Frac bribery not working in South Australia the way it does in Alberta (and Albertans fall for much much less)

South East farmers oppose gas royalty deal amid fracking push by Belinda Willis, March 15, 2017, The Advertiser

SOUTH-EAST farmers lobbying against fracking on their land say the promise of 10 per cent of royalties for any gas sold from their properties won’t change their minds.

Tantanoola farmer Peter Altschwager said the majority of South-East farmers opposed fracking and, until companies showed unconventional gas extraction was safe, the State Government’s new royalties plan was unlikely to win support.

“The right thing at this stage would be to sit down and to educate about what they can do safely. In the past, they have never prosecuted their case effectively: they are just not convincing us at the moment,” Mr Altschwager said.

The State Government this week proposed giving landowners and farmers 10 per cent of royalties collected from underground gas sold from a property.

Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis claimed it would help deliver new gas production.

Protesters including the Limestone Coast Protection Alliance and green group Lock the Gate Alliance have been actively fighting unconventional gas extraction in the South-East over fears it could affect groundwater.

The Liberal Opposition had promised to take a 10-year moratorium on gas exploration in the South East to the next election.

VIDEO AT LINK: PM: Producers agree to provide more gas domestically

Dairy Farmers SA chief executive Andrew Curtis said while a solution to power outages was desperately needed for farmers reliant on 24-hour power for milking, cooling and irrigation pumps, the plan for royalties was simplistic.

“While it’s good that there’s some recognition that primary producers should be compensated, the reality is that it is far more complex than that. The issue of fracking is a community and regional issue,” he said. [Emphasis added]

Malcolm Turnbull to push for fracking to alleviate Australia’s energy crisis by Latika Bourke, March 15, 2017, The Sydney Morning Herald

Wednesday will be dominated by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s energy crisis talks.

It comes after South Australia’s bold attempt to go-it-alone in announcing a state-owned gas plant, offering farmers a piece of the royalties for gas extracted from their land and battery storage. But the federal government thinks SA is undermining the national energy market rules and is seeking legal advice. [James Massola/Fairfax]

The PM will push for the states to lift their bans on the controversial technique of fracking to extract gas trapped in coal beneath the ground.

Although this is a state matter and the states aren’t attending, Michelle Grattan notes. [The Conversation]

The industry will welcome that but also call for reform of the monopoly governing how it transports gas around the country – with Shell telling Philip Coorey that it costs them $3.50 to send a gigajoule of gas from Queensland to Victoria but just $3 to ship it over from the US. [The Financial Review]

South Australia’s proposal to offer farmers 10 per cent of the royalties of gas extracted from beneath their land “should resound nationally,” writes Matthew Stevens. [The Financial Review] [Emphasis added]

SA power: Energy Minister to be given more control in state’s $500m plan to secure future by Nick Harmsen and Angelique Donnellan, March 14, 2017, ABC News

The South Australian Government has announced it will spend more than $500 million to build a new gas-fired power plant and Australia’s largest battery as it moves to secure the state’s energy supplies.

Announcing the energy plan in the wake of blackouts and load-shedding, SA Premier Jay Weatherill said his government would take control by ensuring the energy minister was given powers to direct the market.

The plan would involve building, owning and operating a $360 million, 250-megawatt gas-fired plant to provide power grid stability and for emergency power needs.

The private sector would build Australia’s largest battery before next summer, with a 100MW output, Mr Weatherill told a news conference.

The venture would be funded from a new $150 million renewable technology fund, he said.

“We think that a secure energy system should have multiple sources. It is a question of speed as well,” he said.

“A battery could be delivered quickly, we are advised, but we want multiple sources of redundancy, if you like, in our electricity system so that we have got more service efficiency.

Gas exploration incentives will ‘pit farmer against farmer’ says SA Liberal Troy Bell by Sarah Maunder, March 14, 2017, ABC News

Mount Gambier MP Troy Bell says a newly announced gas exploration incentive scheme is a deliberate ploy to introduce fracking to the south-east of South Australia.

The incentives were announced on Tuesday as part of the South Australian Government’s plan to secure the state’s energy supplies.

Now, South Australian landowners willing to open their property to gas exploration will receive 10 per cent of the royalties from any profits made by the State Government.

“This policy is going to pit farmer against farmer,” Mr Bell said.

“I saw this in the United States. Three generations of neighbours were now arch enemies because one was opposed to fracking and the other was collecting royalties.”

Mr Bell said he was not aware of any landowners in the region who would take the incentive, but conceded it would be a tempting offer.

“As a 10 per cent royalty, you’ve got to remember that most of these gas projects generate hundreds of millions of dollars,” he said.

“If you’re getting 10 per cent of that, it equates to millions for the farmer.”

Incentives a ‘lever’ to explore south-east

Anti-fracking campaigner Anne Daw believes the new gas exploration incentive has been introduced to bypass public concerns.

“They are going to use this as a lever to come into the south-east,” Ms Daw said.

Last year the Natural Resources Committee handed down the findings of its parliamentary inquiry into fracking.

Results indicated the practice should not take place in the south-east region because there was no ‘social license’ to do so.

Shortly after the parliamentary inquiry findings were handed down, the South Australian Liberal Party announced a 10-year ban on fracking in the south-east if elected at the state election in 2018.

Contrary to Mr Bell’s beliefs, South Australia’s energy minister Tom Koutsantonis said the incentive had the potential to make the region self-sufficient.

“We want to turn people’s feelings around about finding oil and gas on their property,” Mr Koutsantonis said.

“This [incentives] will go a long way to helping people make a decision about whether they want to assist our state securing our own energy needs, or would they prefer to keep on importing energy from across the border?

“People used to celebrate the idea that you would find oil and gas on your land but now it’s turned into some sort of liability.”

Mr Koutsantonis said Mr Bell’s comments were unfair.

“We’re not attempting to pit neighbour against neighbour, we’re trying to help people get a benefit out of what is being derived from their land.” [Emphasis added]

Must watch: 

The huge, hidden risks in the SA Government’s $550m power plan 2:40 Min by Todaytonight Adelaide

Sick of waiting for the Government to fix our power? The high-tech Adelaide start-ups who’ll take you off the grid and slash your bills 4:03 Min. by Todaytonight Adelaide

Tesla Gigafactory: Elon Musk shows confidence in new battery production, says could deliver 100+ MWh in 100 days or free by electrek, March 10, 2017

Tesla in talks with Australian utilities to fix country’s power problems by deploying large-scale energy storage by electrek, March 9, 2017


Industry (via governments) reacting – badly – to this?

2017 03 07: WOW! Australia: Fracking Banned in Victoria, Giving Certainty to Farmers (& families, communities, food, land, water & air!)

2016 08 30: Victoria state gov’t to permanently ban unconventional gas development; Fracking and CBM/CSG to be banned: “The health and environmental risks…outweigh any potential benefit.” Citizens hail decision after inquiry into onshore unconventional gas received 1,600 submissions

[Refer also to:

2017 03 08: Frac Industry controlled? UK Budget 2017: Solar industry facing devastating 800% tax increase, Some businesses and schools that generate electricity from rooftop solar panels will have to pay rates for the first time, while others will face a massive tax rise ]


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