Guest essay by Eric Worrall
A surprise effort by the resource rich West Australian Government to force energy giants to completely offset all their CO2 emissions has been withdrawn.
EPA scraps new carbon emissions guidelines for resources companies amid industry pressure
By Nicolas Perpitch
Updated yesterday at 7:35pm
The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has withdrawn its contentious guidelines requiring major WA resources projects to completely offset their greenhouse gas emissions.
- The EPA’s emissions guidelines released this month had the resources industry up in arms
- The Premier also spoke against them, saying the environmental body had gone a step too far
- The EPA now concedes the guidelines would “benefit from further consultation”
Top executives from some of the world’s biggest resources companies met Premier Mark McGowan this morning to voice their strong opposition to the environmental watchdog’s recommendations.
Mr McGowan rang the EPA’s chairman Tom Hatton after the meeting to discuss industry’s concerns.
He said shortly afterwards, the EPA informed him it would be withdrawing the guidelines while it consulted further with industry.
Mr McGowan denied the move would create more uncertainty for industry during the consultation period, or that he pressured Dr Hatton to make the move.
“We had a conversation for maybe 15 minutes, 20 minutes about it, but he obviously knew there were some very significant problems,” he said.
“He’s a very good scientist and very committed to the environment, but he understood there were major issues that need to be dealt with.“
Despite the major backdown by the EPA, Mr McGowan said he did not believe Dr Hatton’s position had been left untenable.
Read more: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-14/epa-scraps-carbon-emssions-guidelines-for-wa-resources-projects/10901574
Despite the withdrawal and denials, and the intervention of Premier McGowan, this is not necessarily the end of efforts by overzealous West Australian officials to decimate their state’s jobs and industries.
The growing risk of regulatory instability and environmental lunacy in Western countries must be a factor, when the boards of energy giants consider future investments and jobs.