Anti-coal-seam-gas (CSG) campaigners on the north coast have slammed the NSW government’s plan to abolish using the term coal seam gas or CSG, describing the move as ‘Orwellioan double speak’.
The criticism follows the revelation that NSW energy minister Chris Hartcher is instructing all government agencies to cease using the terms ‘coal seam gas’ or the acronym CSG and to replace it with ‘natural gas from coal seams’.
The new terminology has been described by anti-CSG activists as a blatant euphemism to hide the truth about the destructive nature of the industry.
‘It’s an almost farcical outbreak of “Yes Minister” double speak,’, said CSG-Free Northern Rivers spokesman Aidan Ricketts.
Mr Ricketts said the difference between the two gas industries was not the gas but the extractive technology used, including the highly controversial ‘fracking’ of coal seams and potential contamination of groundwater as a result.
He said thousands of well heads are needed for CSG extraction which would ‘industrialise the whole region’.
‘It seems that public opposition has become too much for the industry and government to withstand and so rather than change policy the NSW government is seeking to change terminology,’ Mr Ricketts said.
‘This is nothing short of Orwellian double speak by the government and industry. It doesn’t matter what weasel words the government want to use, these are invasive industrial gasfield developments and the people of NSW don’t want them destroying our water tables and our way of life.
‘If the government wants to find a useful catch-all term they should simply call a spade a spade, whether its coal seam gas, tight sands gas, unconventional gas, or gas from under homes in western Sydney, there is a clear simple term that covers the lot “Invasive industrial gasfields”.
‘Particulary ironic is that the briefing paper is signed off by the Director of the Office of Coal Seam Gas (soon to be renamed no doubt),’ he said.