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Report reveals gas companies can't be trusted: Cook must not cave to export demands

The Cook Government should be aiming to reduce the state’s domestic reliance on gas, rather than doubling down on the polluting fossil fuel, says Lock the Gate Alliance.

In response to the release of an interim report into Western Australian domestic gas supply, Lock the Gate Alliance WA Coordinator Claire McKinnon said:

“What this report shows is that big gas companies can’t be trusted - revelations that gas producers are only providing as little as eight percent of their gas for domestic use - half of what they are supposed to - is a clear argument in favour of a crackdown on these unscrupulous operators.

“The report also calls into question the Cook Government's mad gas dash, noting the International Energy Agency’s comments that an expanding gas industry is incompatible with a safe climate. (Pg 13)

“Only a fool would trust the big gas companies to act in the interest of West Australians. Unfortunately, the past seven months have shown that the Cook Government appears hopelessly captured by the gas industry.

"Since August last year, the Cook Government has lifted the gas export ban for fracking companies in the Kimberley, sought to muzzle the EPApublicly boasted about a plan to increase emissions, and charged headlong into making WA a dumping ground for waste carbon.

“When the gas cartel was given permission to sell onshore gas in Queensland to the international market, it sent gas prices on the east coast sky high and did nothing to increase domestic supply. It also facilitated fracking across the state. 

“The same could happen in WA. Alternatively, WA can have abundant, affordable, clean energy without laying waste to water, regional communities, and climate. We urgently need the State Government to implement a degasification strategy - for our climate and environment, but increasingly for electricity reliability and keeping the cost of energy affordable, too. 

“Meanwhile, WA has endured record breaking heatwave after record breaking heatwave this summer. In the past fews days, 15 of the hottest places in the world were all in Western Australia.

“Fossil fuels like gas are to blame. Gas is not a transition fuel, it is a dirty, polluting fossil fuel, and it is burning WA.”


From the interim report (P 13): 

The level of demand that the State is expected to experience over the next decade will not— and cannot, if the world is to meet our emission targets—continue. The International Energy Agency has previously said that to reach net zero emissions, global gas demand will have to fall by more than five per cent each year on average to 2050, at which point it will sit at around 930 billion cubic metres—75 per cent lower than 2022.

IEA Executive Director Dr Fatih Birol has said the ‘the gas industry needs to come to terms with this ‘uncomfortable truth,’ namely that a successful energy transition will require gas production to be scaled back over time’.

Under a net zero scenario, any gas investment would be directed towards existing fields and the reduction of oil and gas operations, not the development of new projects. The IEA says that in the net zero emissions scenario by 2050 none of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects that are currently under construction would be required and any ‘long lead time upstream conventional projects’ in fact risk becoming stranded assets if they proceed.

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