Australia and the United States clashing over gas approach

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Image Credit: Climate Council

US President Biden has halted new American gas exports, labelled as ‘carbon mega bombs’, while Federal Resources Minister Madeline King has promised to send more Australian gas overseas without obtaining basic environmental approvals, the Climate Council said.

Minister King has assured Japan and South Korea that more gas is coming from proposed projects like Scarborough and Barossa, but neither has been fully assessed for its environmental, climate, and First Nations impacts.

“Spruiking new gas projects before they’ve been fully approved is neither good government or proper process — two things the Albanese Government says it prides itself on. Both Scarborough and Barossa are still undergoing a range of environmental approval processes, not to mention outstanding legal challenges,” Climate Council Head of Advocacy Dr Jennifer Rayner said.

Dr Rayner noted that Minister King’s comments suggest the government is committed to advancing two climate-wrecking projects, causing concerns over climate, environment, and First Nations perspectives.

Adertisement

“Rather than spruiking these polluting gas projects, Minister King could fly the flag for Australia’s growing critical minerals sector and our world-leading renewable energy potential. Both Japan and Australia are among nearly 200 countries who promised to accelerate the switch away from fossil fuels as part of international negotiations. This involves using far less gas over time as clean, affordable renewable energy picks up the load,” she stated.

According to her, the Resources Minister’s support for these new gas projects comes as US President Biden has halted several major gas projects to allow for a new review process that will address the climatic consequences of increased gas production. The difference could hardly be more apparent. 

“All new fossil fuel projects in Australia should be assessed under a stronger national environment law that has climate at its heart. Carbon bombs like Scarborough and Barossa should not be ushered through under the cover of our existing weak laws, and treated like a done deal in a rush to get more gas out the door.”