New Esso Gas Plant in Gippsland

Letter to the Gippsland Times in response to an article on a new Esso gas plant (December 21, 2012)

The following points may be considered in the response:

1. Esso’s continued investment in the fossil fuel industry lengthens the time frame to achieving a lesser carbon future.

2. Esso’s investment in future fossil fuel projects indicates their lack of concern (with) current and proven science which indicates that our habitat and existence is under threat from human contributed atmospheric changes.

3. Esso’s continued investment in fossil fuels in Gippsland means continued environmental harm for our region based on a tragic environmental history in this area.

4. The subtlety of the reference to ‘natural gas’ in the article may be considered in the future as public consultation of plans to utilise the new facility as an onshore CSG/CBM/Shale/Tight Gas processing plant.

5. Reference ‘cleaner energy future, the life cycle of LNG is now speculated to be as bad if not worse than coal in the short term and current Australian technologies estimated to be a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

(Link to Southern Cross University Submission on National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (Measurement) Determination by Drs. Santos and Maher)

6. The statement, ‘And because of the cleaner-burning qualities, natural gas is a powerful option for reducing the environmental impact of energy use.’ directly refers to onshore gas which Esso representatives regularly assure us is not a viable economic solution. The Australian White Paper indicates that there is an estimated 125 Metajoules of Gas in the Gippsland onshore reserves. Ignite Energy Resources estimate 35 Trillion Cubic Feet of gas (see Dr. Chris James submission) after exploration from 2007-2009. They want this gas and they want it now! And Esso wants to be there when it comes out.

7. The statement, ‘designed to treat natural gas with a different composition’, refers again to onshore gas or if it refers to offshore gas, no reference is made to the increased level of mercury and CO2 that is being extracted from the Kipper Tuna Turrum. The processing plant is a reactionary investment to deal with the mercury but not the CO2 which Esso representatives tell us is cheaper to vent to atmosphere and take the carbon tax hit than re-injecting it. So much for global warming solutions. Destroy the place now!

8. Ahhhh…. Mr. Ryan, always supporting a fossil fueled future, welcomes Esso’s 1 Billion dollar investment in destroying Gippsland!

9. Mr Ryan’s new plant will create 250 new jobs! Mr Ryan’s government has closed the Solar industry which employs 4800. Is it really employment that he is concerned about?

10. The Victorian Government’s investment of $56.9 Million in the Sale and Longford road system is a most timely infrastructure upgrade for the expansion of onshore LNG production and export to Asia through our newly upgraded $1.2b Port of Melbourne.

11. And to prevent this ‘plan’ being exposed and corrupt politicians being prosecuted, the ‘improved’ IBAC is most timely in it’s arrival. Pity Mr. O’Beid wasn’t in a “forward thinking” state like Victoria.

CSG Wellington Awareness Group, Sale, VICTORIA