Woodside Petroleum are in the process of building a major gas hub on James Price Point, an area of the Kimberley known for its natural beauty and biodiversity. Many unique species of plants and animals live here, and a great deal of these are already under threat.
What better way to protect them than building a $30 billion gas plant, which inevitably will cause enormous damage to the Kimberley coast. Every environmental organisation and activist in Australia is opposed to the project, including the Wilderness Society, Conservation Foundation, Conservation Council of WA and Save The Kimberley.
WA Premier Colin Barnett first stated:
One of our priorities is protection of the Kimberley which I think is WA’s greatest responsibility environmentally. (The West Australian, 4 September 2010)
He then proceeded to approved the project, promising great benefits for WA (and no doubt receiving great benefits of his own). Meanwhile, the opposition started a blockade of the site, which has been ongoing for the last
two weeks month.
Interesting to note is who the main actors are. The project is managed by 5 companies: Woodside, Shell, Chevron, BP and BHP. Just seeing those names makes me shiver, considering all of them have among the worst environmental track-records in modern history:
Woodside – Bypassed environmental regulations in Australia and legal regulations in Mauritania.
Shell – Destroyed Niger Delta and violated US environmental regulations on several occasions.
Chevron – Caused environmental damage in the US, Ecuador, Angola, Niger and Bangladesh.
BP – Destroyed Gulf of Mexico, dumped toxic material, released harmful chemicals and spilled oil across the US on countless occasions.
BHP – Polluted sites in Papua New Guinea.
Is this the environmental protection Barnett was talking about? Allowing the worst environmental criminals in history to operate an LNG plant in an extremely fragile environment? That sounds like a sure recipe for success… Well, for monetary success that is.