Brickbat and bouquet for The Slug

SLUGCATCHER'S latest column ("Not much energy in these alternatives") has prompted a couple of letters, one taking issue with The Slug's continued criticism of coal seam methane-to-LNG projects, the other implying that our scribe is, if anything, too soft on altenative energy advocates.

Dear editor,

I still think The Slug is being overly pessimistic.

Without knowing the details of the three projects mentioned it's difficult to comment. However two of them would appear to be in difficulties for non technical reasons - the wind farm for economic reasons (bloody big investment for presumeably intermmediate or peaking power) and the tar sands for environmental reasons.

In the latter case while I can understand the environmentalists not liking the dirty business of extracting oil from tar sands, I would bet London to a brick that no US Government (even Democrat) will ban the import of oil anytime soon.

LNG production is very well established and has been for 30 or more years. There are a number of absolute experts in the LNG business (I understand Santos has employed two of them) who could opine to The Slug whether LNG from CSM is feasible. Then it becomes a question of economics and financiability. It is not all that hard to get a handle on these.

Having said that, I don't think we are going to see a proliferation of CSM -ed LNG projects in Queensland. However I do see the major players getting up in one or two projects.

In any event, it is impossible to get finance for a project without a world-class operator who not only has the expertise but also has a very considerable balance sheet. There are a variety of ways in which the minor players could get into the deal without having to build an LNG plant.

Tony Norris


Austral-Powerflo Solutions

Dear editor,

While all this "save the planet from human beings use of energy" is going on, we waste time and money that could be put to better use.

I hope someone will be able to pin the costs of lost opportunities and wasted expenditure on the alarmists who promoted the idea that mankind could influence world climate one bit. In New Zealand, we can't even predict the weekend weather! Our very best government-funded agencies can't forecast snow conditions six months in advance correctly.

I note that in PNG, there is still the belief that human behaviour can upset the volcano gods and cause eruptions. Their remedy? Throw babies into the volcano! While we are quick to condemn such nonsense, some of our smartest promote the idea that mankind can actually change the world climate, despite what the sun might be doing.

What an absolute waste of time, money and energy all this carbon footprint hocus pocus is costing. We should be devoting our energy and skills to find more sources of reliable energy, and improving efficiencies wherever possible, and leave the pursuit of anthroprogenic climate change notions to the those who would have us return to pre-industrial revolution times.

Brian Casey

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