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Australia Demands More Gas

March 21, 2017
Graphic showing South Australian blackout, courtesy of GWPF

Two years ago, The New South Wales government shutdown drilling for natural gas because people protested against drilling for natural gas.

Similarly, local governments elsewhere in Australia have acquiesced to demands made by people protesting against natural gas and coal because of climate change.

Graphic showing South Australian blackout, courtesy of GWPF

Graphic showing South Australian blackout, courtesy of GWPF

Meanwhile, Australia has abundant natural gas resources in northern and western Australia, and has begun exporting natural gas to Asian countries.

Infrastructure is lacking to bring natural gas from western and northern Australia to where it’s needed in the South, primarily South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, though portions of Queensland also lack adequate supplies of natural gas.

The blackouts in South Australia have brought the lack of natural gas for power generation to the forefront, with the untenable situation of Australia exporting natural gas while not having enough to meet its needs for power generation.

There is now the absurd situation where the Liberal government is threatening natural gas companies that their exports will be curtailed if they don’t supply Australia with natural gas for power generation.

Liberal Prime Minister, Turnbull, said:

“We [Federal Government] have the ability to control exports … we have that power.”

This is a situation brought about by protests against drilling for natural gas, labor governments who have invested in wind and solar to the detriment of baseload power from coal and natural gas, and a Liberal, i.e., conservative government that has waffled in the past, but now demands that industry solve the problem.

At this late date, the Liberal party in New South Wales is now considering whether to permit drilling.

The Labor party’s infatuation with cutting CO2 emissions is at the crux of the problem, even though, as mentioned in Blackout Race Underway 45% of Australians won’t pay one extra cent for electricity from wind and solar.

Industry has not said how it will solve the problem, but the most likely measure will be to transport LNG from the North to ports in the South. It’s likely that drilling for natural gas will again be given the go-ahead, though it will require time to produce natural gas from wells in New South Wales and South Australia.

As elsewhere, attempts to cut CO2 emissions are proving to be very expensive and ultimately, unworkable.

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