Former Vice President of the United States Al Gore should be using his visit to Australia to promote the role of natural gas in reducing global emissions.

“Mr Gore may be here to talk renewables, but the truth is that it’s natural gas that is driving down emissions in the US,” said APPEA Queensland Director Rhys Turner.

“Last year, energy-related emissions in the US were at their lowest level since 1991, having fallen about 13 per cent since their peak in 2007. The main reason for this dramatic fall is the increased use of natural gas.

“If Mr Gore wants to make a contribution to the energy debate in Australia, he should call for the removal of the bans and moratoriums that are strangling gas supply.

“More gas is the only sustainable way to put downward pressure on gas prices.”

Mr Turner said the recent release of the Finkel Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market has prompted a high level discussion in Australia about energy security and provided a much-needed opportunity to better align Australia’s climate change and energy policies.

He said Mr Gore’s suggestion in The Australian today that gas exports may be the reason for recent electricity price increases overstated the role that gas played in power generation and understated the many inputs that go into establishing and maintaining a viable power network.

“The energy network is incredibly complex,” Mr Turner said.

“It relies on efficient inputs and co-operation from many sources, including: coal, gas, hydro, wind, solar and other unconventional generators; transmission, distribution and pipeline operators; retailers; three levels of government; and numerous regulatory bodies.

“Likewise, the inference that if the Queensland LNG export industry, which derives its gas largely from upstream onshore extraction, did not exist that there would be enough gas to go around is incorrect.

“Without the east coast export industry driven by demand from a growing Asian market and its need for cleaner energy, this gas would have simply remained in the ground. Queensland LNG developments have delivered a positive flow-on effect in the form of gas being pumped in to the east coast network.”