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Review of WA’s largest polluter welcomed

The Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) has welcomed a review of conditions imposed on WA’s largest polluter to control carbon pollution from the giant Gorgon LNG facility on Barrow Island.

notification of the review, which has been triggered by Environment Minister Stephen Dawson, was posted on the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) website yesterday.

Conditions imposed on the Gorgon facility require Chevron to capture and inject underground about 20% of the total carbon pollution from the facility, which will produce nearly 10 million tonnes of CO2 annually when in full operation. The underground injection of carbon pollution was the primary justification for Chevron to build the massive LNG refinery on the Barrow Island Nature Reserve.

Chevron’s compliance report released in late 2017 reveals the company has been unsuccessful in making this underground CO2 injection work, despite receiving over $60m in government subsidies for the CO2 injection equipment.

In November 2017, CCWA called for Chevron to suspend production at the Gorgon LNG facility until the CO2 injection could be made to work, or alternative offsets provided for the carbon pollution.   

CCWA Director Piers Verstegen said it was clear that Chevron had been ignoring its obligations on climate change, and the State Government imposed conditions on the Gorgon project.

“Chevron is by far the biggest polluter in Western Australia, and is set to produce nearly 20 million tonnes of carbon pollution per year from its two giant LNG refineries.

“Chevron has admitted that they are failing to implement even the very modest conditions imposed by the WA Government, so the review of conditions on Chevron’s Gorgon facility is strongly welcomed.

“The reviews of pollution conditions on the Gorgon and Wheatstone facilities is an opportunity for the EPA and State Government to apply a science-based approach, and bring these conditions up to a contemporary standard.

“The Northern Territory Government recently accepted recommendations that pollution from gas developments should be offset, including pollution from burning the gas here in Australia or overseas.

“Applying this standard to LNG projects in Western Australia would capture significant new jobs and investment in carbon farming, renewable energy, and clean technology.

“Rather than sending huge profits offshore and leaving Australian taxpayers to deal with its massive pollution problem, Chevron should be investing in local jobs and technology to offset its pollution here in WA.”

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