wells so close together suggests it long predates the horizontal drilling that has been such an important part of the shale revolution. A bit of googling took me to the Flickr page of the photographer, Amy Youngs, which revealed that she had originally captioned the photo as being of a shale field. To her credit, she had changed it when she received this comment:

This is NOT a picture of hydraulic fracturing. This is an old school oil field with vertically drilled wells, spaced so production can be maximized out of a tight formation. The wells may or may not have been fractured over their lives to stimulate production. If these had been modern fractured wells, the ones everyone is so up in arms about, draw a line from any one of those pads in any direction for a couple of miles out and count the wells that lay on that line or within a quarter mile either side of it. That’s how many wells a single, modern, horizontally drilled and hydraulically fractured well can replace.

Ms Youngs had helpfully given the Google Maps reference for the field, which shows that it is just to the east of the small town of Groesbeck Texas. This suggests that it is the Mexia-Groesbeck oilfield, which dates back to the 1920s. You can take a closer look on Google Streetview.

Update 2, SOURCE: Tolerant Liberals Cancel Screening of Pro-Fracking Film at Festival in Minnesota

The tolerant, open-minded environmentalists of the Left have struck again. This time, the pro-fracking film FrackNation by Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer has been yanked from the Minnesota Frozen River Film Festival.

FrackNation had already been accepted by festival organizers for a screening on Sunday but over the weekend it was announced the screening had been cancelled. The cancellation of the screening is a first for the festival, which has been around for nine years.

“The film festival organizers seem to hate alternative points of view, they seem to want to quash diversity. They seem to be scared of the truth,” McAleer said in a statement. “Basically the Frozen River Film Festival organizers have given in to bullying and taken the easy way out and censored a film that might offend environmental elites who think they know best. These people are cultural censors and don’t want the truth about fracking to be shown to audiences.”

SOURCE

About Tom Harley

Amateur ecologist and horticulturalist and CEO of Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Inc. (Tom Harley) Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Incorporated Kimberley Environmental Horticulture (KEH) is a small group of committed individuals who promote the use of indigenous plants for the landscaping of parks and gardens. Rehabilitation of Kimberley coast, bushland and pastoral regions are also high on our agenda. This includes planting seedlings, weed control, damage from erosion or any other environmental matter that comes to our attention. We come from all walks of life, from Professionals and Trades oriented occupations, Pensioners and Students, Public Servants and the Unemployed. We have a community plant nursery where we trial many old and new species, with a view to incorporating these into our landscaping trials. Our labour force are mainly volunteers, but with considerable help from the 'work for the dole' program, Indigenous Community Development Employment Program (CDEP) groups and the Ministry of Justice, with their community work orders; in this way we manage to train many people in the horticultural skills needed for indigenous plant growing. We constantly undertake field trips that cover seed and plant collection in the Kimberley. Networking around the Kimberley region and the east Pilbara is a necessary part of promoting our activities. We consult on a range of Environmental and Landscaping matters that deal with our region. Our activities involve improving Broome's residential streetscapes by including 'waterwise' priciples in planting out nature strips. Sustainable environmental horticulture is practised by members of our group. We use existing vegetation as the backbone of any plantings, using these species to advantage when planning to develop tree forms or orchards. The Broome region is sensitive to development. Subsequently many weed species have become dominant in and around developed areas. The use and movement of heavy machinery is the biggest single cause of environmental degradation. We dont live in a 'Tropical Paradise' but on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert. The plants that survive best here, grow in well-drained pindan sand, and are found from the Dampier Peninsular southward to where average rainfall is below 600mm. When we use rainforest species, detail is important when planting, water catchment, sunlight and understorey species are all considered. The use of recycled 'grey' water is an advantage here as well as treated waste-water, although many local species do not fare well with nutrients from this source. We use waterwise planting methods which include harvesting asmuch rainwater as possible, with swales designed to hold up to 200 litres, to help recharge the local groundwater aquifer. There has been a serious decline in this aquifer over the last few years. With the fast expansion of the Broome peninsular, more and more land is being covered by concrete, iron and bitumen so that much less water is available to replenish the aquifer, allowing the salt content to become significantly higher. The small Broome Peninsular is on the south-western corner of the Dampier Peninsular (bound by Broome, Derby and Cape Leveque at the northern tip). Compaction by vehicles also inhibits water retention due to the content of our local pindan sand, hard as concrete in the dry, going to soft and sloppy mud after rain. None of us are botanists, inevitably we have got some names wrong, names changed, or have not gone to sub-species level. If you note a photo or description may be wrong, please e-mail to kimenvhort@yahoo.com.au
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3 Responses to assessing the assessors … frakking revisited

  1. Pingback: students meet the frakkers … parents blow fuse | pindanpost

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