Australia: Inquiry calls for freeze on CSG [CBM] production

Australia: Inquiry calls for freeze on CSG [CBM] production by Sean Nicholls, May 1, 2012, The Land
The NSW government should cease issuing production licences for coal seam gas production until a ”comprehensive framework” for regulating the industry is developed, a parliamentary inquiry is set to recommend. The inquiry’s report, due to be released today, is also understood to recommend a moratorium on the controversial extraction method of fracking be continued until the national regulator finishes testing the chemicals involved. The Herald has learnt it also advises the five-year ”royalty holiday” granted to coal seam gas miners be scrapped and a strict limit be placed on ”fugitive emissions” from gas mining sites. … The cross-party committee that carried out the inquiry attracted more than 900 submissions after it was announced last year and travelled the state taking evidence from communities affected by coal seam gas exploration and mining. … The Resources and Energy Minister, Chris Hartcher, last year announced a moratorium on fracking – or hydraulic fracturing – in response to concerns it could pollute the water table. The recommendation for a continuation of the moratorium until all chemicals used in the process are tested by the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme is understood to be related to concerns that only two chemicals have been examined to date.

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