A recently announced bilateral energy deal between the NSW and federal coalition governments – which includes expanding the gas industry – has the full support of local Nationals MLC Ben Franklin.
Franklin replied to the question of whether he was supportive of the expansion of the gas industry, despite it contributing to anthropogenic climate change.
He said, ‘The bilateral deal on energy signed between NSW and the federal government is a wonderful step forward’.
‘As the minister for energy and the environment Matt Kean says, “It is the single biggest state-based financial commitment to emissions reduction in the nation’s history and represents a massive Green deal for NSW”.’
It’s a statement rejected by The Greens and environmental groups.
Franklin continued, ‘At its heart is the establishment of a new 3,000 MW renewable energy zone in the central west of the state, along with other measures, such as methane capture from landfill and land-based carbon farming projects.
‘This is on top of the more than 100 private-sector proposals to build large-scale renewable energy projects currently before the government, which would add 17,700 MW of additional capacity into the network.
‘We are on a transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy. That will require high levels of storage, long distance transmission and much better efficiencies in how we use energy. But as that transition occurs, we will need an energy source that can react swiftly to changes in the output of wind and solar – one that is relatively low in emissions and only operates when needed. Natural gas will play that critical role in the short term’.