What is the link between public participation and “Salami Slicing”?
THE Territory Government is poised to lift its fracking moratorium next year following the release of the NT fracking inquiry’s draft final report.
The report contains 120 recommendations that panel chairwoman Rachel Pepper said would mitigate the risks associated with fracking to “acceptable levels”. Tim Forcey has published his feedback to aspects of the NT Draft Final Report that questions the methods used to obtain an “acceptable risk” result. Although he notes that time did not permit him to extend his comments further, his response is important and it has been added to his Testimony.
Tim Forcey makes several good points that go a long way to demonstrating the primacy the industry is given by the government and the bias lacing decisions it makes (‘salami slicing) over the will and desires of the people, particularly when it comes to the protection of water, land and air (see the moving testimony of Daniel Tapp from NT).
As detailed in the summary presentation for Session 4 on this webage, one only needs to understand the number of government enquiries into this industry to witness the ultimate example of
the public opinion being prevented from participating in decision making.
Tim Forcey’s feedback to the Final Draft Report include the following important points that indicate failures and bias in decision making that give primacy to the industry:
- The inquiry report understates the consequences and risks associated with greenhouse gas emissions – in particular, human deaths
- Oil production is the key driver for development of NT Basins, but the risks associated with producing oil have not been assessed by the inquiry
- Fracking has not made the US a net energy exporter
- Shale gas is not an ‘important source of energy in the Australian Energy Market’
- Oil and gas producers will not find it economic to drive methane emissions toward zero
- Sophisticated top-down methane emission-flux quantification methods are available now and should be deployed in Australia
- Mis-accounting of Australian Methane emissions from unconventional oil and gas production still needs to be fixed.
See the Rural Weekly article for more criticism of the way the NT Fracking Enquiry salami sliced the evidence provided.