Fossil Fuel Watch weekly digest: July 11-17

350 Australia is tracking the fossil fuel lobby and its attempts to use the Covid-19 health crisis to its advantage. There are now 67 instances of the fossil fuel lobby and pro-fossil fuel politicians calling for policy changes to benefit their interests. Below is a weekly update on developments in the area. 

Updates for 11 – 17 July:

  • The Federal Resources Minister Keith Pitt has announced that the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) will be extended by 5 years to 2026 as part of economic recovery efforts. He also used the announcement to flag that gas will be one of the potential priority investments for the fund, along with minerals and renewable energy. 
  • A number of fossil fuel lobby groups have intensified their calls for slashing environmental regulation under the cover of Covid-19, including APPEA and the Queensland Resources Council. This comes as continued pressure mounts on the Government to release the EPBC draft interim review report. 
  • Federal Resources Minister Keith Pitt has continued to push support for gas projects under the cover of the Covid-19 pandemic. This week saw him express a desire to support Woodside’s delayed and controversial gas project, Browse, off WA’s coast, and discussing gas development in Gladstone. 
  • This comes as Woodside, Origin Energy and Oil Search write down billions, and tankers sail in circles at sea due to gas buyers delaying deliveries.
  • Another ALP MP, Anthony Chilsholm, has pushed for approval of the New Acland coal mine expansion, despite its climate and environmental impacts.