Tuesday, July 31

Govt 'sold out' NSW water supply

THE NSW Government's "back-flip" on its election pledge to protect the state's water supply from mining interference has raised the ire of North Coast environmental activists.

Lock the Gate spokesman Ian Gaillard believes the State Government has "sold out the groundwater of NSW" to the coal-seam gas industry and he has put the Premier on notice to expect the most significant protest action in the state's history in response.
Last week, NSW Planning Minister Brad Hazzard unveiled the latest version of the government's aquifer interference policy at a farming forum in Sydney.


My Daily News

Australia: Comet Ridge, QER Ink Farm-In Agreement



Coal seam gas explorer Comet Ridge Limited said it has signed a three-Stage farm-in agreement with Queensland Energy Resources Pty Limited (QER) to earn up to 75% of the Lake Galilee Farm-in Area.

The farm-in area is located in the south east of permit ATP 1015P, between the east and west parts of Comet Ridge’s ATP 744P, in which Comet Ridge has a 100% interest.

The Lake Galilee Farm-in Area consists of two separate areas totalling approximately 825 km2. These areas represent 21% of QER’s total permit area in ATP 1015P. QER will retain a 100% interest in the remaining area of ATP 1015P, while Comet Ridge will become Operator of the Lake Galilee Farm-in Area.

Comet Ridge Managing Director, Tor McCaul commented “This transaction creates a continuous acreage position across our key area in the Galilee Basin, expanding the Gunn Project Area to the east and allowing it to be appraised as a single project.


LNG World News

Westside Starts New CSG Drilling Program (Australia)


WestSide Corporation announced that drilling of the Meridian SeamGas CSG gas fields has commenced on the first of a series of new wells to increase production toward an initial target of 25 Terajoules a day.

WestSide CEO Dr Julie Beeby said the new drilling program comprised three new dual-lateral well sets and one up-dip blind lateral well – building on the success of the previous campaign.

“The results achieved to date from wells already drilled have given the joint venture confidence to proceed with this next phase as we look to lift production to satisfy existing sales contracts,” Dr Beeby said.

Of the seven dual-lateral wells drilled previously, two have achieved production rates exceeding 1 million standard cubic feet a day (scf/d) and another three have achieved pre-peak flow rates of more than 675,000 scf/d.

Two rigs have been deployed to drill the new wells including WestSide’s Schramm TXD rig, which will drill the lateral in-seam wells and another provided by EastCore Drilling Services to drill some of the vertical sections.


LNG World News

Mining and ag can co-exist in Namoi: Hartcher

RESOURCES Minister Chris Hartcher says today's release of the Namoi Catchment Water Study shows mining and agriculture can co-exist.
The study, commissioned in late 2010, attempted to identify any potential impacts on water resources in the catchment as a result of coal mining and coal seam gas extraction.
Included were a number of extreme hypothetical scenarios that far exceed resource activity planned in the region, according to Mr Hartcher.
“Importantly, the Study shows that the collective impacts of coal mining and coal seam gas extraction can be effectively managed without negatively impacting agricultural water use across the region,” Mr Hartcher said.
“Even under the Study’s hypothetical Scenario 3, which vastly overestimates the growth of the resource industries in the region, the estimated impact of coal and coal seam gas activity is not significant."

The Land

Rich Land Dewatered Speaking Tour

 
When:  Monday August, 13 -  6.30pm until Wednesday August 15 - 9.00pm
 
Where: 
Wandoan, Condamine, Cecil Plains
  • Author Sharyn Munro will speak about her new book 'Rich Land, Wasteland and will be
     supported by the speakers, John Hillier, Max Winders & Tom Marland addressing concerns and unanswered questions of landowners that have arisen from the releases in recent months of Arrow’s EIS and the Qld Water Commission report such as water drawdown, water equality, water quality, base line data, so called “make good” provisions, the long term ramifications of coal seam gas (CSG) activity, and the legal aspects coal and gas extraction on rural properties.

    John Hillier is a hydrogeologist with over 40 years experience in all aspect of groundwater including investigation, assessment and management of resources. He worked for the State Department of Water Resource and managed the Groundwater group for from 1987 to 2001. Among other roles, was Chair of the Great Artesian Basin Technical Committee, a member of the Great Artesian Basin Consultative Committee, the National Groundwater Committee, various sub committees and was the Australian President of the International Association of Hydrogeologists. He has been a private consultant since 2001 and has worked on a large variety of projects including many involving the Coal Seam Gas industry. Much of his work in the last few years has been in the peer review of other professional’s work.
  • Policy proposal developed to protect WA agricultural communities from mining


    Clair Medhurst, Residents for Responsible Mining

    A policy proposal to protect agricultural communities in WA from mining has been submitted to the State Government.

    The proposal has been developed by the Residents for Responsible Mining, a community group based at Chittering, about an hour north of Perth.

    The group was formed three years ago in response to a proposal by Bauxite Alumina JV, which is a joint venture between Bauxite Resources Limited and Yangkuang Resources Limited, a Chinese Government owned entity, to develop a bauxite mine at Bindoon.

    Clair Medhurst is the Co-Convenor of Residents for Responsible Mining.

    "As we've gone through this over the past three years it dawned on us about a year ago that what we really need to address is a long term solution because even if this current proposal is rejected it doesn't stop the same company or other companies putting up further proposals into the future so it's really about trying to bring about a permanent solution and some certainty for agricultural communities in this issue."


    ABC Rural

    Post from Toxic Tours Ipswich

    WARNING: Residents living in suburbs which are in close proximity to the toxic New Chum and Swanbank Dumps (Riverview, Dinmore, Collingwood Park, Ripley, Blackstone etc). Please be aware that you are at risk of serious illness, such as cancer. Numerous residents living in proximity to a similar dump in Victoria, are suffering from cancer (8 times as many as the state's average). The dump in Victoria has been forced to close down. Please share this with everyone you know. Thank you.

    Toxic Tours Ipswich - FBook Post

    Shell to delay investment in CSG : Alan Jones Speaks with Drew Hutton

     
    Alan Jones speaks with environmental  campaigner Drew Hutton about the claims.

    Eneabba Gas targets Chinese energy interest for underground coal gasification project

    Eneabba Gas (ASX:ENB) is searching for Chinese opportunities for its Sargon underground coal gasification project in Mid West region of Western Australia as it continues to make progress on its development.

    Directors of the company have recently been to China to investigate options including a possible joint involvement in the project that will combine Chinese UCG industry experience with its knowledge of the Sargon area.

    This will serve to fast track development of Sargon into a world class UCG project.

    This comes as strategic partnerships are being formed between Australian energy and UCG companies and Chinese companies.

    Eneabba is now planning to drill a baseline water monitoring well on Sargon in September.

    This will allow RPS Aquaterra collect the initial baseline water data as well as conduct a second suite of permeability testing of the nominated aquifers.


    Proactive Investors

    Origin, Conoco LNG project boosts gas reserves 11%

    SYDNEY--A US$20 billion Australian gas-export joint venture boosted its coal-seam-gas reserves by about 11% last financial year amid mounting concerns of potential reserves shortages.
    Origin Energy Ltd. said Tuesday its Australia Pacific LNG joint venture with ConocoPhillips /quotes/zigman/294662/quotes/nls/cop COP -0.20% and China Petrochemical Corp., or Sinopec, had proven and probable reserves of 13,111 petajoules at June 30, up from 11,775 petajoules a year earlier.
    Investors welcomed the increase, with Origin's climbing 2.4% to A$11.85 by 032125 GMT after rising as high as A$11.96.
    The joint venture already had superior reserves levels compared to three competing projects in Queensland state. It has agreed to sell some of its coal-seam-gas to rivals, but some analysts were nevertheless concerned about all four projects' ability to deliver enough gas reliably through their early lives.
    A rival project involving Santos Ltd. recently revealed a US$2.5 billion cost blowout to US$18.5 billion after boosting spending on coal-seam-gas drilling.
    Origin also announced a 3% rise in annual revenue from its exploration and production operations to A$856 million as higher commodity prices offset a 4% fall in production.

    Market Watch

    Shell flags gas project delays because of cost pressures



    THE world's biggest oil company, Royal Dutch Shell, has warned it may delay some of its $17 billion planned investment in Australian liquefied natural gas projects as construction costs soar and rival nations push for assets to be rapidly developed.
    Shell chief executive Peter Voser said cost pressures in Australia were a growing problem and he would not be pushed into the "wrong development at the wrong time".

    Shell's major Australian assets include stakes in the Arrow coal-seam gas project in Queensland and the Browse and Sunrise LNG joint ventures operated by Woodside Petroleum.

    "Australia is a key component of our growth but we will not overdo it and perhaps not get the right profitability out of it," Mr Voser said when asked on an investor call on Thursday whether Shell's investment pipeline was too weighted towards Australia.

    Mr Voser's comments come amid analyst speculation Shell wants to diversify away from Australia where the company also has a 24 per cent stake in Woodside.

    Read More

    The Australian (July 28)

    The frack war comes home





    The war came home this weekend, as thousands of people whose land has been under siege by the U.S. government and corporate interests gathered in Washington, D.C. No, they weren’t victims of drone attacks or 10-plus years of fighting in Afghanistan. They were ordinary Americans, whose neighborhoods, townships and states have been struggling to put an end to fracking, a destructive form of natural gas drilling.

    These veterans of the frack war were in Washington for a national convergence called Stop the Frack Attack. Over the course of two days, they held teach-ins and strategy sessions on ways to bring relief to their communities through collective action, before ending on Saturday with the first ever national march and rally against fracking. Many hailed the event as an important step to building a broad, grassroots movement to ban the drilling practice.

    Read More

    Waging Non Violence

    VFF to host mining and CSG forums for Gippsland farmers

    The Victorian Farmers Federation will host forums in Sale and Wonthaggi to answer producers’ questions about mining and coal seam gas (CSG).

    The forums are designed specifically for farmers, and will cover topics including farmers’ rights during mining exploration and development, the VFF’s mining policy, and our proposed changes to minerals legislation.

    Representatives from the Department of Primary Industries will also be on-hand to outline the regulation of the mining industry and CSG exploration in Victoria and provide an update on current exploration and mining activities taking place in Gippsland.

    “The aim of the forums is to make sure farmers know their rights when dealing with mining activities on their land or in their community,” VFF Land Management Committee Chair Gerald Leach said.

    Read More 

    Victorian Farmers Federation

    DPI Coal & Coal Seam Gas information session

    The Department of Primary Industries will host a series of community information sessions in regional Victoria on the regulation of exploration and mining for minerals and onshore gas (coal seam gas).

    The sessions will give local residents a chance to speak directly to regulators and policy experts about the regulatory process that applies to mining and onshore gas operations in Victoria.

    The sessions are designed to provide regional communities with information about how exploration and mining is regulated, how the environment is protected and what landholders’ rights are.

    Read More

    Foster Community Online

    CSG link to wild dog attacks?

    SHEEP producers south-east of Miles have called on coal seam gas companies to better communicate their pest-control measures after an unprecedented number of wild dogs were spotted in the district.

    Queensland Country Life spoke to several landholders through the Goombi-Columboola district last week, who claim the number of wild dog attacks in the region has escalated in recent months.
     
    The increased number of attacks coincide with the purchase and development of several neighbouring properties by coal seam gas companies in the past several years, as well as LNG pipeline construction beginning last year.
     
    Origin Energy owns one property and QGC owns seven properties through this region.
    As previously reported, local landholder Celia Mackay has lost more than 120 sheep and lambs in the past year since QGC removed fencing to make way for its pipeline through her property, replacing it with temporary fencing Ms Mackay felt was ineffective.
     
    After months of complaints and threats of legal action by Ms Mackay, QGC erected dog-proof fencing at the property in recent weeks.
     
    Ms Mackay told Queensland Country Life this week she had experienced no further dog attacks since QGC installed the new fencing.

    But while the landholders said they cannot be certain of a correlation between the wild dog increases and the management and construction strategies of gas companies in the region, they claim these companies are not delivering information about trapping or baiting measures they enact across their properties.

    Read More

    QCL

    A policy to protect... what exactly?



    This month the NSW Government released an updated draft aquifer interference policy to select groups and individuals. Now granted the word "policy" might not float your boat, but this is an important one. This is the policy the public was told would protect groundwater from activities that could impact it, including CSG development. It does not.
    Unfortunately the policy has not been put on public exhibition. Instead, the government is going with an exclusive consultation process that's off limits to public scrutiny.
    Never mind the fact that when it comes to the protection of water we are all stakeholders!
    However, some of those angered by the policy leaked it and on July 20 the Illawarra Mercury reported: "the policy could allow the largest coal and CSG projects to go ahead even if they fail the aquifer interference test." The Mercury's editorial on the same day explained:"The NSW Office of Water's aquifer interference draft policy is yet to be officially released but its content does not make for pretty reading. Under the proposed policy, mining and gas developments will not be bound by water protection rules... That is fraught with danger and could cause irreparable damage to already fragile aquifers."
    Stop CSG! Illawarra


    Angry Queensland farmers boycott Ambre Energy's coalmine study




    Five-year-old local Tom Green spells out the community's opposition to the proposed Ambre coalmine. Picture: David Martinelli Source: The Australian
    ANGRY Queensland farmers say Ambre Energy is acting in "contempt of government policy" by attempting to push ahead with a controversial coalmine.
    In the company's latest controversy, a group of farmers staged a rally yesterday following revelations that Ambre was still pushing to develop the mine in southeast Queensland, despite government objections.

    In March, incoming Queensland Premier Campbell Newman confirmed a pre-election promise that the fiercely opposed project would not proceed.

    Queensland Mines Minister Andrew Cripps reaffirmed the government's opposition last week, saying the proposed mine -- situated on prime farmland in the Felton Valley about 30km west of Toowoomba -- was "not in the public interest".

    Local farmers and opponents of the mine were angered after recently receiving letters from a consultant working for Ambre, which is seeking to obtain a "social licence" for the miner in the area.

    Read More

    The Australian

    Govt aims to speed up big mining projects : NZ

    The Government is looking at ways of speeding up approvals for big mining projects because endless court action is "frustrating" companies and costing them millions.

    The Ministry for the Environment is investigating new laws which would allow granting of resource consents for "regionally significant" projects to be accelerated.

    They would also limit the avenues that could be used to appeal against consents.

    Energy and Resources Minister Phil Heatley said the oil and gas industry, property developers and groups wanting to build wind farms were expressing frustration at repeated appeals against approval for their projects.

    "When you've got a regionally significant project, it's just crazy that you just get them taken back to court time and time again," he told TV3's The Nation.

    Read More

    NZ Herald

    Gunnedah forum on effects of coal mining

    A CHEMICALS expert will speak at a forum on the health impacts of coal mining and coal seam gas extraction in Gunnedah this coming Saturday.

    Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith is the senior advisor to the National Toxics Network and IPEN, an international chemical safety network.

    She is also a member of the Technical Advisory Group of the national industrial chemical regulator and was a member of the UN Expert Group on Climate Change and Chemicals.

    Last year Dr Lloyd-Smith co-authored the National Toxics Network report on the chemical impacts of hydraulic fracturing in the Australian shale and coal seam gas industry.

    This weekend she will speak about the health effects of the chemicals used in coal seam gas extraction at the forum, hosted by the North West Alliance Against Coal and Coal Seam Gas.
    British GP Dr Dick Van Steenis will talk about the health effects of coal mining, which he has been researching since 1997.

    Read More

    Northern Daily Leader

    Friday, July 27

    Drew Hutton - Pavillion, Wyoming

    Empire Oil and Gas gets pipeline licence in Australia

    The Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum has granted a pipeline licence PL96 to Empire Oil and Gas along with its EP 389 joint venture partners for the Red Gully Gas and Condensate processing facility in Perth basin.

    The PL96 licence is located within Petroleum Permit EP 389, near Gingin, Western Australia.
    Empire Oil will inform about the start the earthworks and the construction of the Red Gully Gas and Condensate processing facility in future.

    Empire Oil owns 68.75% interest in the pipeline licence PL96 while ERM Power has 21.25% and Wharf Resources has a share of 10%in it.

    Australia based company Empire Oil and Gas engages in oil and gas exploration and production.

    Transportation and Storage Review

    Farmer ready to stand for council to get action on gas plant noise


    Cooriemungle farmer Kevin Tesselaar is contemplating standing for council in an effort to get discussion on Port Campbell gas plant issues.

    Cooriemungle farmer Kevin Tesselaar is contemplating standing for council in an effort to get discussion on Port Campbell gas plant issues

    IF you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

    Dairy farmer Kevin Tesselaar says he has been left with few options other than to run for Corangamite Shire Council in an effort to get some discussion on noise levels at the Port Campbell gas plant and trucks using the road 24 hours a day.
     
    The Melrose Road farmer has been vocal in the past about the gas plant and said he wasn’t stupid enough to think the plant was going to go away.
     
    “Why do people become a councillor?” Mr Tesselaar asked.
     
    “To promote major developments and projects or is to be an advocate for the bread and butter ratepayers?
     
    “All we’re trying to do is get some honest discussion and debate. Why can’t we sit down with a cup of tea and talk like grown-ups?
     
    “We can’t even have the debate because of the bullshit that gets in the road.”
     
    Mr Tesselaar said he would consider running for council in the wake of councillor Steve Cumming’s decision to retire at the general elections in October. “I asked for a meeting with Origin Energy and I was told to go to the reference group, at the reference group meeting I was told I can’t raise anything because I’m not a member,” he said.
     
    “I want council to know I’m considering it, if I can’t get anywhere else.”
     
    Mr Tesselaar said he wanted to talk to Origin and the council about the noise operations and the trucks using the road 24 hours a day.


    The Standard

    Pros and cons of CSG debate

    LOW UNEMPLOYMENT, overflowing government coffers and cleaner energy, versus water contamination, health impacts and the destruction of our food bowl.

    These are the two sides of the coal seam gas debate, an argument that will be decided once and for all - at least between Lismore LGA residents - with the September CSG poll.

    Mayor Jenny Dowell yesterday posted Yes and No cases for CSG on Facebook from the Australian Petroleum and Production Exploration Association and Lock the Gate Alliance.

    Pro-CSG points included increased government royalties: the CSG industry says it's paying around $850 million in tax every year to the Queensland Government to help fund new roads, hospitals, teachers and police.

    Anti-CSG points included the serious health impacts on humans, animals and wildlife reported in Queensland and the US, as well as the risk of "depleting and contaminating ground and surface water".


    Northern Star

    Boonah's Anti-Fracking Day of Action





    It's world anti-fracking day on july 28, and we'll be taking part with live music and lots of information to raise awareness of the impacts of coal and coal seam gas mining, and of course fracking.


    If you're coming down town, please drop by and show your support !!

    There'll be local maps showing permit sites (over 80% of the scenic rim), lock the gate signs and stickers, and current info on the potential croftby open cut coal mine.

    Linda Weston and Cameron Mitchell's CD, "Save our Sunburnt Land" will be selling for $5 with all proceeds going to lock the gate and keep the scenic rim scenic.

    Learn about linda's 100km walk against gas.

    Performers include rob and jo, eat them like apples, andy pennell, linda and cameron, and matt wright

    When :   Saturday 28th July, 2012

    Where:  Boonah Council Chambers Forecourt - High Street, Boonah 

    Time:     9.00 am - 1.00pm

    Comet Ridge extends Galilee Basin coal seam gas play

    Comet Ridge (ASX: COI) is drilling three coal seam gas wells to appraise the extent and characteristics of the coals in a new extension of the Gunn Project Area in Queensland.

    The first well, a pre-pilot production well, will be drilled in the company’s wholly owned ATP 744P  while two core holes will be acquired in the Lake Galilee Area, which it is acquiring up to 75% from Queensland Energy Resources.

    Two of these wells will provide valuable information across the Gunn Project Area while the third and most easterly well will test a different play concept.

    All permitting and approvals are progressing to schedule and the first well is expected spud in September this year.

    Lake Galilee farm in

    Comet Ridge is acquiring up to 75% in the 852 square kilometre Lake Galilee Farm-in Area, which is located in the southeast of QER’s ATP 1015P and between the eastern and western parts of ATP 744P .

    Under the three stage farm-in, Comet Ridge will drill two wells by 30 November 2012 to fulfil the Stage 1 commitment, giving it a 20% stake in the area.

    Read More 

    Proactive Investors

    Friends of Felton Peaceful Protest Against Ambre Energy : Pittsworth



    When:       Monday 30th July.
    Time:        9am prompt.

    Where:     Outside Ambre Energy office, main street, Pittsworth (opposite Post Office).

    Dress:       FOF shirt if you have one.

    Bring:       Signs & placards, recent letter from Ambre Energy if you got one.

    Action:     Ceremonial burning of Ambre Energy letters.

    Purpose: To send a clear message to Ambre that the game’s up.



    Please come if you can!



    More info: Ian Whan 0412 473 202

    Rob McCreath 0409 014 219

    Wednesday, July 25

    Local event: coal seam gas forum in Mackay, QLD

    What are you doing this weekend?

    If you live near Mackay, QLD, come along to a special forum on the issues facing your community in Central and North Queensland – the rapid expansion of the coal and coal seam gas mining industry.

    This Saturday and Sunday, hear experts dicsuss the impacts of the mining boom in Queensland on our water, economy, Reef, agricultural land, health and natural environment, and participate in strategy and skills workshops with experts in campaigning.

    Our friends at the Mackay Conservation Group have pulled together an impressive agenda for the ‘Beyond Coal and Coal Seam Gas Forum’ with the support of a range of other environment and campaign groups across Australia.

    What: Beyond Coal and Gas Forum. Two days learning and sharing stories about the impacts of the mining boom on North and Central Queensland and strategies to protect our lifestyles, water and land.

    When: This weekend, 28-29 July
    Where: Louisa Creek Community Centre (near Hay Point), South of Mackay
    Cost: Full weekend $90 (full) /$45 (concession), day tickets $45/$25

    To register and for more information visit http://www.beyondcoalandgas.org/

    The two day event is jam-packed with sessions covering all aspects of the coal and coal seam gas mining boom in Queensland. Listen to Australian experts on the issues – academics, campaigners, authors, lawyers and community groups will address the forum on landowner rights, health impacts, running effective campaigns, and ‘boom’ impacts on the Great Barrier Reef, fisheries and agriculture.


    GETUP

    Queensland hits the gas but boom will likely prove costly

    QUEENSLAND is on the cusp of an unprecedented boom with more than 90 per cent of the nation's coal seam gas reserves discovered in the state.
    Yet local industry is faced with such a scarcity of gas supply that the issue could literally become a barbecue stopper in a few years.

    Gas costs are predicted to skyrocket by up to 50 per cent, just as households switch over to escape escalating electricity prices.

    Such an increase would have a significant impact to not only the price of gas to households but an array of products made using gas.

    The Newman Government has been asked to intervene to ensure some of the state's reserves are diverted to the local market rather than exported.

    However, Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney has indicated the Government would be reluctant to intervene despite its pre-election pledge to tackle cost-of-living issues.

    Read More

    Courier Mail

    Qld groups raise environment issues

    More than 20 environment groups are meeting with the Queensland government to discuss issues ranging from mining impacts to dingoes on Fraser Island.

    Environment Minister Andrew Powell began a two-day conference with 24 environmental associations on Tuesday.

    "It's about setting an agenda for the future not just for the three-year-term but for the long-haul," Mr Powell told reporters.

    "I make no bones that I am there to represent the environment around the cabinet table."

    National park acquisitions, Fraser Island's dingoes, coal seam gas impacts, the Great Barrier Reef's health and protecting wild rivers in far north Queensland were among the many issues raised on Tuesday


    9 News

    Coal Mine Owners in Legal Battle over Production

    — HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The two owners of a coal mine in southeastern Montana are involved in a legal battle over whether to close the mine or expand production with an eye on Asian markets.

    A subsidiary of Cloud Peak Energy is suing Ambre Energy Limited, its partner in the Decker mine, over what it claims is a breach of contract for planning to expand production outside of the formal process established by company's joint management committee.

    Cloud Peak subsidiary Western Minerals LLC wants Ambre subsidiary KCP Inc. removed as the mine's manager.

    Ambre denies Western Minerals' claims and said it will vigorously defend its management. The Australian-based company says that Cloud Peak is insisting on closing the Decker mine because Cloud Peak owns a competing coal mine where production has been increasing.


    vcstar.com


     

    University Of Texas Fracking Study Has Industry Ties According To New Report


    Remember that study out of The University of Texas last February that concluded there wasn’t a direct link between fracking and groundwater contamination? It caught flack for seeming to being too easy on the fracking industry by suggesting that there wasn’t a direct link between cracking shale and groundwater contamination. The study was great news for an industry fighting a PR battle over a politically-charged issue.

    However, financial ties to the fracking industry were never mentioned in all of the announcements about the study, and not known until a new study put out Monday by the Public Accountability Initiative. The study’s leader, Dr. Charles “Chip” Groat has significant financial ties to the fracking industry, to the tune of a couple of million dollars. From State Impact Texas:


    Huffington Post Green

    Ambre out to win over Felton Valley residents




    SAFETY CONCERNS: Local youngster Tom Green, 5, takes a stand against mining in the Felton Valley, south of Toowoomba

    AMBRE Energy is refusing to kill off its $3.5 billion coal to liquids project and is now on a campaign to win the hearts and minds of the people of Felton Valley, near Toowoomba.
    The project was scuppered by Premier Campbell Newman earlier this year when he said his Government would never approve the project, which is based on high-quality agricultural land.

    However, suspicions were raised last week by Ambre conducting a survey in the Felton Valley in a bid to uncover the core community concerns about the project.

    Ambre Fuel's new chief executive David Henderson said the company was aware it didn't have a social licence to operate.

    Friends of Felton Ian Whan told the community he had written directly to Mr Henderson telling him that Ambre's plans for Felton "are dead and buried. It's over, done, finished".

    Read More

    Courier Mail

    Editor's Note:   Just shows you how ruthless AMBRE ENERGY is.

    No-mine zone declared for Margaret River tourist region

    THE Barnett government has effectively declared a "no coalmining zone" around the wine and tourism region of Margaret River in the southwest of Western Australia, terminating four coal exploration applications and warning the holders of nine existing minerals titles in the area that any future attempt to mine coal will be refused.
    Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore's decision covers a 230sq km area in and around the popular holiday and surfing region about a 3 1/2-hour drive south of Perth. Mr Moore said he took the decision following advice from the state's Environmental Protection Authority indicating coalmining in the area posed an unacceptable environmental risk.

    The same advice led the state government to reject the contentious Vasse Coal proposal in the region last February, the first attempt to mine coal in the region.

    "The government has now decided that the advice should also be applied to the whole of the coal mineralisation extending through the identified 230sq km zone and applications for coal exploration or mining should not be supported," Mr Moore said.


    The Australian

    Chevron Discovers More Gas At Gorgon Project in Western Australia

    Oil and gas giant Chevron Corp. has hit another pay dirt when its exploration well made another natural gas discovery in the Gorgon area off the coast of Western Australia.

    In a statement, Chevron Corp. said its Pontus-1 exploration well encountered approximately 97 feet or 30 metres of net gas pay, an amount that could very well support potential long term plans for the Gorgon liquefied natural gas (LNG) project.
    "The Pontus-1 discovery again highlights Chevron's exploration success as we continue building a significant natural gas position in Western Australia to supply Australia and the Asia-Pacific region," George Kirkland, vice chairman, Chevron Corporation, said.
    The well, located in the Greater Gorgon Area gas fields, approximately 40 miles  or 65 kilometres northwest of Barrow Island, was drilled in 690 feet or 210 metres of water to a total depth of 16,581 feet or 5,054 metres.


    IB Times.com

    Foreign investment splits Labor

    A PROMINENT federal Labor MP has criticised his own party over foreign ownership.
    And others have gone to ground over the issue.

    In a scathing attack, MP Kelvin Thomson tore apart almost every argument used by his Government to justify what critics say are weak foreign investment rules.

    But the Government says foreign investment is vital for Australian farmers and supports agriculture jobs. Mr Thomson:

    CRITICISED the Foreign Investment Review Board for approving nearly all foreign ownership attempts.

    CONTRADICTED key figures used by senior Labor figures. Mr Thomson said the amount of Aussie land in foreign ownership had doubled in 25 years and foreign investment was 250 times higher than it was five years ago.

    LAMENTED the stranglehold foreign entities have on the milk, wheat, sugar, beef and lamb sectors.

    SAID the area of the Northern Territory owned by foreigners was bigger than the state of Victoria, and

    SLAMMED attempts by free-traders to shut down debate by using labels such as "xenophobe" and "racist".

    Read More

    Weekly Times Now

    'Riot police needed' over CSG




    Ian Gaillard: CSG is something that will undermine the future health of generation after generation. History will show this was a crime of the biggest magnitude.

    RIOT police will be needed to deal with the fallout of the NSW Government's back-flip on its election pledge to protect the state's water supply from mining interference, North Coast environmental activist Ian Gaillard has warned.

    The Lock the Gate spokesman believes the State Government "sold out the groundwater of NSW" to the coal-seam gas industry and he has put the Premier on notice to expect the most significant protest action in the state's history in response.

    Last week, NSW Planning Minister Brad Hazzard unveiled the latest version of the government's aquifer interference policy at a farming forum in Sydney.

    In the lead-up to the last state election, a draft of the policy was released in an attempt to reassure voters the coalition would put stringent measures in place to protect sensitive land and water supplies from CSG.

    Read More

    The Northern Star

    Editor's Note:  When will the mining companies and the politicians get it????  What Ian has said  is absolutely correct.  They are living in the here and now - why cant they see past their own lifetime???  One would suspect that they cant see past their next election.

    Tuesday, July 24

    Bushfire survivor launches coal fight

    The devastating Black Saturday fire cleaned out Elma Matheson's Callignee property. Now she has a new fight on her hands. 

    Exploration company Mantle Mining is applying for a licence to explore for coal in an area which takes in Callignee and a narrow strip cutting all the way through from Traralgon South to Churchill.

    An advertisement stating the company's intention says the exploration is for coal only and would not involve gas or the controversial fracking method.

    It says Mantle Mining would undertake stakeholder consultation, perform field inspections and possibly small drilling programs.

    None of that sits well with Elma Matheson who is just about to begin rebuilding after fire took everything from her three years ago.

    Read More and Listen to Audio 

    ABC Gippsland

    Coal boom realities



    New book exposes harsh reality of the coal boom

    Surat Basin residents wanting to learn more about the effects of coal and gas development on rural communities will soon have an opportunity.
     
    Author Sharyn Munro will hold book talks for her new book 'Rich Land, Wasteland' in Wandoan, Condamine and Cecil Plains on 13, 14 and 15 August.
     
    A concerned grandmother as well as a writer, Munro spent nearly a year travelling through rural Australia visiting coal-mining areas and those under threat from coal and CSG. She found communities under siege as homeowners and farmers battle the might of the multinationals. The consequences are people broken in health and spirit and fertile agricultural land becoming unusable in the name of “progress”.
     
    Large, mostly foreign-owned mining companies clamour to increase the amounts of coal and gas they are extracting, while governments continue to assist and protect the companies at the expense of the long term sustainability of rural communities and industry.
     
    Munro’s speaking tour is being organised by Property Rights Australia (PRA). PRA Chair Joanne Rea said, “Sharyn is a skilled writer and draws together the huge and intricate web that is mining in modern Australia without getting bogged down or distracted. It is an easy read and a must for anyone touched by the mining experience and most who think that mining is not relevant to them.”
     
    “The book talks would provide an opportunity for residents of the Surat Basin learn how coal and gas extraction has affected communities and the environment including the water table in other parts of Australia,” said Joanne Rea.

    Read More

    QCL


    An incredible turn out today at the anti coal meeting at Mirboo North - standing room only. Great effort by everyone. This community is going to win.an incredible turn out today at the anti coal meeting at Mirboo North - standing room only. Great effort by everyone. This community is going to win.

    (Photo courtesy of No CSG in Victoria)

    Natural Gas Exxposed - Anthony Ingraffea

    Mining death greatly exaggerated

    REPORTS forecasting the death of Australia's mining boom are greatly exaggerated.

    Forecasts that investment in new mine projects had reached its peak came from the Deloitte Access Economics report released on Monday, prompting claims Australia's resources industry may be on the slide within two years.

    It stated, "The peak of the project pipeline is already in sight, meaning the key prop to the faster part of Australia's two-speed economy is looking less certain the further out you look - though there's still enough gas in the tank of huge resource projects to provide handy pipeline protection if Europe were to turn pear-shaped".

    However, the Deloitte Access report went on to celebrate the success of the industry's success so far, even going as far to say there was "a deluge of dollars to come" from more mining investment.

    For the industry as a whole, the report was even more positive.


    Daily Examiner

    Coal mine to double in size

    LAKE Vermont coal mine near Dysart will double in size over the next six years, with contract mine firm Thiess given the $2.3 billion contract.

    An announcement by its parent company Leighton Holdings on the ASX on Monday morning outlined how Thiess would push production from four million tonnes to eight million tonnes per year.

    Thiess was already responsible for the Lake Vermont's operation since 2007.

    Lake Vermont owners Jellinbah Group said in the statement they expected Thiess to deliver "cost competitive" coal from the mine.

    Thiess Australian Mining executive general manager Michael Wright said the leadership of Lake Vermont's team of 350 won the company this contract.

    Read More

    Daily Examiner

    Govt 'sold out' NSW water supply

    RIOT police will be needed to deal with the fallout of the NSW Government's back-flip on its election pledge to protect the state's water supply from mining interference, North Coast environmental activist Ian Gaillard has warned.

    The Lock the Gate spokesman believes the State Government "sold out the groundwater of NSW" to the coal seam gas industry and has put the Premier on notice to expect the most significant protest action in the state's history in response.

    Last week, NSW Planning Minister Brad Hazaard unveiled the latest version of the government's aquifer interference policy at a farming forum in Sydney.

    In the lead-up to the last state election, a draft of the policy was released in an attempt to reassure voters the coalition would put stringent measures in place to protect sensitive land and water supplies from CSG.

    The current version, however, provides a loophole for companies making applications for significant mining developments of "agricultural or environmental value" to by pass the strict vetting process.

    Instead, they simply will be asked to follow the (non legally binding) "advice" given to them by Water Minister Katrina Hodgkinson.

    Read More

    Daily Examiner

    Monday, July 23

    Mid-West Fracking Actions Escalate As Residents Blockade Ohio Injection Well

    Residents Blockade Injection Well One Week After 1,000 Gallon Fracking Waste Spill

     
    Vienna, OH – Concerned residents blocked access to an injection well in Trumbull County this morning, protesting the failure of Ohio regulators to adequately test and monitor dumping of toxic fracking waste.  One supporter locked himself to the gate to prevent all trucks carrying fracking waste from entering the site.  Two activists were detained by police, and the supporter locked to the gate was eventually and safely removed by authorities and placed under arrest. The supporter and detained activists were all released by police without bail a few hours later.

    Trumbull County residents, along with supporters from Frack Free Mahoning and Ohio Fracktion, gathered at the well site on Sodom Hutchings Road in Vienna Township, to express concerns about the contents of the 1,000 gallons of fracking wastewater that spilled along five miles of road in Fowler Township, a nearby residential area on July 7.  They are demanding that Ohio’s Division of Natural Resources (ODNR) begin systematically testing out-of-state frack waste that is injected into over 170 wells throughout Ohio.  One supporter locked himself to the gate to prevent all trucks carrying fracking waste from entering the site.

    Read More

    It's Getting Hot in Here  (16.07.2012)

    Airport upgrades announced

    THE skies over the Western Downs will soon be buzzing with three new airport upgrades flagged for the coal-rich region.

    Australia Pacific LNG, the Origin Energy and ConocoPhillips partnership, has announced it will fund an expansion of the airport at Miles.

    It wants to land 50-74 seat aircraft to service its nearby coal seam gas fields.

    Western Downs Regional Council has already launched a feasibility study into an upgrade of the Chinchilla airport, with QGC keen to be involved.

    Mayor Ray Brown said Xstrata Coal had also proposed a new airport at Wandoan to allow it to fly in and out a workforce of about 900.

    He said the pressure was on council to ensure it wasn't left to deal with a nasty case of financial turbulence.

    "It's okay for these companies to make substantial contributions up front, but it's not just about capital," Cr Brown said.

    "Our ratepayers can't be left to pay the ongoing costs."


    Toowoomba Chronicle

    Comet Ridge finds good coal thickness and permeability at Queensland coal seam gas well

    Comet Ridge (ASX: COI) has had an encouraging start to its pilot coal seam gas drilling program in Queensland’s Bowen basin with the first well intersecting positive thickness of coal with good permeability.

    The Mahalo-3 well intersected about 8 metres of net coal, 7 metres in the main Castor-Pollux seam.

    Flow testing has shown the Castor-Pollux has enough permeability to enable the well to be used for pilot production.

    Mahalo-3 has been cased for production and the rig has spudded Mahalo-6.

    Comet Ridge has a 35% interest in ATP 337P Mahalo.

    Stanwell Corporation is funding Comet Ridge’s future expenditure at ATP 337P Mahalo up to A$8 million. Stanwell has an option to purchase Comet Ridge’s equity in the Mahalo that could see it paying Comet Ridge A$1 million for every petajoule of proved and probable gas reserves it has booked at the end of 2013.

    Comet Ridge is drilling two four-spot pilots and an additional four core holes this year.

    This is part of a pilot project aimed at converting contingent resources of up to 387 petajoules into reserves.

    The joint venture may also carry out a second pilot project to expand the reserves base in the block.

    Proactive Investors

    Bridging the Divide Bus Tour : August 12-14th

    StopCSG Brisbane is pleased to announce…

    BRIDGING THE DIVIDE BUS TOUR
    August 12th - 14th
    Tara, Miles, Wandoan, Acland



     

    People on the front lines of the battle to save our land, air and water are starting to feel forgotten.

    When the mainstream media’s tendency to treat vital national issues as “old news” meets the tyranny of distance, it’s easy to feel alone. It’s easy to feel like your struggle is isolated.

    On the Monday evening Sharyn Munro is at Wandoan for the launch of "RICHLAND WASTELAND - How Coal is killing Australia", her new book is based on incredible first-hand visits to coal-affected communities. As you'd expect, Queensland's coal and gas issues feature largely in her book; she drove 3000kms here, zig-zagging down from Bowen to Brisbane, gathering Queenslanders' real life stories to touch the hearts of Australians in city and country. But she also went to four other states, so this is the first national picture of the scale of this industrial invasion – and the costs. There will be guest speakers, including a hydrologist.

    Monday will also provide the option of taking a plane flight over the proposed coal projects, the gas pipelines and the gas fields - a unique view and possibly a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

    Trip INCLUDING plane flight over CSG fields $200 full-waged / $170 concession *cost change due to cost of plane
    Trip only (no plane flight) $120 full-waged / $100 concession

    BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL - ESPECIALLY IF YOU WANT TO TAKE THE PLANE TRIP! EMAIL ANNETTE: annette.hutchins999@gmail.com
    A DEPOSIT OF $50 IS REQUIRED TO RESERVE YOUR SEAT. PLEASE LABEL WITH YOUR NAME AND SEND TO THE ACCOUNT BELOW, ALSO EMAILING ANNETTE. FULL PAYMENT IS REQUIRED BY JULY 31st.
    Full payment up front is preferred.

    Can’t make the bus trip? Donate to support our costs or help someone less fortunate to attend.

    Send a donation to StopCSG Brisbane

    Account name: StopCSG Brisbane
    BSB: 638 070
    Account number: 12789550

    Buy Sharyn's book! In doing so you will be supporting the costs of the bus tour and providing much-needed funds to StopCSG Brisbane to continue our campaigning. Send $30 to the account above - please label your donation with your name and email Annette at annette.hutchins999@gmail.com

    BYO Sleeping Bags/Bedding
    ....................

    Itinerary
    Depart Brisbane:
    Sunday 12th August,7am
    Sunday 12th August - Arrive Tara, 12pm

    Leave Tara - 3pm
    Arrive Miles - 4.30pm

    Overnight stay (We are staying at Paul and Jenny's vineyard)

    On the Monday
    7am/8am start from vineyard
    9pm - Leo & Lyn’s (farmers at Gulagaba)
    12pm - Wandoan
    1pm - Plane flights

    During this time that we can split in two groups & while one waits at the take-off spot the rest go nearby & visit one of the last people standing in the Xstrata coal mine area, John Erbacher. Then swap about.

    5pm
    Main meal before the event starts most likely a BBQ at Wandoan.

    6.30pm to 9pm - The evening Rich Land Dewatered will go from Sharyn will be up first for half an hour before question time. Then the hydrologist for ½ hr + Q, before the lawyer. There will be a light supper afterwards.

    Overnight stay. (Paul and Jenny's vineyard)

    Tuesday
    7am - - Leave Miles
    8am - - Visit Celia Mackay's property
    10am - Leave (2hrs to Acland)
    12pm - Acland (lunch)
    3pm - Leave Acland
    5.30pm - Arrive Brisbane

    Fighting Fossil Fuels - Carmel Flint Fundraiser

    When:   Thursday 9th August, 2012 - 6pm


    This is a shin-dig night planned to kick off 6pm, at The Armidale Tree Group Woodland Centre on Thursday August 9th to assist in raising court fees & funds for Carmel Flint.

    Carmel Flint is passionate about stopping both coal seam gas and unsustainable coal mining in the Leard State Forest. Campaigning to save this area in Western NSW for several years, Carmel has written numerous submissions, met with politicians and liaised with experts in many fields. She has fought to protect this sensitive environment for endangered species in both the Pilliga and Leard State Forests. Carmel is an Armidale woman who has gained admiration and respect for her consistent effort to protect our forests and farmland.

    “All efforts to stop mining in Leard State Forest have failed. In support of the neighbouring farmers and to protest the destruction, I had myself chained to a bull dozer.” Carmel Flint said. Carmel was arrested for her action and charged with trespass.

    The Armidale Action on Coal Seam Gas group will be holding a dinner fund raiser. They are hoping to raise $1000 for court costs. All remaining funds will go towards Carmel's campaign to protect this pristine area.
    There will be a smorgasbord dinner, live music, and a film at the Tree Group Woodland Centre. The will cost will be adults $25 concession / students $15, children $5. All welcome.
    Assistance towards the menu greatly appreciated. Contact Pat Schultz 67725852 or Vee 67724429.

    Friday, July 20

    QGC should spill details, not just gas



    "All I have ever wanted is to be informed about what is going on": David Hubbard.

    CHINCHILLA beef producer David Hubbard has seen his property impacted four times by QGC spillages this year.

    Drilling fluid from a QGC mining rig had twice spilled into the Condamine River, a few hundred metres from where he accessed water for stock, and fluid also had spilled twice across a boundary fence into his paddock, he said.
     
    The accidents, which had occurred at a neighbouring property, had taken place over a single month.
     
    While he expressed his annoyance these incidents were occuring in the first place - a familiar story for many across rural Queensland - Mr Hubbard said his ongoing frustration was that he was not being adequately informed by the company about the discovery of the incidents and the follow-up investigations into the impacts.
     
    He said he had only learnt about two of the incidents following his own initiative and questions.
     
    Mr Hubbard said he had heard about the first spill in the Condamine River on the radio and had spent more than an hour on a State government hotline to find more information.
     
    Mr Hubbard said gas companies should have an obligation to inform surrounding landholders if an incident occurred.
     
    The shortage of timely, relevant and accurate information was listed as an ongoing cause of friction between landholders and gas companies in the land access framework review tabled last month in State Parliament.


    QCL

    Editor's Note:  Shame QGC, shame.