If you like to visit the echo chamber of activist fear campaigns and conspiracy theories, you probably enjoyed Mr Richard Denniss’ latest piece (‘Feeding the Beast’ The Monthly November 2016). The only thing missing was a Bond villain stroking a Persian cat. If you prefer balanced, factual analysis, you had wandered into the wrong place.
It’s impossible in a short letter to respond to all the inaccuracies, sweeping but unsupported claims, and snide personal attacks. Like-minded people may enjoy this stuff but other readers deserve better.
Here are just a few corrections:
- The local gas industry does not use banned benzene chemicals.
- The independent scientific research is clear that, properly regulated, fracking is safe. All wells require regulatory approvals.
- The oil and gas industry pays an effective tax rate of about 50 cents in every dollar of profit – company and resource taxes combined.
- The industry paid $7.3 billion in taxes in 2013-14.
Obviously, Mr Denniss doesn’t like natural gas and thinks gas can be eliminated from the global energy mix sometime very soon, without any adverse effects.
Genuine experts disagree. The International Energy Agency forecasts that the world’s use of gas will increase to 2040; more importantly, substituting gas for other, less clean fuels will help the world meet its climate change targets.
Dr Malcolm Roberts
Chief Executive, APPEA