Chevron’s pollution delays costing jobs and the environment

The state’s peak environment group has renewed its call for WA’s biggest polluter to comply with Ministerial Conditions on its giant Gorgon LNG processing facility, saying that its refusal to ‘offset’ its carbon pollution was harming the environment and costing jobs in clean industries.

Today’s West Business reported that Environment Minister Stephen Dawson would give the company more time to fix its failed geosequestration facility, which is intended to inject some of the pollution from the LNG plant underground.

Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) Director Piers Verstegen welcomed the Minister’s commitment to holding Chevron to account for its pollution, but says Chevron will continue to delay the inevitable for as long as possible.

“Chevron’s WA operations produce the equivalent pollution of five coal fired power stations every year, making the company the state’s biggest polluter by far.

“The longer Chevron is allowed to delay action waiting for an unproven technology to work, the more it is costing jobs in proven industries such as tree planting, carbon farming, and renewable energy, which are ready and available to control pollution right now.

“It is critical that we bring WA’s biggest polluter to account. Every day that Chevron are allowed to delay action means more carbon pollution, and more climate change.

“At a minimum, Chevron should comply with their existing Ministerial Conditions. This means that while the geosequestration is not working, the company should offset their pollution in other ways. While Chevron is allowed to continue to ignore this requirement, the company has no incentive to make their geosequestration successful.

“Unfortunately, Chevron has a long history of avoiding their obligations. The geosequestration project was supposed to have been operational late last year. WA’s biggest polluter pays almost no tax or royalties, and the continuing refusal by Chevron to provide alternative offsets for their pollution is costing Western Australians jobs and investment in clean industries.

“We do not believe that the geosequestration will provide a long term solution – instead it is being used by Chevron as a means to avoid their responsibility for as long as possible.

“Even if the geosequestration can be made to work, it will only deal with a small portion of Chevron’s total pollution. It’s clear that strong, enforceable pollution controls are required for all of Chevron’s pollution. That would create a significant new driver for job creation in industries such as tree planting, carbon farming, environmental restoration, and renewable energy.”