The purpose of this paper is to bust the gas industry’s myths about coal seam gas (CSG). The gas industry has been prolific in putting out exaggerated claims about CSG’s economic benefits while at the same time staying almost completely silent on the health and environmental risks. This paper will look at both the economic claims and the health and environmental risks and will show that, while the economic benefits are likely to be relatively small, a lot more work needs to be done to assess the health and environmental risks. There is little for Australia to gain by rushing into an expansion of CSG operations.
Please note this is a revised version of the original paper published on 18 March 2014 which incorrectly stated that a nurse in the United States died after treating a patient who had been splashed with fracking fluids. It is reported that the nurse suffered multiple organ failure but did not die. References have been updated to reflect this.