PM’s Gorgon claims not backed by figures: Greens
Claims by Kevin Rudd that the Gorgon gas project must go ahead on an
A-class reserve at Barrow Island so that the project’s emissions can be
sequestered in reservoirs beneath the island are undermined by the
proponents’ own figures, Greens Senator for WA Rachel Siewert says.
“Out of the nearly nine million tonnes-a-year of CO2 emissions that the
Gorgon project will create, the proponents quite clearly state that they
planning to geo-sequester less than half,” Senator Siewert said.
“It is therefore a furphy that keeping greenhouse gas emissions low is
the main reason for the proponents to build on Barrow. The real reason
is simply cost, because Barrow presents a cheaper option for the
proponents than building an LNG plant on the mainland.
“Given the very poor track record of carbon geo-sequestration projects
around the world to date, I also fear that given the weak conditions
imposed on the development, the proponents will eventually allow all
8.81 million tonnes-a-year of Gorgon’s carbon dioxide emissions to vent
into the atmosphere.
“That could mean we’re looking at this project emitting the equivalent
emissions of eight new coal-fired power stations.
“Even with carbon geo-sequestration, Gorgon represents as many annual
emissions as five new 200MW coal-fired power stations.
“Putting the LNG plant on the mainland would not only avoid unnecessary
irreparable damage to a fragile offshore environment and species living
on Barrow, it would also allow for the co-location of other industries
boosting skilled jobs and the local economy.
“This comes at a time when renewable energy technologies in Western
Australia are ripe for commercial roll-out, including solar thermal and
wind, with wave and geothermal close behind.
“It’s clear that Western Australia has massive potential for job
creation and zero-carbon base and peak-load electricity generation using
“What a difference it would make if the Rudd and Barnett governments put
the same amount of energy into encouraging renewable energy developments
as they have into Gorgon.
“A multi-billion dollar investment in solar thermal and wave power would
see a huge boost to WA’s economy and a tremendous reduction in our
greenhouse emissions, and it would set us up to be an export hub for
renewable energy instead of more polluting fossil fuels.”
For more information or media inquiries, please call Eloise Dortch on
0415 507 763
Note to editors:
Gorgon proponents plan to inject 3.36 million tonnes of carbon dioxide
each year into reservoirs beneath the island and vent another 5.45
million tonnes annually into the atmosphere – refer to WA Environmental
Protection Authority report No 1323 (April 2009), page 30 (p.39 on
computer screen) at