Tag Archives: csg

Barnaby To Fight Miners

11 Sep

From the Australian:

 Billionaire Gina Rinehart turned up at Barnaby Joyce's post-election party in Tamworth. Picture: Peter Lorimer Source: The Australian

Billionaire Gina Rinehart turned up at Barnaby Joyce’s post-election party in Tamworth. Picture: Peter Lorimer Source: The Australian

OUTSPOKEN Nationals frontbencher Barnaby Joyce has vowed to protect prime farm land from mining and coal-seam gas, and ensure that an inland railway line connecting Brisbane and Melbourne is built by 2026.

Mr Joyce said he would maintain his steadfast support for protecting prime farmland from mining and CSG, despite having a close friendship with influential mining magnates. Billionaire Gina Rinehart attended Mr Joyce’s election night party. He said prime farmland and aquifers should be “off limits” to mining and CSG, while “people’s quiet enjoyment of houses should be protected”.

In the battle between good agricultural land and mining, farmland should “win every time”. He said he had been “more vociferous than others” in parliament about these issues, and he pledged to remain so in government.

Mr Joyce supported the need for effective and transparent regulation and monitoring of the resources sector.

In regard to CSG production, he said farmers should earn a percentage of the value of production of gas on their land.

Barnaby And Windsor Clash In Corridor

16 May

Go the biff!

From The Land (h/t Michael Anderson @irontracktor):

2022353

TENSIONS between Independent MP Tony Windsor and Queensland Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce flared up in a robust exchange in the parliamentary press gallery in Canberra on Wednesday.

As politicians walked the press gallery discussing the previous night’s budget, Mr Windsor and Senator Joyce unexpectedly crossed paths, sparking a brief but fiery exchange.

Senator Joyce had earlier used parliamentary privilege to try and link the $4.625 million sale of Mr Windsor’s family farming property to Werris Creek Coal, a subsidiary of Whitehaven Coal, and corruption allegations against former NSW Labor Resources Minister Ian Macdonald.

Relations between the pair are already strained with Senator Joyce challenging for Mr Windsor’s New England seat at the upcoming federal election, in a bid to enter the Lower House.

Senator Joyce said he was “accosted” by an angry Mr Windsor who told him to “say it outside”.

Mr Windsor was referring to the comments Senator Joyce made in a three-minute speech in Senate debate on Tuesday on Mr Windsor’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (EPBCA) Bill, which is linked to water protection measures for coal and coal seam gas (CSG) mining projects.

Senator Joyce said the Bill – which has already passed the Lower House – would be supported by the Coalition and Mr Windsor was one of its “grand architects”.

“Minister Macdonald was the minister in NSW when Mr Windsor sold his place for a very good price; for a very good price,” Senator Joyce said in the Senate debate.

Mr Macdonald is currently the subject of a high profile corruption investigation in NSW over allegedly corrupt mining deals.

“But it is a question we rightly want to ask: how do you manage to sell your place for such a good price?

“How do you manage to get three times what it is worth?

“I do not know. Do you know? How do you? It is such a great trick.”

Speaking to Fairfax Agricultural Media, Senator Joyce said his political foe was “highly sensitive about the sale of his land to a coal mining company which he made an extremely good price for, a bit less than $5000 an acre”.

“He’s so sensitive about it that he wants to accost me as I walk through the corridors of parliament house and he did it in front of people,” he said.

“Everyone can attest to it, I walked past Mr Windsor and in an agitated state, he asked if I would take something outside.

“At the start I thought he wanted to fight me, which I thought was a bit beyond his age.

“I think it’s fair enough Mr Windsor answers questions about this… it seems peculiar… he’s terribly sensitive about it.”

Read more here.

Barnaby: Greens All About Politics On CSG

16 Mar

Media release – Senator Barnaby Joyce, 15 March 2012:

Greens party CSG inquiry about politics not action

The Greens party’s attempt to instigate another inquiry into coal seam gas is politically motivated and counterproductive. Another inquiry will simply delay the changes that are needed to deliver better outcomes for the environment and for landholders.

The Nationals were responsible for the instigation of the Senate inquiry into coal seam gas which reported in November last year. That report made comprehensive recommendations on establishing a national regulatory framework including cumulative and regional modelling, the regulation of chemicals, water licences, trust funds for make good expenses, prime agricultural land and access arrangements.

The Nationals also called for at least 1 per cent of the gross revenue from coal seam gas go towards providing a return to landowners.

The government has not responded to that inquiry. At this point in time having a further inquiry, to look into what has already been covered, is not of any assistance.

The inquiry seems to be more of a political advertising campaign for the Greens party than a genuine attempt to be part of the resolution.

The Nationals have been very clear about what needs to be resolved. Prime agricultural land must be protected, aquifers cannot be destroyed, the quiet enjoyment of residential areas must be respected and a fair return must go back to the landholders on whose land the drilling takes place.

What will a further inquiry achieve beyond delaying action on these issues? In essence, it would dilute the potency of the recommendations made last year because clearly the Greens party does not think that this inquiry was good enough and we need another one.

The Nationals don’t resile from future inquiries if they are needed but the Greens seem to want another one just because they were not responsible for the first Senate inquiry into this issue.

Barnaby Calls For CSG Moratorium On Prime Ag Land

12 Mar

Take note, Green-inclined voters.

Barnaby is right.

Barnaby: People Want A Positive Future

8 Mar

Senator Joyce writes for the Canberra Times (my emphasis added):

One of the useful parts of the obligatory election trudge around the countryside is that meetings, functions and party events become a great barometer of what is worrying people.

Don’t go on the road if you are looking for self-affirmation; voters do not turn up to tell you what they like about government and politicians.

If a summary was given of what is making people talk at the mandatory Q and A session at the local hall/bowling club/RSL you would not be surprised that it is a thousand miles from what seems to be the concern on the ABC’s Q&A. There are four issues that are becoming constants: excessive market power in our retail industry; foreign ownership of strategic Australian assets; the carbon tax; and coal seam gas.

The businesses that go to functions ask, when will anyone seriously deal with excessive market concentration and the resultant exploitation of smaller market players? This was once seen disparagingly as a ”poor bugger farmer” issue by the more enlightened in the corridors of Canberra. Now senior corporates are also starting to ask the same question. The chief executive of Coca-Cola Amatil, Terry Davis, has highlighted his difficulty in finding a margin for Coca-Cola on a shelf controlled by two very dominant retailers and a second-tier wholesaler.

Foreign ownership of key agricultural assets and our ever increasing reliance on foreign borrowings by our government is a two-for-one package. People do not believe that Swan has the debt under control, and he hasn’t, he has borrowed an extra $11 billion over the past four weeks.

They believe that there is a naivety pervading the carte blanche approach to any investment to any area for any reason. They ask when does the government ever say no and the answer is that our Foreign Investment Review Board is like the Venus de Milo acting as wicket keeper for Australia: looks good but stops nothing.

People are surprised to learn that if a foreigner wants to buy any residential land then approval must be sought. However, you can buy any farm in the country without seeking approval if it is worth less than $244 million. There is probably only one farm in Australia over that threshold.

People have a pathological dislike of a policy called a carbon tax. Sections of the left hate it because it is seen as a mechanism to create commissions for major sections of the banking sector. The right hates it because it is a totem for the fallacy that government is better at spending money than you are and has wiser and more noble motives than you have. Everybody in between hates it because it is just so patently absurd. Government policies that make people poorer don’t cool the planet, they just make people very angry.

Rather than help the proponents of the global warming debate the carbon tax has been completely counter-productive for them. The reality is that there is now a strong majority who have a strong scepticism of the global warming narrative and a large number who just don’t believe at all. Many of those who do believe in it, don’t want to pay for it.

Finally, and it is the issue du jour: coal seam gas. This issue is politically remarkable as it has linked the far left and the far right. It is the powerless landholder against the miner and the expectation that the government should act for the powerless. It is the usurping of an individual’s property right, the under pinner of an individual’s security, the seedbed of the individual’s liberty. It is the green issue that links to the shopping trolley.

Unfortunately for the government, it is in so much debt that its political future, based on the delivery of services, cannot be met without the income stream from the royalties and the tax.

What then really angers people is that the topics they see discussed on their TVs, and from their government, do not match these concerns.

People want a more positive future where government talks about the delivery of substantial new infrastructure and a vision of a new horizon of economic opportunity in the north and other undeveloped parts of our nation.

Instead we have a Labor government obsessed with its own machinations and a Treasurer who seems to think his main job is to pick fights with Andrew Forrest, Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer.

Damn!

He sure has his finger on the pulse.

Imagine such a man leading the nation.

The words of the great Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu spring readily to this blogger’s mind in picturing such a future:

“To lead the people, walk behind them.”

“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.”

US Government Confirms Link Between Earthquakes And Hydraulic Fracturing

13 Nov

From what your humble blogger has read, it appears that Barnaby Joyce is one of the few politicians in the country to adopt a commonsense position on the increasingly heated Coal Seam Gas debate.

Unlike others who have sought political advantage by jumping boots and all into one or the other of the opposing camps, Senator Joyce has instead, typically, taken the pragmatic view.

That we need to be cautious, and more thoroughly investigate the science, before taking any unnecessary risks with the environment and in particular, with our vital “food bowls” (ie, alleged threats to aquifers, prime agricultural land).

Now this from Oilprice.com:

On 5 November an earthquake measuring 5.6 rattled Oklahoma and was felt as far away as Illinois.

Until two years ago Oklahoma typically had about 50 earthquakes a year, but in 2010, 1,047 quakes shook the state.

Why?

In Lincoln County, where most of this past weekend’s seismic incidents were centered, there are 181 injection wells, according to Matt Skinner, an official from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, the agency which oversees oil and gas production in the state.

Cause and effect?

The practice of injecting water into deep rock formations causes earthquakes, both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Geological Survey have concluded.

The U.S. natural gas industry pumps a mixture of water and assorted chemicals deep underground to shatter sediment layers containing natural gas, a process called hydraulic fracturing, known more informally as “fracking.” While environmental groups have primarily focused on fracking’s capacity to pollute underground water, a more ominous byproduct emerges from U.S. government studies – that forcing fluids under high pressure deep underground produces increased regional seismic activity.

As the U.S. natural gas industry mounts an unprecedented and expensive advertising campaign to convince the public that such practices are environmentally benign, U.S. government agencies have determined otherwise.

According to the U.S. Army’s Rocky Mountain Arsenal website, the RMA drilled a deep well for disposing of the site’s liquid waste after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency “concluded that this procedure is effective and protective of the environment.” According to the RMA, “The Rocky Mountain Arsenal deep injection well was constructed in 1961, and was drilled to a depth of 12,045 feet” and 165 million gallons of Basin F liquid waste, consisting of “very salty water that includes some metals, chlorides, wastewater and toxic organics” was injected into the well during 1962-1966.

Why was the process halted? “The Army discontinued use of the well in February 1966 because of the possibility that the fluid injection was “triggering earthquakes in the area,” according to the RMA. In 1990, the “Earthquake Hazard Associated with Deep Well Injection–A Report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency” study of RMA events by Craig Nicholson, and R.I. Wesson stated simply, “Injection had been discontinued at the site in the previous year once the link between the fluid injection and the earlier series of earthquakes was established.”

Twenty-five years later, “possibility” and ‘established” changed in the Environmental Protection Agency’s July 2001 87 page study, “Technical Program Overview: Underground Injection Control Regulations EPA 816-r-02-025,” which reported, “In 1967, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) determined that a deep, hazardous waste disposal well at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal was causing significant seismic events in the vicinity of Denver, Colorado.”

There is a significant divergence between “possibility,” “established” and “was causing,” and the most recent report was a decade ago. Much hydraulic fracturing to liberate shale oil gas in the Marcellus shale has occurred since.

According to the USGS website, under the undated heading, “Can we cause earthquakes? Is there any way to prevent earthquakes?” the agency notes, “Earthquakes induced by human activity have been documented in a few locations in the United States, Japan, and Canada.

The cause was injection of fluids into deep wells for waste disposal and secondary recovery of oil, and the use of reservoirs for water supplies. Most of these earthquakes were minor. The largest and most widely known resulted from fluid injection at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal near Denver, Colorado. In 1967, an earthquake of magnitude 5.5 followed a series of smaller earthquakes. Injection had been discontinued at the site in the previous year once the link between the fluid injection and the earlier series of earthquakes was established.”

Note the phrase, “Once the link between the fluid injection and the earlier series of earthquakes was established.”

So both the U.S Army and the U.S. Geological Survey over fifty years of research confirm on a federal level that that “fluid injection” introduces subterranean instability and is a contributory factor in inducing increased seismic activity.” How about “causing significant seismic events?”

Fast forward to the present.

Overseas, last month Britain’s Cuadrilla Resources announced that it has discovered huge underground deposits of natural gas in Lancashire, up to 200 trillion cubic feet of gas in all.

On 2 November a report commissioned by Cuadrilla Resources acknowledged that hydraulic fracturing was responsible for two tremors which hit Lancashire and possibly as many as fifty separate earth tremors overall. The British Geological Survey also linked smaller quakes in the Blackpool area to fracking. BGS Dr. Brian Baptie said, “It seems quite likely that they are related,” noting, “We had a couple of instruments close to the site and they show that both events occurred near the site and at a shallow depth.”

But, back to Oklahoma. Austin Holland’s August 2011 report, “Examination of Possibly Induced Seismicity from Hydraulic Fracturing in the Eola Field, Garvin County, Oklahoma” Oklahoma Geological Survey OF1-2011, studied 43 earthquakes that occurred on 18 January, ranging in intensity from 1.0 to 2.8 Md (milliDarcies.) While the report’s conclusions are understandably cautious, it does state, “Our analysis showed that shortly after hydraulic fracturing began small earthquakes started occurring, and more than 50 were identified, of which 43 were large enough to be located.”

Sensitized to the issue, the oil and natural gas industry has been quick to dismiss the charges and deluge the public with a plethora of televisions advertisements about how natural gas from shale deposits is not only America’s future, but provides jobs and energy companies are responsible custodians of the environment.

It seems likely that Washington will eventually be forced to address the issue, as the U.S. Army and the USGS have noted a causal link between the forced injection of liquids underground and increased seismic activity. While the Oklahoma quake caused a deal of property damage, had lives been lost, the policy would most certainly have come under increased scrutiny from the legal community.

While polluting a local community’s water supply is a local tragedy barely heard inside the Beltway, an earthquake ranging from Oklahoma to Illinois, Kansas, Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas is an issue that might yet shake voters out of their torpor, and national elections are slightly less than a year away.

Barnaby: Labor Is Rudderless, Clueless, Hopeless

4 Nov

Senator Joyce writes for the Canberra Times:

The Qantas chief, Alan Joyce, has been hanging around Parliament House for the past few weeks, not because of an impending aviation calamity, but apparently because he likes the decor and the coffee. Well, that is what you would have to believe if you are to believe the Government.

To say the Qantas lockout and fallout came as a surprise does not pass muster especially now in light of the abundant leaks from key Labor Party ministers, all protecting their jobs in the shadow of this fiasco, so as to quarantine themselves from the political fallout in the rumoured leadership change.

Julia Gillard wrote the Fair Work Act when she was Industrial Relations Minister in 2009. Section 431 allows the minister to demand the parties come to the table and avoid the massive damage which has happened to the nation’s airline and our nation’s image. The Government had at its disposal the mechanism to avoid the travel chaos over the weekend. However, Gillard was not convinced of her own competencies in writing the Act or her Government’s capacity in administration of her own Act. She claims that section 431 could not be used because it has not been used before. Well, why did you put it there? It appears she did not even source legal advice until Saturday afternoon. Breathtaking!

Our nation’s Government is not on auto pilot – it is rudderless, clueless and hopeless. The Qantas dispute is a metaphor for the Government’s day-to-day management as we lurch from crisis to crisis. It is the same management style as the live cattle debacle which brought about a middle-of-the-night closure of the live cattle trade that we did not need while creating an immense diplomatic issue with our largest neighbour. From overreaction to no reaction at all; in fact with the Qantas issue to a position where we are in a desperate search for a government pulse. The vision of flying back into Canberra this week, on a very crowded Virgin flight, was one of a government fascinated in cooling the planet while we raced past $215billion in gross debt. Qantas planes sat forlornly on the tarmac as a new aviary for swallows. But then the Qantas debacle is not a new pattern for the Government.

During the election last year Gillard promised to implement whatever the Murray-Darling Basin Authority decided. After the authority released a plan that was a dud, the Government backed away, and started blaming us for introducing the Water Act. Now the Murray-Darling Basin draft plan is about to be released and the Government will have to display a competency, completely absent at the moment, to avoid the public furore which occurred last year.

Coal seam gas is an issue that has to be addressed in a more complete manner, as demanded by public concerns, but no senior Labor Party members are offering any solutions. At the moment they seem more obsessed with CO2 than H2O.

Labor has provided the apogee of its political engagement with Australians with the carbon tax even though Canada is running a thousand miles from any similar action, and Europe has a scheme which is little else than tokenism supported by a volatile and at times fraudulent carbon market, where the scams associated with carbon credits would make pyramid scheme marketers blush. China is improving the carbon intensity of its economy by pulling down dirty little coal-fired power stations and building massive new coal-fired power stations. Absurdly, we will pay China for the carbon credits it generated in its country under our carbon tax with money borrowed from them.

Yes, the carbon tax legislation was finalised with a back-slapping, clapping, kiss-a-thon mirrored in the big banks with a salivating let’s go out to lunch on Bob Brown’s big bank billion dollar bonus as the commissions on the permits transfer money from the suburbs to the centre of town.

In a political team when it becomes apparent that the halfback cannot pass, the five-eighth cannot catch and the coach is a plant from another greener team, then the crowd of supporters dismally dwindles to a core of the loving family members, the morbidly curious and those recently removed from the closest pub.

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