Category Archives: mining industry
You can have your solar panels
and your turbines on the hills;
You can use the warmth of sunshine
to reduce your heating bills.
You can dream you’re self-sufficient
as you weed your vegie bed;
As long as you make sure to keep
A diesel in the shed.
by Viv Forbes, Science Writer
When I was a kid on a dairy farm in Queensland, we relied on green energy – horses and human muscles provided motive power; fire-wood and beeswax candles supplied heat and light; windmills pumped water and the sun provided solar energy for growing crops, vegies and pastures. The only “non-green” energy used was a bit of kerosene for the kitchen lamp, and petrol for a small Ford utility.
Our life changed dramatically when we put a diesel in the dairy shed. This single-cylinder engine drove the milking machines, the cream separator and an electricity generator, which charged 16 lead-acid 2 volt batteries sitting on the veranda. This 32 volt DC system powered a modern marvel – bright light, at any time, in every room, at the touch of a switch.
There were no electric self-starters for diesels in those days – just a heavy crank handle. But all that effort, noise and fumes were superseded when every house and dairy got connected to clean silent “coal power by wire”. Suddenly the trusty “Southern Cross” diesel engines disappeared from Australian sheds and dairies.
In just one life-time, candles and kerosene were replaced by diesel, which was then replaced by clean silent ever-ready electricity.
Today, after Aussies have enjoyed decades of abundant reliable cheap electricity from coal, green energy gambling has taken Australia back to the era which kept a diesel in the shed.
Tasmania is the greenest state in Australia. It once had a vibrant economy that created mines, saw-mills, farms, orchards, oil and metal refineries, dams, hydro-power and railways. It is now a green no-go land. Greens have stopped new hydro developments, opposed mining, crippled the timber industry, prevented new wood-chip developments and will probably celebrate when their last refinery closes.
Tasmanians get their electricity mainly from hydro assets created long ago by their more productive ancestors. But recently a long drought caused a shortage of Tasmanian hydro-energy – they became reliant for up to 40% of their electricity needs on the Bass-link undersea cable bringing electricity from reliable coal-fired stations in Victoria and NSW. However the overloaded Bass Link cable failed, and an old gas-powered station was brought back into service (importing gas from Victoria) to keep the lights on. Subsequently their politicians hurriedly put 150 diesel generators in their shed (costing A$11 million per month).
South Australia is the next greenest state in Australia, hosting about 35% of Australia’s wind turbines. These were force-fed into existence by mandatory green energy targets and tax benefits. In a burst of green destruction they also closed their gas-fired power stations and demolished their coal-fired station. However wind power failed recently and a storm tore down their life-line bringing reliable coal power from Victoria. Now Premier Weatherill is planning to install up to 200 megawatts of diesel generators in his shed. Many residents are following his lead.
As some wag said: Question: “What did South Australians have before candles?” Answer: “Electricity”.
The UK has been badly infected by the green energy virus. Engineers warned that this intermittent and unpredictable supply had increased the risk of blackouts, so the UK government offered subsidies for emergency backup power. This subsidy, plus consumer concerns, put so many diesels in British sheds that they now provide a major backup capacity for UK electricity.
Many Spaniards found a diesel in the shed was very profitable. Their government had been drinking green-ale and offered attractive subsidies for solar power produced. The subsidy was very successful – so successful that someone eventually noticed that some suppliers were even producing “solar” power at night. It was coming from diesels in their sheds.
Finally, our green media likes to feature some green energy enthusiast who is “off the grid”. But it usually emerges later in the show that there is a diesel in their shed too.
Those who remember the days of relying on a noisy smelly diesel in the shed have no wish to be dragged back there by green zealots.
Labor and Liberal ignore creating a Reserve Resource Policy
In media reports today, the Prime Minister said the revelations are “very concerning” and he’ll be holding an urgent meeting of chief executives of east coast gas companies to find out, “how they plan to address this threat to their customers.”
KAP Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter will be introducing into Parliament a Bill to enact a Reserve Resource Policy, (a policy where some of the gas is kept for Australians).
Mr Katter said, “We’ve already instructed the Parliamentary Draftsman to move on the Bill.
“We will be having discussions with a number of key players in the industry. We feel that there are at least three Government Members who will stand up on this issue.
“Almost every fertiliser producing country on earth (di-ammonium phosphate) has a Reserve Resource Policy. They get the ammonia (natural gas) for three or four dollars but Australian fertiliser companies are paying nearly 15 dollars.
“We have a steel industry with threatened closure, copper refineries closing, aluminium expansions abandoned, nickel refineries closed.
“And the Government’s answer is to call a meeting with Mr Foreign Gas Corporation? ‘Oh please, can you please give us some of our gas?’ We won’t be asking – we will be telling them!
“We will see if any of the LNP Members have the guts to stand up for Australian industry and Australian workers or if they’re going to be a bunch of cowards.
“The PM’s bleating is humiliating for all of ‘we Australians’ putting the begging-bowl out to giant foreign gas corporations who are not there to provide security of supply. They are there to maximise profits from the gas that we gave them for virtually nothing.
“It sure would be nice if an LNP person stood up on Economic Sovereignty where some of them will die in the ditches on social policy. It sure would be nice if they would show the same commitment on Economic Sovereignty and the morality of selling all of our resources to foreign corporations so that the southern states are left shivering in winter and the north swelters in summer. Neither can afford to pay the prices that gas owners (all foreign corporations) are charging Australians for their own gas.
“Huey Long, the 40th Governor of Louisiana was the most popular politician in human history. He introduced a Reserve Resource Policy on Louisiana’s gas so the people of the Louisiana were entitled to that gas for no more than the cost of production.
“In Qld under the much maligned Bjelke-Petersen Government, we had a Reserve Resource Policy. The bulk of Qld’s electricity came from overburdened coal which the Government took for free under a Reserve Resource Policy. Qld had the cheapest electricity in the world and we were the biggest mineral processing state on earth: aluminium, nickel, zinc, copper…
“Now Qld is on the National Grid and pays National Competition Policy prices and so we suffer the second highest electricity prices in the world.
“Successive governments have brought us to this impasse: no manufacturing, no mineral processing, and some of the highest electricity prices in the world.
“Pensioners can have a feed or turn the lights on; but they can’t do both. That’s of course when you can get the electricity to turn on. It will become increasingly unreliable.
“As Minister (in the QLD Government), we kept a 30 per cent spending reserve in electricity. We had transmission lines that enabled the 30 per cent reserve in almost every part of the state. We had absolute security of supply. We could lose six of our 22 major generating units and not a have single light out in Qld.
“Under national competition policy there is no guarantee of supply on the grid. Prices have gone up 300 per cent in 15 years. In the 30 years prior to that, prices only went up a little over 30.”
Australia will again ride on the back of surging coal and iron ore export prices as prices jump 180 per cent above the market doldrums of earlier this year.
Iron ore is our second largest export at 15 per cent, being ahead of coal by just four per cent.
Queensland’s high-quality coking coal hit $253.50 a tonne, up from $90 in June, a rise of 180 per cent.
Thermal coal has smashed the $100US barrier and is now $108.60US, a long way from its $54 a tonne just months ago.
On their present course, if the present spot prices flow through to contract prices for coking and thermal coal, exports could be boosted by $40 billionUS.
The much-maligned Adani coal mine proposed for Central Queensland may have taken a step closer after the Labor State Government, in spite of impending doomsday cries from the Greens, seems set for it to go ahead.
If the $21.7 billion Indian – owned mine should begin construction in 2017, pending last- stand legal action by green and indigenous groups, Queensland will hugely benefit in terms of construction jobs.
When the coal starts to be exported after a two year construction period, the State will reap royalties that have been absent since the mining downturn began three years ago.
The combined mine, rail and associated water infrastructure have all been declared critical infrastructure – the first time this has happened in seven years.
As well, the project’s special “prescribed project” status has been renewed and expanded to include its water infrastructure.
State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said his decision would mean less red tape for the proposed project and the jobs and business opportunities it offered.
This step bundles together major elements of the project for the first time – the mine, the 389 kilometre rail line, and the water infrastructure, including a pipeline, pumping stations and a dam upgrade,” he said.
It makes it more efficient to establish easements for infrastructure like the water pipeline and the rail, and expands the Coordinator-General’s power to ensure timely approvals.” Dr Lynham said the declaration was based on advice from the independent Coordinator-General, who continued to meet regularly with Adani to progress the project.
When this government came to power in early 2015, it is fair to say that there was a long way to go with the approvals that Adani needed before they could start construction.
Katters Australia party has long championed the mine with Bob Katter telling the State Government it would be a “no brainer” to stop it.
He said to stop the mine based on totally unscientific claims that it would somehow harm the Great Barrier Reef was “just the prattle of the Greens, that most people no longer listen to.”
KAP member for Kennedy isn’t surprised by today’s reports that Australian gas is 40 per cent cheaper in Japan than in Australia, despite export costs.
Mr Katter said “Our mineral processing industries in Australia now are under very serious threat. They have announced twice the closure of the copper refinery in Townsville, we have the Qld nickel plant closed, and in Mount Isa they’ve closed a lot of refineries, why? Because they cannot afford the gas!
“It is the major expense in fertiliser productions. So all farming is at a huge disadvantage on the world stage. Every country on earth has a Reserve Resource Policy. Every fertiliser plant on earth buys gas for under $4 a gigajoule. We have to buy at world market prices at $14 a gigajoule. So how can we have a fertiliser plant in Australia? Well the fact is we can’t.
“We have 6,000 –7,000 people employed in fertiliser plants, 2000 of them are effectively in Mount Isa. How can we continue to pay $14 a gigajoule when every other competitor nation is paying $3 a gigajoule?
“Previously in Qld, we had the cheapest electricity in the world because we had a Reserve Resource Policy. One or two per cent of all coal in Qld we took for free. So we had the cheapest electricity in the world and that’s how we secured the aluminium industry. Now, we have only the second most expensive electricity in the world and I think it’s only a matter of time before we say, ‘bye-bye aluminium industry’.
“Do the State or Federal Governments intend on having a Reserve Resource Policy? No, not the slightest intension. They are interested in looking after the interests of every other country on earth and being big heroes as ‘free marketeers’ at the expense of their own people. Western Australia by the way, still has a Reserve Resource Policy.
“The gas industry is worth nothing to the Australian economy. The gas industry of Australia is 90 per cent foreign owned. The money comes in, we sell the gas, and then the money just boomerangs back out again. It’s not like the coal, copper or iron ore industry with massive employment.”
Alan Jones to chair Nickel workers meeting Monday, April 11
5 April 2016 The Federal Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter thanks Alan Jones for throwing his support behind the workers of Queensland Nickel (QNI).
“We welcome the news that Alan Jones will be coming up to chair the meeting,” said Mr Katter.
This is the first meeting organised by the workers. It will be held at 1:45PM, Monday, 11 April at The Ville Casino in Townsville.
Mr Katter has called on the State and Federal governments, business leaders and the workers to assert themselves at the meeting:
“Workers need to demand a worker’s buy-out or some other approach to get QNI reopened,” said Mr Katter.
“The business leadership in Townsville must step forward and organise a prominent business group to provide comfort for a government coming in with a guaranteed loans scheme and discomfort for any of the politicians not backing a buy-out scheme.”
“There must be action from the State ALP members and the Federal LNP and Senators to help us here. I’ll be the first to encourage and applaud them if they step forward and fight for their people. Come on fellas!”
“When you’ve got 2000 families in the electorate staring down the gun barrel of bankruptcy or near bankruptcy, it is your responsibility to get off your tailbone and do something about it.”
Mr Katter said this meeting is an opportunity for the workers to say what they want:
“There were 40 or 50 of the workers at the leadership meeting that I attended and I saw in them a determination in them to fight.”
“Fellas, ladies we can win this. But we can only win this as a community who stands up and fights.”
“The first people who need to stand up are the workers and I would plead on bended knees to a quarter of those workers who I represent, and to the concerned people of the town to attend Monday’s meeting.”
Exclusive from Harry Palmer
New anti-protest laws to give police powers to search, seize, and move on protesters align with a Nazi Germany dictator’s handbook.
The NSW Baird government laws will increase fines for illegal entry into CSG & mining sites from $550 to $5,500. Anti CSG protestors can be jailed for up to 7 years. This reeks of a mining corporation’s puppet government.
At the same time this Baird government has strengthened it’s wrath upon protestors freedom of speech, introducing the “Petroleum Onshore Legislation Amendment Harmonisation Act” to reduce mining companies penalties when in breach of the law.
For example, a current $550,000 fine for a mining company breach will now be a $5,000 penalty infringement notice.
Mike Baird at a dinner in 2014 promised his former chief of staff Steve Galilee, who is now head of the Minerals Council, to crack down on protesters and reduce mining company fines. He has now delivered that promise.
Mining companies write their own Environmental Impact Statements [EIS] worded with very creative misinformation on health, community, water, etc. Under the crimes act, providing false and/or misleading information attracts a fine of $550,000 plus $50,000 a day until the false statement is rectified. That now has been reduced to fine of $2,500.
Failing to submit a report on a petroleum title attracted a fine of $1.1 million plus $110,000 a day. That is amended to a fine of $2,500. Now there is a real incentive for companies to lie and mislead with greater creativity.
Farmers protesting against mining company’s blatant violation of EIS who park a tractor or truck across an access on their own freehold property in protest, are looking at 7 years jail, a $5,000 fine, and their vehicle confiscated and destroyed.
Welcome to the 4th Reich of NSW. The Liberals, Nationals (the farmers friend), Shooters and Fishers party and Christian Democrat Fred Nile.
Demands from Labor and the Greens that the Bill at least be taken to the Law and Justice Committee were dismissed by the government.
Greens MP and Justice Spokesman David Shoebridge said:
“The right to protest dates back 800 years to the Magna Carta but Premier Baird is so arrogant that he believes he can trample that right to deliver for the Liberal party’s paymasters in the mining industry.
“Protest is an essential part of a functioning democracy, it ended slavery, delivered Aboriginal land rights, gave women the vote, saved the Franklin and protected the Sydney Rocks area.
“These laws have no social licence in NSW and if ever the police or the Liberal National parties try to enforce them, they will hit a wall of public protest that will stop them in their tracks”.
So can we count on you voting one of these LNP/LABOR parties back into government to support the tyranny of the two-party system and maintain this level of dictatorship and stop your freedom to protest?
Your water supplies will be gone and so will the farms.
Listen to 2GB presenter Alan Jones report on this story – http://www.2gb.com/audioplayer/163661#pXYeUvB0dIqFEz9p.01
Here’s The New Study The Fracking Industry Doesn’t Want You To See
Though fracking industry proponents scoff at any intimation their so-called vital industry poses even scant risks to the public, a new study published in Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology just proved those critics right — fracking wastewater causes cancer.
Using human bronchial epithelial cells, which are commonly used to measure the carcinogenesis of toxicants, researchers confirmed fracking flowback water from the Marcellus Shale caused the formation of malignancies.
After conducting further tests on live mammalian subjects, researchers found five of six mice “injected with cells transformed from well water treatments developed tumors as early as 3 months after injection,” including a tumor in one mouse that grew to over 1 cm in size in just five months. A control group did not develop any tumors for the six months of the study period.
According to the study, performed by scientists from the Department of Environmental Medicine, as well as Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmaceutical at New York University, the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at Rutgers, and esteemed partners from universities in China — results indicate fracking flowback water causes cancer.
Implications of the report’s findings would be difficult to overstate considering how fracking wastewater is generated, stored, and treated, and how often spills, leaks — and even the wastewater injection process, itself — can lead to contamination of the potable supply. A concise but thorough explanation of the fracking process can be found in the introduction to the report, “Malignant human cell transformation of Marcellus Shale gas drilling flow back water,” which states:
Natural gas is believed to possibly be a bridge to transitioning from coal dependence. Currently natural gas fuels nearly 40% of the U.S. electricity generation, and the Marcellus Shale formation in the Appalachian Basin is on the forefront of gas-shale drilling for natural gas production in the United States. Mining natural gas is not new, but the volume has soared in recent years because the new technique of high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing (HVHHF). The concern surrounding the environmental, public health, and social impacts of this method has increased accordingly. HVHHF is an advanced technology that injects water, sand, and other ingredients at very high pressure vertically into a well about 6000 to 10,000 feet deep. The high pressure creates fractures in the rock that extend out as far as 1000 ft away from the well. The pressure is reduced after the fractures are created, which allows water from the well to return to the surface, also known as flow back water [or flowback]. The flow back water contains complex proprietary chemical mixtures, but also naturally occurring toxins such as metals, volatile organics, and radioactive compounds that are destabilized during gas extraction. On average, 5.5 million gallons of water is used … to hydraulically fracture each shale gas well, and 30% to 70% of the volume returns as flow back water.
Read this full story [HERE]
CSG opponents claim a scalp, but battle far from over, says Katter
6 February 2016: Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter said today that coal seam gas opponents had claimed a ‘scalp’ in their ongoing war against CSG – as AGL Energy this week made a decision to cease its coal seam gas operations in Australia.
Mr Katter paid tribute to the tireless individuals who had fought against coal seam gas projects – from radio personalities, to Lock the Gate, to farmers, to knitting Nannas – but said the battle was far from over.
“Just this week I had a meeting with Dr David Pascoe and his wife Heather about this very issue – as early as four or five years ago they told me the issue of coal seam gas was so serious and so frightening it had the potential to redefine the political landscape of Australia.
“So we pay tribute to all of these people in having a very small win, but a win nonetheless.
“The CSG industry has treated land owners – and I don’t just mean farmers – but land owners of Queensland with absolute contempt.
“They have jeopardised the water supply for vast areas of Queensland – and all for an industry that does not give two bob to the Australian economy.
“We have always been proudly a mining state but coal seam gas has, and is, seriously damaging the mining industry.
“When the construction and development phase is over the industry comes back to 2500 jobs, and almost its entire $25,000 million a year income will then line the pockets of rich foreign CSG giants,” Mr Katter said.
Mr Katter has constantly warned of the potentially catastrophic social and economic costs of coal seam gas aquifer drilling which threatens to contaminate our waters and the lifeblood of Australia’s agricultural industries.
In 2013 Mr Katter introduced laws to place a temporary suspension on aquifer drilling for coal seam gas extraction.
Lock The Gate and residents campaign a win for NSW and Gloucester
Many people in the Gloucester community had been campaigning for years to stop the proposed 330-well development AGL had proposed.
“Our community overwhelmingly will be ecstatic about this,” he said.
“The uncertainty around this industry has always been frightening to us.”
AGL had previously said its Gloucester Gas Project had the potential to supply more than 15 per cent of NSW’s gas needs.
It was proposing up to 110 gas wells and associated infrastructure for the first stage of its gas field development, and a 15 megawatt gas-fired electricity plant. ABC News