Radio National: Coal Seam Gas Report 'Suppressed'  

Posted by Big Gav in

RAdio National has a segment featuring Matthew Wright of Beyond Zero Emissions, who is accusing Worley Parsons of suppressing a report into greenhouse emissions from coal seam gas - Radio National: Coal Seam Gas Report 'Suppressed'.

Fran Kelly- It’s been hailed as the low carbon fuel to help us transition to a clean energy future, but in recent months, some have started to question the climate credentials of the so called ‘unconventional gas’; coal seam gas and shale gas.

Greens leader, Bob Brown says ‘the jury is out’ on whether gas will actually deliver greenhouse gas emission savings.

So back in June, a renewable energy think tank called Beyond Zero Emissions, tried to get to the bottom of the matter, commissioning a report designed to compare whole of life cycle emissions from coal seam gas and shale gas, with other energy sources - resources including shale, coal, and renewables.

Now Beyond Zero Emissions claims that consultants Worley Parsons are refusing to hand over that report, as our environment editor Gregg Borschmann reports, Worley Parsons rejects that claim.

Gregg Borschmann- In the Australian policy response to climate change, it’s hard to overestimate the importance of gas. Gas is going to helpcut Australia’s greenhouse emissions.

Martin Ferguson- This is a major long-term benefit to Australia. Gas is clean energy, it is about the transition to a lower emissions economy.

Gregg Borschmann - That was Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson speaking on Breakfast two weeks ago. But as the new coal seam gas industry booms, and shale gas looms, what if these unconventional sources of gas, turn out to be little better then digging up and burning coal.

Matthew Wright- The upper management or the board has actually stopped us from receiving the report and we believe that’s on the basis that the report has some pretty explosive detail.

Gregg Borschmann - That was Matthew Wright, Executive Director of the climate research and advocacy group Beyond Zero Emissions. The report he’s talking about was commissioned in June this year. It was contracted to be a major new report on the climate credentials of both conventional gas and unconventional sources like coal seam and shale gas.

These were to be compared with other forms of energy, from coal to renewables. And most significantly it was to carry the brand of Worley Parsons, one of the world’s biggest engineering companies consulting to the resources sector. Curiously, earlier this year, Worley Parsons had completed a similar report for APPEA, The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association. So why two reports?

Matthew Wright again:

Matthew Wright- The first one was basically being misrepresented, so we went to Worley and said ‘(you’ll) will you be able to do the same sort of thing for us’, and we even increased the scope beyond that to capture a whole lot of other emissions and other displacement scenarios that APPEA has obviously, deliberately, left out of their scope.

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