September 2020

Now we’re cooking (ourselves) with gas

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

by Ebony Bennett[Originally Published in The Canberra Times, 19 September 2020] Gas didn’t even make AEMO’s top five list of potential sources of dispatchable power – but the Coalition is looking to divert taxpayer funds earmarked for clean energy into LNG projects. Picture: Shutterstock  Just months after Australia endured its worst climate-fuelled bushfire season on

Words Before Waste: South Australians Call for More Consultation on Federal Radioactive Waste Plan

New research shows that, while South Australians are divided on the issue of a nuclear waste dump, a clear majority believe more consultation should be undertaken before any final decision is made regarding a proposed disposal and storage facility near Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula. The Australia Institute recently surveyed 510 South Australians about the

Weapons of gas destruction: lifting the lid on emissions from gas

If fully unleashed, Australia’s gas resources could be responsible for up to three times the annual carbon emissions of the entire world. A landmark new Australia Institute Climate & Energy Program report, Weapons of gas destruction, commissioned by the Australian Conservation Foundation, is the first time the entirety of Australia’s gas project pipeline and resources

Phasing out gas would benefit Australian manufacturers and households

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published by the Guardian Australia, 03 September 2020] Rather than drill new fracking wells into prime farmland, the quickest, cleanest and most economically efficient way to boost the supply of gas in Australia is to stop wasting it. According to the Australian Industry (AI) Group’s budget submission, “Ramping up support for manufacturers to

August 2020

Australia is about to get ripped off by the gas industry, and it’s not the first time

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

by Ebony Bennett[Originally published by the Canberra Times, 22 August 2020] The same geniuses who hiked up domestic gas prices, raked in the profits and left Australia with bupkis to show for it are trying to convince us (once again) that Australia has a gas supply shortage requiring huge taxpayer subsidies. So, let me explain

Key ‘independent’ data in last-minute Narrabri gas modelling provided by Santos itself

Economic modelling suggesting Santos’ Narrabri Gas Project would reduce gas prices is based on cost estimates from Santos itself, not independent analysis from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) as claimed by Santos. If the independent production cost estimates commissioned and published by AEMO in February this year are used, rather than the figure supplied

Tasmanians still missing out on revenue from fish farms

Results from Norway’s latest salmon auction again highlights the low price Tasmania is putting on its assets.   This week, in Norway, a total of 30 Norwegian salmon farming companies purchased additional salmon licenses worth NOK 5.9 billion or AUD $921.2 million. The Norwegian Ministry of Trade Industries and Fishing stated that it had now sold

Backfire part 2: why a “gas fired recovery” would increase emissions and energy costs and squander Australia’s COVID-19 recovery spending

featuring Ebony Bennett and Rod Campbell

In this second of our two-part episode on gas, we explore the flaws in the cost benefit analysis of the Santos’ Narrabri gas project in NSW and why it doesn’t stack up economically, environmentally or to create jobs, with Rod Campbell, research director at the Australia Institute.www.tai.org.auHost: Ebony Bennett, deputy director of the Australia Institute

Unredacted Documents Prove Commonwealth Paid Too Much for ‘Watergate’

The Australia Institute and consultancy firm, Slattery & Johnson, have released research today based on newly unredacted valuation documents about the $80 million ‘Watergate’ scandal. The documents, provided to independent Senator Rex Patrick last week after a two-year battle, contain the commercial valuation commissioned by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) for negotiations

Backfire part 1: why a “gas fired recovery” would increase emissions and energy costs and squander Australia’s COVID-19 recovery spending

featuring Ebony Bennett and Mark Ogge

In this first of a two-part episode on gas, we explore why subsidising the gas industry is a poor option for economic recovery and explore the issues related to Santos’ Narrabri gas project in NSW with Mark Ogge, Principal Advisor at the Australia Institute.www.tai.org.auHost: Ebony Bennett, deputy director of the Australia Institute // @ebony_bennettGuests:Mark Ogge

Narrabri CSG assessment riddled with errors

New analysis by the Australia Institute shows that the NSW Department of Planning, Industry, and Environment’s (DPIE) assessment of the Narrabri Gas Project, downplays environmental impacts and overstates economic benefits of gas development to the region, relying on modelling commissioned by the proponent of the project while ignoring research and experience from previously failed coal

July 2020

Auditor General’s ‘Watergate’ Report Shows Need for Royal Commission

An Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) report on the Murray Darling Basin has found “information relating to value for money…was limited” for water purchases worth $190 million. The ANAO found that the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment (DAWE): Did not consistently apply approved policy, planning and guidance to the assessment of all limited tender

“CSIRO” report misleads on fracking risks

A study purported to be from the CSIRO that showed that fracking was “safe for the environment” was actually overseen by the gas industry, and was based on just six of Queensland’s 19,000 coal seam gas wells, according to new analysis by The Australia Institute. The report was published by the Gas Industry Social and

Fracking can’t fire up NT manufacturing

Research published today by The Australia Institute highlights that employment in gas-related manufacturing declined while gas in the Northern Territory was very cheap. Fracked gas will be far more expensive, making petrochemical manufacturing in the Territory unviable without massive taxpayer subsidy. Key findings: The NT Government’s Power and Water Corporation had large surpluses of gas

June 2020

Getting Off Coal: Orderly, Early Transition to Minimise Impact for Australian Economy

New research from The Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy program has shown that an orderly approach to phasing-out thermal coal would shield Australian workers, communities and the economy from the negative consequences of an unmanaged transition. The study, written by John Quiggin, Professor of Economics at The University of Queensland, found that a managed transition

May 2020

Frackers are slackers: $94 million in subsidies to onshore gas in the Territory

Research published today (Tuesday May 12) by The Australia Institute highlights the extent of taxpayer assistance to the onshore oil and gas industry in the Northern Territory.  NT Government budget papers reveal that over the last decade $94 million in subsidies and assistance measures have benefited the industry.  Key findings: The NT Fracking Inquiry recommended

April 2020

March 2020

Highly Misleading Jobs and Emissions Claims Used to Justify Victorian Onshore Gas

As the Victorian Government announces it will allow over 100 gas wells on some of Victoria’s prime farmland, Australia Institute analysis of the Government’s own Victorian Gas Project Progress report finds the decision is based on misleading claims that exaggerate benefits, understate costs and ignore alternatives. The Government’s Victorian Gas Project Progress report reveals only

Statement on NSW Scope 3 Emissions Bill Inquiry Report

The NSW Upper House Planning and Environment Committee has recommended rejection of a NSW Government bill on coal mines and their downstream, or ‘scope 3’ greenhouse emissions. The Committee’s report finds that “considering downstream greenhouse gas emissions supports international agreements aimed at reducing emissions and combating climate change”, including the Paris Agreement ratified by Australia

February 2020

Putting the ‘net’ into net zero targets: it’s time to start doing things that work. Now

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published on Guadian Australia, 19 Feb 2020] After a summer of catastrophic bushfires, the most brutal evidence of the impacts of climate change, the Government has managed to move the debate towards the ‘pros and cons’ of setting a long-term net zero emissions target for 2050. Well played, Scott Morrison. While #Scottyfrommarketing

Up ‘effluent creek’: Basin Plan projects to damage sensitive waterways

Some of the Murray Darling Basin’s best managed waterways would be damaged by water infrastructure projects that benefit major corporate irrigators, according to a new report by water consultants Slattery & Johnson and think tank The Australia Institute. The Yanco Creek System, which links the Murrumbidgee and the Murray rivers, is declared a “jewel” of

Bushfire Response: International Experts Open Letter Call for Native Logging Ban

An open letter signed by Australian and international forestry and climate experts, published by the Australia Institute today, has called for the immediate nationwide cessation of all native forest logging in response to the climate, fire, drought and biodiversity loss crises currently facing Australia. The letter, signed by scientists from countries including Australia, USA, Canada, New

Equinor Out – Time to Give Great Australian Bight World Heritage Protection

The Australia Institute has welcomed reports that Norwegian oil giant Equinor is withdrawing from its plans to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight and has said that the Federal and South Australian governments should now move towards permanent protection and World Heritage listing for the Bight. Australia Institute research has previously shown that

Until we stop approving gas and coal projects, there’s no transition taking place

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

by Ebony Bennett[Originally published in The Canberra Times, 08 February 2020]There’s a hole where Australia’s climate and energy policy should be and the Morrison Government just keeps digging. The cheapest, cleanest solutions are right in front of its nose and yet it keeps subsidising the problem. In the face of a climate-fuelled bushfire crisis the

Scott Morrison talks big about pressure on gas prices but says nothing about flooding markets with coal

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published on Guardian Australia, 05 February 2020] If you think the quality of debate about climate change and bushfires is bad, allow me to give you a glimpse into the debate over the link between the supply and demand of fossil fuels and their price. Spoiler alert – according to the Morrison

NSW Coal More Polluting than Total UK Emissions, Should be Considered by Planners

New research from The Australia Institute shows that the New South Wales Government’s attempts to force planners to ignore the carbon emissions of the state’s coal exports contradicts NSW climate policy, the Paris Agreement, corporate expectations and economic opportunities for growth. Key findings NSW coal emissions are bigger than direct emissions from France and the

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