CSG is doubleplus bad, so call it ‘natural gas’ instead

A file photo of an anti-CSG rally at Lismore.
A file photo of an anti-CSG rally at Lismore. LNS

IN A MOVE labelled "Orwellian double speak" by CSG activists, the NSW Government will replace references to the phrase "coal seam gas" or CSG with the more neutral "natural gas from coal seams".

The directive was revealed in a leaked internal briefing paper from the office of NSW Resources Minister Chris Hartcher.

Staff are requested to "refer to natural gas from coal seams in the first instance" and delete any reference to the CSG acronym when attached to terms such as "industry", "exploration", and "production".

The paper stated it was part of a "national harmonisation initiative" based on recommendations from the Standing Council of Energy and Resources and apparently adopted by all governments.

But Aidan Ricketts from CSG Free Northern Rivers said the move fit "hand in glove" with a campaign launched earlier this year by the CSG industry which refers to natural gas instead of CSG.

"You saw the industry calling it natural gas a couple of months ago, now the government has followed suit," Mr Ricketts said.

"It's just another example of the government falling in line with industry. They're trying to get away from the words which have become poison."

It was misleading to refer to coal-seam gas as natural gas because of the different extractive technologies involved and how they impacted on the landscape, Mr Ricketts said.

He said there was no history of opposition to conventional natural gas extraction in the Bass Strait because it didn't involve "thousands of wellheads" in rural areas.

"It confuses the issue of the extractive technology," he said.

"With natural gas you wouldn't have thousands and thousands of wellheads across a region, which in turn creates more emissions."

"The main reason there's opposition (to CSG) is because people don't want industrial gas fields in their region."

Topics:  chris hartcher coal seam gas csg natural gas nsw government

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