Letter to the Editor - Wednesday, May 21:Now we pay the price

THE "Beers and cheers" celebration article (19/5) about the suspension of Metgasco's coal seam gas (CSG) licence started out with "…the first time in a century that a posse on horseback had fronted up to South Lismore's Station Hotel".

What a great way to promote sending our society back into the Dark Ages.

And their "success" caused Metgasco's share price to drop 50%, which no doubt was a good reason to have another round.

Too bad about royalties for the state, jobs for the young people in the Valleys and even the amount of unemployment benefits.

The blockade at Bentley exposed the real agenda of the activists, which is not to assist harassed farmers but to stop CSG even if the farmers are in favour of it.

Their aim is to enforce their ideals - period.

Peter Graham had invited Metgasco onto his property, which resulted in him being harassed for months by the protesters. This, to put it politely, was a form of intimidation by standover merchants who denied Mr Graham his right to manage his own property.

The police should have done their job earlier.

Overall the harassers have not been doing a very good job, with only a few successful blockades.

Metgasco have been exploring in the Clarence Moreton Basin around Casino for 10 years, drilling more than 50 wells. They also have more than 320 land access agreements, all voluntary.

They have spent $100 million in the process, with a lot of that supporting the local economy.

Also the well they planned to drill was not a CSG well but one which was going to explore for conventional and tight gas. Seems like John Edwards and his crew "shot up" the wrong property. Oh dear!

But as John would say "Our tactics are justified because we are right!" Not according to rigorous science and even historical observations.

Newcastle in the Hunter Valley has been an industrial city for over 100 years, as well as being the largest coal exporting port in the world (180,000,000 tonnes/year). The coal is mined in various up-river locations.

In spite of the enormity of the coal operation, mining and pastoral activities, particularly wine and horses, have flourished side by side.

Now along comes CSG. Its mining footprint is small; it is transported by pipelines not trains, and pollution if any, is negligible. Facts are not a consideration for this mob.

They are also hypocrites. Not only are they NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard) and NOOMBYs (Not Out Of My Back Yard) but they are OFAMBYs (Ok From Another Mug's Back Yard), who are hypocrites of the worst kind.

This is because all the anti-gas folk use vast quantities of gas, be it conventional or CSG.

They all use methane gas directly, or products made from methane, including plastics and artificial materials, or products that use methane in their manufacturing process, including cement, steel, glass (even beer bottles) etc.

John Ibbotson,

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