The energy and economic future of Australia is increasingly in doubt after a major oil-producing province banned hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” Wednesday.
“I announce that the Government will as of today implement this election commitment to introduce a moratorium of hydraulic fracturing of the Territory’s unconventional gas resources,” Chief Minister of Australia’s Northern Territory Michael Gunner said at an energy conference. “The moratorium includes exploration – you cannot hydraulically frack unconventional gas reserves for exploration.”
Gunner, a member of Autralia’s far-left Labor party, unilaterially banned fracking by citing potential effects on groundwater, human health, and global warming. Environmentalists in the U.S. and around the world often claim that fracking causes similar problems, but scientists disagree.
Scientists within the Australian government are holding politicians to account for claims that fracking is poisoning water.
“The presence of the industry there has not caused that crack to occur or that fault to occur, it’s been there for aeons,” Professor Damian Barrett, the natural gas research director of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), told The Guardian. “The gas has probably been coming to the surface there for as long as people have been there.”
Fracking created an energy boom in Australia, rapidly making the country one of the world’s largest exporters of natural gas. In spite of early success, the Australian fracking boom will likely be held back because the government — not land-owners — owns mineral rights, discouraging new gas development in the country.
Much like Australia, environmentalists in America have a long history of ignoring scientific consensus when facts get in the way. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) science advisers recently stated that fracking has no “widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water in the United States.” The EPA’s assessment concurs with numerous scientific studies from regulatory bodies, academics, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the National Science Foundation
Environmentalists at Ecowatch responded to these studies with total denial, saying, “millions of Americans know that fracking contaminates groundwater and for the EPA to report any differently only proves that the greatest contamination from the industry comes from its influence and ownership of our government.” They even claim that the EPA’s is misleading the public about fracking’s devastating environmental impacts.
Despite scientific consensus, environmental groups tried to blame fracking for just about everything including: droughts, drinking water contamination, flaming tap-water, poverty, income inequality, and even low sperm counts. All these claims have been debunked.
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