No coal mine will be left behind! Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek waited until media mayhem of the Federal Budget aftermath last Tuesday to approve three new coal mines and a coal mine extension. What’s the scam?
The scam is to do it when nobody is watching, like the aftermath of the Budget when the story will get buried. In a week when Violet Coco and 7 environment activists were on a 48 hour hunger strike calling for “no new coal no new gas”, the Environment Minister quietly approved three new coal mines, a coal mine extension and there is another coal seam gas project up for approval on Friday?
After delaying in two-week instalments for months, Plibersek gave the nod to Bowen Coking Coal’s Isaac River Coal Mine. The smallest of the four new mines approved.
Bowen Coking Coal has opened or reopened three coal mines in the last three years. Isaac River will cause 7 million tonnes of emissions throughout its lifetime till 2028.
Mount Pleasant Mine, the largest of the four, will be able to produce enough coal to run an average power station for 126 years at the cost of 876 million tonnes of emissions over its lifetime.
The second-largest new coal mine is Whitehaven’s Narrabri Underground Mine which stands to emit a whopping 1,268 million tonnes of emissions over its lifetime.
The third largest is Ensham Mine, proposed by Japanese company Idemitsu, which is looking to extend the mine for nine years, resulting in an additional 106 million tonnes of emissions.
Finally, on the Environment Minister’s desk is another new coal seam gas project owned by Gina Rinehart, the Atlas Stage 3 Gas Project near Wandoan in Queensland. A decision on the 151 gas well project has been delayed until May 19, this Friday.