States and Territories Could Foot the Emissions Bill for Beetaloo Basin


State and territory energy ministers meeting in Tasmania today may be asked to pay the cost of offsetting emissions from proposed fracking operations in the Northern Territory’s Beetaloo Basin.

This proposal comes as the Federal Government looks for ways to fulfil a commitment made during the Safeguard Mechanism negotiations to fully offset all emissions from Beetaloo gas development. The expected domestic emissions from fracking the Beetaloo Basin have been estimated at up to 117 million tonnes of Co2-e annually.

“Energy ministers should understand that this proposal would benefit fracking companies in the NT at the expense of households and businesses in their states, said Mark Ogge, Principal Adviser at The Australia Institute.

“If the Victorian and NSW energy ministers agree to help offset emissions from NT gas development, their constituents will be filling the pockets of fracking companies in order to solve a political problem for the Northern Territory and Federal Governments.

“Facilitating Beetaloo fracking has nothing to do with Australian energy security. The fact that the proponents are talking up big, new export terminals shows that this gas is for export.

“Even if Beetaloo gas could be provided to the east coast, it would simply allow lower-cost gas from the Cooper Basin to be exported, resulting in higher prices for households and manufacturers.

“Governments need to stop falling for the gas industry’s lie that more fracking will reduce prices in the domestic market.

“It’s a zero sum game. More gas into the domestic market from the NT just means more gas from other states can be exported.

“State governments are working hard to meet their own climate targets. Their constituents expect them to speed up the transition to clean energy, not to facilitate the expansion of fossil fuels.”