Richard Staples, Talofa
It’s a strange day when I find myself pumping the air in agreement with the likes of Andrew Liveris, president of Dow Chemicals, but I did last week. Mr Liveris has slammed moves to export liquefied natural gas from the east coast, instead of setting the resource aside for domestic users, as occurs in countries such as Canada.
Such a view challenges the prevailing attitude of gas-exploration companies – get it out and sell it as quickly as possible to whomever. Santos says because local prices are among the developed world’s lowest an export market is needed to justify investment. In other words, maximise revenue in the short term regardless of how this non-renewable resource is used/misused. The obvious analogy is trashing native forests for export woodchips.
I would go further with an alternative scenario for government. Ban or at least discourage use of Australian gas for electricity generation, whether on- or offshore. LNG is a high-quality, portable energy source that is wasted in this application, especially when solar and wind are dropping in price so dramatically. It’s time to start weaning our energy economies.